Man, Technology and Organisation

Human Factors Engineering

Several nuclear power plants and petroleum installations are upgrading or are planning to go through phases of upgrading to include more advanced technology and computer-based systems in control rooms. Also, plans exist in several countries for building new and advanced reactors.

Bye, Andreas

Department Head

Kaarstad, Magnhild

Principal Scientist

Kvalem, Jon

Halden Project Manager


IFE offers support in design of new power plants and oil installations by the use of methods for design, review and validation of solutions for the operations of the plants, so called Human Factors Engineering. IFE provides practical and efficient methods supporting the control centre design process.

At our institute, the Man-Technology-Organisation (MTO) research facility, which combines nuclear and oil simulators, a Virtual Reality (VR) centre, and an Integrated Operations (IO) laboratory allows pioneering research on human performance within different topics. The technological possibilities and the Human Factors considerations include aspects such as automation, perception and cognition, and team awareness and performance. Depending on which particular concept a new nuclear power plant will be based on, the interface design, the level and sophistication of automation, the teamwork constellation and the outage management support will vary. For this reason, there is a need to clarify human factors issues related to different operating concepts. The combined objective of research in this area is to contribute to the basis for design and evaluation of human factors issues in upgrade projects and in future plants.