Human Factors Expert Earns $1 Million Award for Nuclear Power Plant Control and Management Studies

MELBOURNE, FLA.— University Professor Guy Boy, director of Florida Institute of Technology’s Center for Interaction Design in the College of Engineering, has received an award of more than $1 million over four years from AREVA, an international energy company that offers solutions for highly reliable nuclear power generation. Under the grant, Boy will research and supervise two doctoral students on the ergonomics and human factors in the design and development of nuclear power plant control and management. He will apply his expertise in safety-critical systems, cognitive engineering and human-centered design to the project.

Already chosen for this effort is doctoral student Lucas Stephane. The other doctoral student will be selected later in the semester. The students will conduct research for their individual Ph.D. theses.

One thesis involves function allocation in the design and development of new nuclear control rooms. The major claim of this thesis will be to show that the human factors approaches and techniques provide safe, efficient, reliable, resilient and appropriately accountable control and management for modern nuclear power plants.

The other thesis pertains to the development of human-centered laboratory tools to demonstrate and validate the system requirements being defined.
Boy came to the university last summer to develop a doctoral program focused on human-centered design in life-critical systems. He is author of four major books, more than 200 scientific and technical papers and is a permanent member of the Air and Space Academy. He is currently chair of the International Ergonomics Association Technical Committee for Aerospace Human Factors and Ergonomics Worldwide. He is a founder of the International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in Aeronautics.

He was executive vice-chair of the Association for Computing Machinery special interest group on computer-human interaction from 1995 to 1999.
Based in Paris, AREVA’s mission is to contribute to carbon dioxide-free power generation and electricity transport, which are cleaner, safer and more economical energy options. The company employs more than 75,000.

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