Category Archives: Aerospace

Runway Incursion

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Runway incursion is a huge issue in the United States (US). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a runway incursion as “Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft.”

man drawing procedure diagram

Procedures

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Back in the days when I was active in IIE, I used to talk to Kevin McManus all the time. These days, it is all I can do to follow his great articles on Linked In Pulse. I want to share his latest one on procedures. Kevin shares some of the history of procedures and how they have evolved over the decades. My Take In my experience, we have a love/hate relationship with procedures. We recognize that they have major benefits. They help us standardize…

Annual Meeting Banner

HFES 2015 Keynote Address John Nance

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For the remainder of the week we will be featuring post from the HFES 2015 Annual Meeting.

This year’s keynote will be presented by John Nance during the Tuesdaymorning Opening Plenary Session. Nance is a well-known advocate of using the lessons from the recent revolution in aviation safety to revolutionize the patient safety performance of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and others within the health-care domain. His talk, entitled “The Carbon-Based Conundrum,” will deal with the concept that it is only through accepting the inevitability of error that we can eliminate human-caused disasters. As
Nance puts it, “The key to zero disasters is zero denial.”

Prada Luggage

Luggage 2.0

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If I were to ask you the top 10 features you would like added to your luggage, what comes to mind? Are any of these on your list: Bluetooth enabled lock you can open with your phone (so you don’t need to remember a code). GPS tracking (so you can find it if you lose it, it gets stolen, or if the airline loses it) Built in scale (to make sure it fits TSA limits or as an ergonomic double check for your back safety)…

Astronaut in space

Teams to the Extreme

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A recent issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science has a fantastic article from our own Ed Salas and his colleagues that expounds on the needs of teams for extreme missions such as space exploration. For me, this was a dreamy combination of some of my favorite topics: teamwork, space, extreme cases, and ideation.

Researchers from a variety of disciplines are currently working with NASA to prepare for human exploration of Mars in the next decades. Such exploration will take scientific discovery to new heights, providing unprecedented information about the geology, atmosphere, and potential for life on Mars, including previous life, current life, and perhaps even our own lives in the future. To make these unparalleled discoveries, however, astronauts will need to undertake a novel and unprecedented journey. Moreover, the mission to Mars will require a team of crew members who will have to endure and sustain team performance requirements never seen before. Multidisciplinary teams of scientists have begun to provide the needed steps to address this challenge.

a gavel on some legal documents

The Role of Ethics in Human Factors Practice

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Editor’s Note – we are happy to introduce this guest article from Moin Rahman, Founder of HVHF Sciences. His bio and link to his company’s web site are located at the end of his article.

Is there a Hippocratic Oath – or something similar – for Human Factors Practitioners? At least I have not heard of one that is specific to human factors, although there is a similar oath for engineers. And there have been discussions about having an oath for scientists and engineers in general. Nevertheless, human factors professionals are driven by our morals and professional ethics to design devices and solutions that in the words of Asimov’s First Law of Robotics “[A robot] may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” Good so far. But the ethics of a human-machine system or complex sociotechnical system (STS), particularly at the intersection of humans and safety critical technology may or may not receive the necessary attention it deserves.

Fireworks

One Year Anniversary

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In honor of the one year anniversary of EID’s relaunch (check out our first post ever here) under our new format, we thought we would copy an innovative technique used by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In addition to being a brilliant, award winning writer, he is also credited for having one of the best comment management strategies for his blog at The Atlantic magazine. One dimension of his strategy, which seems obvious on the surface but is incredibly rare, is to start with the assumption that some…

Airline Terminal with bored passengers at O'Hare Airport

Airline Gamification

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I am not sure how many of you are familiar with The Intelligence Group, but they put out a daily newsletter describing some interesting and promising innovations they find through a large network of spotters (kind of like we are trying to do with Barrett Caldwell’s Scouts).

The Feb 11 issue described three gamification ideas that airlines have launched recently in an attempt to engage passengers, improve their experience, increase their loyalty, and perhaps develop some brand advocates. Rather than describe the actual designs, I am going to ideate a little on what they could be (working on the vain assumption that I know more than the airlines do about gamification and customer experience).

a cat in a suitcase

Air Travel and Carry On Luggage

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Everyone has at least a few good carry-on luggage stories. First, there are the abusers. The person who had live chickens in a shopping bag (I really heard that on the news once!), the duffel bag that could fit full length skis and poles. It’s amazing what people try to get away with. Then we have the travel-lights…

a room full of airplane seats

Custom Airplane Seating

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Fast Company had an article last month that triggered an idea. The original talks about adjustable seating in airplanes that could be more customized than what we have now. They would be set on tracks in the floor so they could move back and forth. When you reserve your seat, you input how much legroom you want so when you get on the plane it is adjusted accordingly…