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Engineering and the Environment
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Professor Neville Stanton BSc (Hons), PhD, FBPsS, FErgsS, MIET, MCIHT

Professor of Human Factors in Transport

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Professor Neville Stanton is Professor of Human Factors in Transport within Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.

I am conducting research into improving and optimising human performance in systems, especially with the introduction of new technology and automation. I also analyse accidents and make recommendations for accident prevention in the future.

Chartered Occupational Psychologist registered with The British Psychological Society
Fellow of The British Psychological Society
Fellow of The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors
Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology

In 1998 Prof Stanton was awarded the Institution of Electrical Engineers Divisional Premium Award (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology) for a co-authored paper on Engineering Psychology and System Safety. The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors awarded him the Otto Edholm Medal in 2001 for his contribution to basic and applied ergonomics research, The President’s Medal in 2008 to the HFI-DTC and the Sir Frederic Bartlett Medal in 2012 for a lifetime contribution to ergonomics research. In 2007 The Royal Aeronautical Society awarded him the Hodgson Medal and Bronze Award with colleagues for their work on flight-deck safety.

Professor Stanton conducts research into human performance in technological systems. This research has been undertaken in a diverse range of domains, including: aviation, defence, energy distribution, maritime, medicine, nuclear, road and rail transportation, oil and gas production. The fundamentals of human interaction with technology transgresses these domains and Human Factors methods can be used to analyse and make predictions about the performance of individuals, teams and systems. The insights gains from examining the activities of people interacting with technology can be used to assist in the design of better systems and ways of working in the future. As well as designing better human-machine systems, I have undertaken fundamental research into the development and validation of Human Factors methods. Prof Stanton has published over 25 books and 200 journal papers on his work over the past 25 years.

Driving simulator
Handbook of Human Factors





Expert Witness


Research interests

Professor Stanton has research interests in Ergonomics and Human Factors methods as has focused on the broad class of approaches called Cognitive Task and Work Analysis. The validation of these methods has led to published books and papers that present a large selection of methods with advice and guidance, examples as well as any supportive evidence.

Professor Stanton also research into team working which has focused on distributed cognition and has led to the development of ideas on distributed situation awareness which has challenged contemporary thinking on situation awareness to present a new approach and associated methods. His team work research has led to the development of methods that can be used to analyse, model and redesign the ways in which teams work.

Professor Stanton also conducts research into the effects of automation on human tasks, which has mainly focused on the development of vehicle automation in road transport. The research has considered the implications from automation in other domains, such as aviation, where automation has a history and some hard lessons have been learnt. Much of the initial research has been conducted in a driving simulator, which has subsequently led to test track and on-road trials. The research on Adaptive Cruise Control was a particular highlight as this contributed to the first commercial implementation of the system in Jaguar vehicles.

The defining characteristic of the work of Professor Stanton is his ability to move between the theoretical, methodological and practical application of Ergonomics and Human Factors. He thrives on problems to be solved. In doing so he is keen to advance both the theories and methods of the discipline. The problems are not simple and the answers cannot be found quickly. It is due to his dogged determination and willingness to collaborate with others that he has been able to advance the science and engineering of the discipline.


PhD supervision

Prof Stanton has supervised or co-supervised the following students: Ian Maynard (Stress management, 1998), Mark Young (Mental workload and vehicle automation, 2000), Melanie Ashleigh (Trust in human supervisory control, 2002), Jane Prichard (Team working, 2003), Guy Walker (Vehicle feedback, 2003), Elise Jones (Methods for design innovation, 2004), Jackie Stevens (Personality and behaviour, 2005), Rhonda Lane (Medical errors in drug administration, 2005), Tara Kazi (Trust in vehicle automation, 2006), Paul Salmon (Distributed situation awareness, 2008), Dan Jenkins (Cognitive work analysis, 2008), Tom Griffin (Aviation accidents, 2010), Cath Harvey (In-Vehicle Systems, 2011), Laura Rafferty (Human Factors in Fratricide, 2011), Dan Lockton (Design constraints and affordances, 2012), Linda Sorensen (Distributed Situation Awareness, 2013), Yin Son Yong (Driver Behaviour at Traffic Lights, 2013), Kirsten Revell (Home Energy Affordances, ongoing), Katie Plant (Schema Theory, ongoing), Vicky Banks (Vehicle Automation, ongoing), Rich McIlroy (Electric and Hybrid Vehicles, ongoing), Katie Parnell (Driver Distraction, ongoing) and Josh Price (Road Vehicle Management Systems, ongoing).

