Cognitive engineering is the analysis, modeling,
design and evaluation of effective human integration in
complex sociotechnical systems. As cognitive engineers, CERG
researchers aim to provide better integration between
human operators and the system they control. We try to help human operators
act more effectively to preserve system safety and
productivity, especially if unexpected situations arise. For
examples of our work, see
- UQ Winter Research Program and other opportunities
- Honours thesis research topics and undergraduate
- PhD thesis examination modes.
- We support thesis by publication, where the candidate
presents for examination an integrated series of papers
he/she has published on the thesis topic during his/her
candidature in peer-reviewed journals, rather than an
- We normally use the PhD oral defence as a supplement to
written examiners' reports, to help ensure timely completion
and clarity about revisions.
- NICTA. During 2008-2011, some of our
activities took place within
(National ICT Australia Ltd).
| Critical care
| Process control |
Past projects |
CERG researchers and collaborators in the Royal Adelaide
Hospital patient simulator, running the first study for
David Liu's thesis (September 2006). From left to
right, A/Prof Marcus Watson, Terry Leane, Tania Xiao,
Professor Penelope Sanderson, Dr W John Russell, Phil
Cole, Dr Simon Jenkins, and David Liu. Papers
resulting from this work are on the
Prospective evaluation of
healthcare ICT in critical care. In this research we will
develop better ways to predict the impact of new technologies on
medical and nursing work in critical care environments. We will
build models that can be used prospectively for
technology assessment. Collaboration is with Dr Bala Venkatesh
at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Cara Stitzlein is doing her PhD in this area.
ARC Discovery Grant (2008-2010) and UQ Postgraduate Research
Clinical trial of respiratory
sonification. We will perform a clinical trial of our
respiratory sonification technology. This will be the first
trial of the respiratory sonification in the clinical context.
Our goal is to determine the validity, usefulness, and
appropriateness of the respiratory sonification in practice, and
to evaluate training needs. The research is being done in by
Professor Sanderson (UQ), A/Prof Watson (UQ, Queensland Health's
Skills Development Centre), Dr W John Russell (Royal Adelaide
Hospital), Dr Richard Morris (The St George Hospital), Dr Kersi
Taraporewalla (Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital), and Dr
Simon Jenkins (Royal Adelaide Hospital). NHMRC Development
Interruptions and prospective
memory in the
Intensive Care Unit. We are examining the impact of
information and communication technology on planning and
coordination in and around the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with a
view to developing better ways to predict the impact of new
technologies on medical and nursing work in critical care
environments. Collaboration is with Dr Bala Venkatesh at
Princess Alexandra Hospital. Tobias Grundgeiger completed his
PhD research in this area, using field research. NHMRC Centre of Research
Excellence in Patient Safety (2007-2009), ARC DP (2008-2010).
Modeling coordination for nurse
scheduling and rostering. We are using nurse scheduling and
rostering as a problem to address broader theoretical issues
about coordination in cognitive engineering and organisational
psychology. In particular we are examining temporal coordinative
needs. Collaboration is with Dr Bala Venkatesh at Princess
Alexandra Hospital. Tania Xiao is doing her PhD research in this
area, using field research and modeling. ARC DP (2008-2010).
Modeling training needs for
neonatal resuscitation. What are the training needs for
neonatologists learning to perform neonatal resuscitations?
Simulators have been developed, but how should they be used as
part of a training program? Collaboration is with Dr Helen Liley
at Mater Mothers' Hospital. For his PhD, Itsik Nadler is
bringing novel theoretical approaches to this issue.
Performed in collaboration with Mater Mothers' Hospital and QH
Skills Development Centre (2008+).
- Advanced diagnosis and operator performance in the
chemical industry. Major industrial accidents such as
the Longford and Olympic Dam fires and explosions cost
Australian industry millions of dollars a year and possibly
billions over the long term. Together with BlueScope Steel and
BP, we are developing an integrated approach to process
diagnosis based on a novel multiscale-multifunctional framework
that will lead to new hazard identification methods that will,
in turn, inform advanced multi-agent diagnostic systems and
novel operator interface designs. We hope to make significant
improvements in abnormal condition management. Performed with
Professor Ian Cameron (Project leader: Chemical Engineering, UQ)
and Professor Katalin Hangos (Hungarian Academic of Sciences).
Maureen Hassall is doing her PhD in this area.
ARC Linkage Project (2007-2010).
- Evaluating human performance with new
technologies. We are using Cognitive Work
Analysis to develop an
analytic framework in which to predict the most sensitive
measures of human performance when defence systems undergo
technology upgrades. Prof Sanderson is
supervising DSTO researcher David Crone's PhD on this
topic, with DSTO colleagues Dr Neelam Naikar as
associate supervisor and Dr Simon Parker as collaborator. Ongoing
part-time PhD research (2001-present)
analysis with OpenSHAPA. Development of a new open source video analysis
tool--OpenSHAPA--is under way, supported by The University of
Queensland, New York University, and contributions of
researchers. Developers are Professor Penelope
Sanderson, Professor Karen Adolph, John Mainzer, Clinton
Freeman, and Jesse Lingeman. See
CERG's empirical research is often carried out in
Usability Laboratory. Picture shows Professor
Sanderson in one of the UQUL test rooms, with some CERG
researchers active in the 2002-2006 period. From left
to right, researchers are Professor Penelope
Sanderson, Dr Marcus Watson, Dr Rizah
Memisevic and Jennifer Crawford. The UQ Usability
Laboratory was refitted in 2010.
Below are descriptions of projects carried out by CERG
members since its establishment at The University of
Queensland in November 2001.