Human factors engineering

We apply human factors engineering principles to the design and improvement of complex systems in order to optimize human performance, safety and total system effectiveness.

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Key contact

Rob Teasdale

Global Business Development Director


+61 (0) 3 86206180

Human factors engineering

Human factors engineering (HFE) integrates human considerations into the design of equipment, systems, and facilities. This is done by performing and applying methods such as human behavioral research, functional and task analyses, human risk analysis, human-centered design, engineering psychology, ergonomics and other disciplines.

By incorporating HFE into the design of systems, customers can achieve:

  • Efficient operations
  • Reduced maintenance requirements
  • Reduced training demands
  • Reduced workload
  • Reduced safety and health risks
  • Improved system availability and reduced maintenance downtime
  • Improved economic performance of systems
  • Improved system safety

We’re committed to the cost-effective design of equipment, systems and workplace environments to minimize human error and optimize human efficiency and safety. Our HFE team has decades of experience in the design and evaluation of military and commercial ships, offshore structures, transportation systems, manufacturing facilities, military systems and power generation plants.

While our HFE capabilities can be applied in many different ways, we typically support HFE requirements in the following areas:

  • System Design: Working as an integral part of engineering teams, we integrate human performance and safety considerations into design through drawing review, specification development, analyses such as task and link and HFE training.
  • Behavioral Research: We plan and conduct research into human behavior with respect to operation, maintenance and passenger use associated with operations, and the implementation of new technology.
  • Modeling and Simulation: We make the best use of the latest technologies in virtual reality, augmented reality and physics-based modeling to model and simulate human performance
  • HFE Design Standards and Guidance: We develop HFE, human-computer interface (HCI), and human machine interface (HMI) standards that can help design tasks, workflow, equipment, facilities and systems. We also help interpret HFE design standards to specific customer needs.
  • Human-Machine & Human-Computer Interface Design: We use user-centered design processes to develop Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and Human-Computer Interface (HCI) design specifications that represent both visual and functional design.
  • Human Factors Test and Evaluation (T&E): We use techniques such as expert evaluation, observation, questionnaires and interviews, human error analysis and human performance measurement to perform tests and evaluations during each phase of development from conceptual design to operational evaluation and post deployment.
  • Human Error & Mishap/Accident Investigation: We use methodologies and tools such as human error failure modes and effects analysis; the Human Factors Analysis Classification System (HFACS); and a D&P developed methodology, Human Engineering and Ergonomic Risk Analysis Process (HEERAP) to identify, analyze and mitigate design-induced risks of human injury. We use safety and mishap investigation processes and procedures to determine the root causes of accidents and incidents. Working with all persons involved, we determine the sources of either latent or active failures that appear through management policy, training, fitness for duty or design.
  • Ergonomics Assessments: We provide technical expertise in the analysis of workplace ergonomics to improve the design, assembly, serviceability and maintainability of workplace equipment, controls, systems, workstations and facilities against industry standards. We perform our assessments both in real-world physical environments and within 3D model/virtual environments.
  • Usability Analysis, Design, and Evaluation: We ensure products meet user needs and maximize the ease with which they can interact with products, resulting in a user-centered design that reduces costs through reduced training time and fewer design iterations, and improved user performance through increased user productivity and fewer human errors.
  • Human Systems Integration (HSI): HSI is an interdisciplinary technical and management process for incorporating knowledge of human capabilities and limitations across all phases of the acquisition lifecycle. HFE plays a critical role in the HSI process along with the other HSI elements of consideration, including Manpower, Personnel Survivability, Training, Habitability, and Personnel System Safety / Occupational Health. We provide comprehensive HSI services to integrate human considerations across all elements of a system, thereby enhancing total system performance (both human and system), reducing life cycle costs and minimizing the risk of injury or loss.

Our Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics expertise provides real, measurable improvement across numerous metrics. Particularly relevant to specialized, dangerous, or complex operations and tasks, the integration of HFE/Ergonomics is key component of delivering safe, efficient and productive systems.