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The University of Southampton

Human factors engineering


Human factors engineering is focused on improving the safety, efficiency and wellbeing of people using technological systems. The Human Factors Engineering team in the Transportation Research Group conducts research on human performance in technical systems. We have an award-winning background in investigating human factors issues in the aviation industry and have particular expertise in the design of flight decks and air traffic management operations.

Areas of expertise

• Human factors method development: We’ve undertaken fundamental research on the development and validation of human factors methods.

• Distributed cognition and team working: Distributed cognition is characterised by multiple individuals and teams working together in pursuit of a common goal (comprising multiple interacting sub-goals). High levels of communication and coordination are required, and there is often an onus placed on technologies to facilitate this. Methods have been developed and utilised to study teamwork in complex socio-technical systems.

• Accident analysis: Insights gained 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.

Technical advantages

• Human factors engineering is a market differentiator for aviation.

• The identification of human factors issues early in the design and development process can have considerable financial benefits.

• Failure to integrate human factors in aircraft avionics and cockpit design will inevitably mean that training, procedures and checklists will have to compensate for the shortcomings.

• Effective human factors design can help to protect the aircrew and aircraft by designing systems that are compatible and commensurate with human performance.

Recent involvement in aviation projects

2009-2014: ALICIA

2013-2016: i-VISION

2014-2016: Future Flight Deck


Collaboration opportunity

We are always interested in exploring opportunities for collaboration.

If you would like to know more, please contact Professor Neville Stanton



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