Research projects:

Designing new displays to assist pilots in reduced visibility conditions

Designing tools to support visualisation and analysis of pilot interactions with future cockpits

The Human Factors of Automated Driving

Transportation Research Group

Human Factors Methods

Research group(s)

Transportation Group

Research project(s)

Transforming Energy Demand through Digital Innovation - Intelligent Agents for Home Energy Management

Human factors in the design of traffic management systems

Encouraging eco-driving with multisensory feed-forward and feedback information

Are Automatic Cars Safer and more Efficient

ALICIA: All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit Infrastructure

In his ALICIA project funded by the EU, Professor Neville Stanton and his team are working with 41 European partners to develop the aircraft technology and tasks necessary to reduce delays in Europe associated with poor weather by at least 20%.

Applications of the Perceptual Cycle Model and Schema Theory to aeronautical decision making

Gaining a causal understanding of why operators make particular decisions is essential to advance our knowledge on aeronautical decision making and its potential impact on errors.

Application of contemporary systems-based methods to reduce trauma at rail level crossings

The project will be conducted over four years. It aims to develop a systems-based model of railway level crossing performance. It will take account of road user behaviour and influences (such as signage, protection provided, the sighting distance on the crossing) and other factors known to lead to incidents. The knowledge developed during the project will include a world-first model of the level crossing system and will support the development of countermeasures that will improve safety.

HF-AUTO: Human Factors of Highly automated Driving

Before highly automated driving can be safely deployed on public roads we have to deal with imminent human-error and legal consequences. HFAuto will answer crucial human-factors questions, such as: how should human-machine-interfaces (HMI) be designed to support transitions between automated and manual control?, how can the automation understand the driver’s state and intentions?, what are the effects of HAD on accident risk and transport efficiency?, and who is legally responsible for accidents?

I-VISION: Immersive Semantics-based Virtual Environments for the Design and Validation of Human-centred Aircraft Cockpits

Current design practices used for flight deck design, test and evaluation, involve expensive physical mock-ups with little or no room for reconfiguration and without the flexibility to accommodate multi-disciplinary simulation experiments and scenarios. New tools are needed for designing cockpits with a high level of flexibility and low cost, allowing the industry to reduce the development costs and time-to-market. The cockpits of the future need to be designed based on the conditions in which they will operate. For example, the ALICIA project is focused on the conceptualization of the modern cockpit by taking into account the new demands imposed by the current and future operating conditions of airliners. Virtual Reality (VR) provides designers and engineers with the means of evaluating products and processes at the early stages of the design phase. Knowledge-based tools incorporated with VR technology can provide a platform for designing and validating cockpits using advanced modelling and simulation tools and methods. i-VISION aims to develop a multidisciplinary immersive platform supporting the early phases of the aircraft life-cycle using advanced virtual environments that facilitate the knowledge existing in a real prototype.

Deputy Head of the Transportation Research Group

Editor of the peer-review journal Ergonomics

On the editorial board of Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science

Editor of the book series on Human Factors in Defence, published by Ashgate

Co-Chair of the International Conference on Human Factors in Transportation

Professor Stanton has been a member of the Human Factors National Technical Committee for the Aerospace and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network for the past decade:



Book Section(s)



Currently supervising undergraduate and postgraduate research projects in transportation and Human Factors

Professor Stanton has advised numerous organisations on Safety Cases and Safety Management Systems over the past 20 years.

Professor Stanton acted as an expert witness for Network Rail in the civil litigation following the Ladbroke Grove rail accident. His evidence on modelling the signalman’s cognitive micro-strategies and the activities of the driver have both been published in peer-review journals:

Stanton, N. A. and Baber, C. (2008) Modelling of alarm handling responses times: A case of the Ladbroke Grove rail accident in the UK. Ergonomics, 51 (4) 423-440.

Stanton, N. A. and Walker, G. H. (2011) Exploring the psychological factors involved in the Ladbroke Grove rail accident. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 43 (3), 1117-1127.

Professor Neville Stanton
Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 176/4013

Telephone: (023) 8059 9065

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