Aviation Academy

Human Factors and Safety

As aviation complexity increases, safety becomes even more important. Our Safety and Human Factors research ‘improves the invisible’ as we strive to maintain or even improve safety in our increasingly busy aviation sector.

Scientific silos and the domain-wide changes in the aviation industry have several implications for our safety and human factors research. The implications include disconnects and paradoxes that we strive to address: a) proactive safety management and the lack of data, b) the declining investments on human systems and the importance of safety culture, c) the hierarchical structure of aviation organisations and their responsibility shifts, and d) growth and decision making about sustainability goals. To this end, our research is interdisciplinary, bridging scientific developments in the macro, meso and micro levels of the aviation domain.
Our safety and human factors research are hence underpinned by change management and involve domain risk analysis, safety engineering, macro-human factors, neuroergonomics, safety management, positive learning and behavioural change. We believe in the power of knowledge sharing and dialogue and we aim to challenge safety professionals on the following topics:
  • Advanced SMS & Metrics (senior management)
  • SMS in practice (all personnel)
  • Safety culture assessment
  • Ground safety & human factors
  • Fatigue Risk Management Systems
  • Crew safety & human factors training
  • Maintenance human factors
  • Change management
  • Safety Management, Strategy & KPIs
  • Airport SMS & Metrics
  • Human Factors (Airside/Portside safety)
  • Safety culture & Safety promotion practices
  • Incident investigation
  • Incident management
  • Safety leadership & Systemic risk management
  • Health & Safety


The Safety and Human Factors team works with industry partners such as airlines, airports, handlers, maintenance organisations and air navigation service providers. Our academic partners include TU Delft, Griffith University, the National Technical University of Athens, and Limerick University as well as institutions from the ATAERA network. We have also collaborated with aviation authorities such as the European Aviation Safety Agency, the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, and the Dutch Military Aviation Authority.

Published by  Faculty of Technology 9 March 2020

  Dr. M. Papanikou (Maria)

Associate Professor of Safety and Human Factors

Tel: 0639010555
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