Professor Paul Salmon

Accessibility links

Professor Paul Salmon


Teaching areas

  • Human Factors
  • Ergonomics
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Qualitative Research Methods

Research areas

  • human factors and ergonomics
  • systems analysis and design
  • sociotechnical systems
  • situation awareness
  • transportation safety (road, rail, aviation, maritime)
  • road user behaviour
  • workplace safety
  • accident causation and analysis
  • teamwork and distributed cognition
  • disaster preparedness, response and recovery
  • human computer interaction
  • defence


Paul Salmon is Professor of Human Factors and Director of the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at USC. He has over 13 years experience of applied Human Factors research across a range of safety critical domains, including road and rail safety, defence, workplace safety, aviation, emergency management, and outdoor education. Paul joined USC in October 2012 on a senior research fellowship and also currently holds a prestigious Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Postdoctoral Training Fellowship in the area of Public Health.

Paul’s research to date has focused on understanding and enhancing human performance in complex safety critical systems. It has included academic research undertaken to advance theories of human performance and develop new methods for describing and understanding human performance, and also more practical research involving the design or redesign of systems in order to improve human performance and the assessment of the impact of new technologies, systems and training programs on human performance. Paul’s research has thus advanced Human Factors theories and methods, but has also had a significant impact on human performance and safety in the real world. Examples of Paul’s theoretical and methodological contribution include the development of a methodology to predict pilot errors during the cockpit design and certification process and the development of methods to assess situation awareness in complex systems. Examples of his real world contribution include the use of systems design and analysis frameworks to specify new and more efficient ways of working in defence and workplace systems, and the identification of initiatives to enhance safety and safety culture within large organisations.

Paul has co-authored 10 books, over 90 peer review journal articles, and numerous conference articles and book chapters. Along with his collaborators, he was awarded the 2007 Royal Aeronautical Society Hodgson Prize for a co-authored paper in the society’s Aeronautical journal and the 2008 Ergonomics Society’s President’s Medal. Paul was also recently named as one of three finalists in the 2011 Scopus Young Australian Researcher of the Year Award. Paul also recently won best research paper awards at the Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education conference and the Australian Aviation Psychology Association Symposium.

Paul's current research interests include complexity and sociotechnical systems theory and safety, the development and application of accident prediction, analysis, and prevention methods, integrating human factors knowledge and methods in design processes, situation awareness and teamwork, the application of systems thinking to wicked safety-related problems and systems analysis and design. Paul is also interested more generally in the development of Human Factors methods and the practical translation of Human Factors research across the safety critical domains. He currently leads ARC and NHMRC grants focusing on road user behaviour and the design of road systems and the development of accident and injury surveillance systems in the led outdoor activity domain.

Stay in touch with Paul and visit his other page:

* This is an external website and the University of the Sunshine Coast is not responsible for the content.

Professional memberships

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Australia
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Europe Chapter
  • Australian Aviation Psychology Association


  • Vice Chancellor and President's Award for Excellence in Research, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2015
  • Peter Vulcan Award for Best Research Paper, 2013, Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, Brisbane
  • Best Research Paper, 2012, Australian Aviation Psychology Association Symposium, Sydney
  • Scopus Young Australian Researcher of the Year Award Finalist (one of three), Humanities and Social Sciences, 2011. Award based on last two years of research output, and involves research impact and esteem measures using the objective Scopus database
  • The UK Ergonomics Society Presidents Medal Award, 2008. Presidents Medal honours institutions or organisational groups whose work has made a significant contribution to original research, the development of methodology, or application of knowledge within the field of ergonomics. Awarded to the Human Factors Integration-Defence Technology Centre research group
  • Royal Aeronautical Society 2007 Hodgson Prize for best research and paper. Awarded to research team comprising researchers from Brunel, Cranfield, Linkoping, and Limerick Universities for development of methodology to predict pilot errors during cockpit certification process
  • Monash Researcher Accelerator, January 2011. Accepted into the Monash University Research Accelerator scheme cohort of 70 leading researchers performing within the top 3% of the university (based on publications and national competitive grants)
  • Monash University Award for Excellence in Research by Early Career Researchers (Central Portfolios), August 2012
  • Monash University Accident Research Centre Early Career Researcher Award Winner, June 2009, Recognises research excellence by researchers within 10 years of the start of their research career

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • human factors and ergonomics
  • systems analysis and change
  • product design and evaluation
  • road safety
  • workplace safety
  • road user behaviour
  • accident causation and analysis
  • teamwork
  • disaster preparedness, response and recovery
  • human computer interaction
  • defence
  • complexity theory

Research grants


Project name Investigators Funding body Year Focus
From data to action:  A new process for developing injury countermeasures Paul Salmon (lead CI), Natassia Goode (CI), Caroline Finch, Clare Dallat, David Strickland, Brendan Smith, David Petherick Australian Research Council Linkage (A$497,600) 2015 This project aims to understand how reporting systems can improve workplace safety
Distributed situation awareness and road safety:  Development of theory, measures, guidelines and interventions Paul Salmon NHMRC Post doctoral Training Fellowship 2010–2014  
An innovative theory driven approach to enhancing situation awareness among road users in Australia Paul Salmon, Michael Lenne, Guy Walker Australian Research Council Discovery scheme 2012–2015  
Understanding and preventing injury in the led outdoor activity domain:  A theory driven approach to injury surveillance and prevention Paul Salmon, Michael Lenne, Caroline Finch, Erin Cassell Australian Research Council Linkage scheme 2012–2015  
Application of contemporary systems-based methods to reduce trauma at rail level crossings Michael Lenne, Paul Salmon, Neville Stanton, Tom Triggs Australian Research Council Linkage scheme  2012–2015  
Strengthening safety culture in logistics operations Michael Lenne, Paul Salmon, Natassia Goode, Peter Hillard Air Express 2012  
The potential application of 'shared space' principles in the ACT to improve safety and amenity Jessica Edquist, Paul Salmon, Bruce Corben NRMA Road Safety Trust 2011  
Research into the implementation and road safety benefits of Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent (PUFFIN) technology Paul Salmon, Jessica Edquist, Jennie Oxley NSW Centre for Road Safety 2011  
The effects of motion on battle management system performance Michael Lenne, Paul Salmon, Tom Triggs Defence Science Technology Organisation 2011  
Human performance using vehicle systems Michael Lenne, Tom Triggs, Paul Salmon Defence Science Technology Organisation 2010  
The nature of errors made by drivers Michael Lenne, Paul Salmon Austroads Road Safety Taskforce 2009–2010  
A human factors analysis of the critical decisions preceding safety compromising accidents and incidents Michael Lenne, Paul Salmon Bunnings Warehouse Ltd 2009–2010  
Human error and systems failures in fatal crashes in the ACT and NSW Michael Lenne, Paul Salmon, Michael Fitzharris NRMA Road Safety Trust 2008–2009  
Back to top

Searching {{model.SearchType}} for "{{model.Query}}" returned more than {{model.MaxResults}} results.
The top {{model.MaxResults}} of {{model.TotalItems}} are shown below, ordered by relevance ({{model.TotalSeconds}} seconds)

Searching {{model.SearchType}} for "{{model.Query}}" returned {{model.TotalItems}} results, ordered by relevance ({{model.TotalSeconds}} seconds)

Searching {{model.SearchType}} for "{{model.Query}}" returned no results.

No search results found for