World-Class Ergonomist

While the ISE Department is no stranger to producing world-class engineers. It has even produced several world-class athletes (Andrew Knizner – MLB, AJ Cole III – NFL and Anton Ipsen – Olympics). The department is proud to say that a world-class javelin thrower has joined the Ergonomics Center staff as a senior ergonomist, Ariana Ince.

Ince first represented the United States in 2017 at the World Championships in London. Since then, she has worn the red, white and blue at many events, including World Championships, the Pan American Games, NACAC Championships and the 2020 Olympics. She is currently training for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Ince believes the Ergonomics Center fits her skills and experience well. “My undergraduate is in civil engineering, while my graduate degree focused on ergonomics,” she explained. “That, combined with what I’ve learned about biomechanics and soft tissue maintenance through sport, means I can approach a problem from several different mindsets all at once. I also look really good in red.”

She chose the Ergonomics Center because it offered a wide variety of projects and opportunities to learn from those on her team and the ISE community as a whole. “I think that any day you don’t learn something new is a waste of a day,” Ince said. “I do not doubt that the wealth of knowledge I’m surrounded by will mean that I won’t ever have that problem.”

Most people believe balancing a career and training for the Olympics must be pretty challenging, but Ince offers another view. “A misconception about Olympic athletes is that we train all day long,” she shares. “That’s not sustainable!” One benefit to being an individual athlete – rather than playing on a team – is that they are less restricted by a set schedule, and how long they practice is pretty much up to them. “The biggest challenge comes during the season when I’m gallivanting throughout the world at track meets for weeks at a time,” she explained. “Finding employers who trust you to travel and still get your work done is a rare gift, and I’m lucky to have found that within the Ergonomics Center.”

Somehow between a full-time career and her training schedule, Ince has found time for other activities. “It probably sounds like I’m already too busy, but I have a number of hobbies as well,” she said. “I’m trying to learn Spanish, relearning the piano, and I’m in two book clubs.” She has some insight if you wonder how she has time for that. “Just know that traveling to competitions involves a lot of sitting around and waiting.