Current projects

In collaboration with a major North American airline, we are investigating the potential of using flight data monitoring (FDM) as part of pro-active identification of emerging human factors risks in airline operations, particularly for emerging and new types of risks associated with increased use of automation.  We are studying current FDM practices through interviews, including how they currently identify human factor risks within their broader Safety Management System (SMS) program, and comparing high priority risks with those found by a review of recent accident/incident reports.  Furthe

We have been looking at the human factors issues surrounding the use of enhanced/next generation radar systems that can detect vehicles and/or objects that are “non-cooperative” (e.g. no transponder / ADS-B equipage). Primarily UAVs, and especially micro-UAVs, and examining issues such as tolerance of pilots and controllers for time-delays in surveillance information about these vehicles, intermittency in the surveillance sources, and the requirements on level of detail of surveillance information presented about them (e.g.

This is research work done to investigate the role of airspace structure and airspace design on the complexity experienced by air traffic controllers.  This was the core of Dr. Histon's PhD thesis and it and associated publications are available here.

Our research focuses on understanding how new operational environment created by advanced control systems will change the training requirements for air traffic controllers. We are currently investigating the new training requirements and techniques to help controllers develop new skills, knowledge and abilities in future working environments.

We are investigating the use of real-time awareness tools to help operators in time critical systems manage operations. These tools are being designed to help operators better communicate their willingness to be interrupted and priority of interruptions in environments where there is already a high degree of communications.

Other initiatives

Collaborative work with Dr. Burns on ground control station design.

Some early and recent work on developing tools for visualizing complex aviation data.

This project encompasses work done in the classroom at developing means of engaging engineering students in human factors and human factors careers and graduate school options.

Completed projects

Early work done at University of Calgary on evaluating different medical devices.

Early work at University of Calgary on single display groupware.

The underlying Structure (e.g. procedures, flows, sector geometry, and airspace elements) of airspace plays a key role in controller mental models and strategies. However, Structure can vary considerably between sectors and facilities, creating a need for site-specific training and inefficiencies in the training process. Developing and deploying generic airspace, that has similar Structure, offers the potential to minimize the required site-specific training.