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Sylvie Montreuil was among the first generation of ergonomics researchers in Québec. Throughout her career, she made outstanding contributions to the development of ergonomics as a professional practice and scientific discipline, and to the development of occupational health and safety prevention as a field of study and research at Université Laval and in Québec. In so doing, she raised the profile of the institution.

Training the new generation of ergonomists

Together with colleagues, she opened up this field of study at Université Laval through courses in Department of Industrial Relations programs. Before being hired at Université Laval in 1991, she even took part in the work of the committee developing the Université Laval ergonomics training program.

As vice dean of studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, she helped develop the specialized graduate diploma in ergonomics and innovation, launched in 2012. That diploma led to the recognition of the current master’s degree in ergonomics, introduced in fall 2020.

Through her teaching, she introduced several generations of students to the field, who today work for major companies and prevention organizations in Québec and even Europe. She supervised and co-supervised over a dozen master’s students and five doctoral students. Dr. Montreuil also helped train a second generation of ergonomics professors at universities across the province. In 2012, her commitment to the next generation earned her the Excellence in Teaching Award, presented annually by the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Promoting research

Dr. Montreuil is widely recognized as a researcher. The quality of her research in a wide variety of workplaces made it possible to demonstrate the value of ergonomics to prevention by highlighting the knowledge and know-how of those who work.  As a result, she was able to promote discipline among employers, unions, prevention organizations, and preventionists. Among other things, she was a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Organization, Health, and Work from 1991 to 2003 and led the Chair in Occupational Health and Safety Management from 2009 to 2012.

Invitations to serve on the editorial boards of scientific journals and preside over the organization of national and international conferences raised the profile of Université Laval and reflected the recognition she received from her peers and various recognized scientific and professional organizations, in Québec and abroad. Dr. Montreuil was in charge of the “Ergonomics” section of the journal Travail et santé from 1995 to 2016 and director of the scientific journal Industrial Relations/Relations industrielles from 2002 to 2006. She organized or co-organized eight scientific conferences and symposiums in Québec and elsewhere and participated in the publication of five thematic issues of scientific journals.

Between her tenure in 2000 and her retirement in 2017, she was a researcher or co-investigator in 12 funded projects totalling over $1,120,000. During her career, she produced 51 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals or collective works, including 23 as first author. Some of them even won awards.

Dr. Montreuil always sought to disseminate her work to a wide audience. She is the author of the fourth edition of the training guide Ergonomie : travail de bureau avec écran de visualisation and co-author of publications on telework issues, used in the context of COVID-19.

Dr. Montreuil’s contributions are outstanding from the point of view of teaching and disseminating knowledge, as well as research.