Dr. Boersema, T.

Assistant Professor
Industrial Design Engineering

Academic Background

Theo Boersema is an assistant professor in ergonomics at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He is coordinator of the MSc project Usability Testing and Redesign in the Design for Interaction programme. His research activities are in the domain of the ergonomics of visual information. He is a member of Dutch (NEN) and international (ISO) committees and working groups on graphical symbols.


  • 1968
    Grammar School (science subjects), Christelijk Lyceum, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1972
    BSc in Psychology, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • 1977
    MSc in Experimental Psychology/ Ergonomics, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • 2000
    PhD, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; title of dissertation Visual search in complex, naturalistic images


  • March 1977 – now
    Assistant professor in ergonomics, Section of Human Information Communication Design, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

    • January 1983 – June 1985: Personnel manager of the faculty (part-time)
    • September 2002 – August 2008: Member and chair of the faculty's Board of Studies

  • October 2002 – now
    Member of NEN committee 302145 Grafische symbolen, Dutch representative on ISO Technical Committee 145 Graphical symbols and its Subcommittee SC 1 Public information symbols and convenor of an ISO TC 145/SC 1 Working Group  
  • January 2006 – December 2008
    Co-director on the Board of the Europe Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Specialisation / field of research

Ergonomics of visual information

  • Comprehensibility testing of graphical symbols (with Dr Austin Adams, Australia)
  • Dynamic graphics (with Frans van Mourik)

Lectures and/or coaches students on:

  • Performing research as part of a design project (in BSc Final Project)
  • Ergonomics and usability (in MSc project Usability Testing and Redesign and MSc Graduation Project)
  • Searching for a graduation subject and defining the graduation assignment (in MSc course Preparation for Graduation)