Dr Gemma Read

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Dr Gemma Read


Research areas

  • human factors and ergonomics
  • transportation safety (road, rail, maritime, aviation)
  • sociotechnical systems & systems thinking
  • systems approaches to analysis and design
  • accident analysis


Dr Gemma Read is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She has worked and studied in the field of transportation human factors since 2006, including working for nine years as a human factors specialist in a transport safety regulator's office. Prior to this she completed undergraduate degrees in behavioural science and law. Her main areas of expertise and interest include the application of methods and approaches with a basis in systems theory to enhance safety in complex socio-technical systems. She is also interested in how better translation of human factors research outcomes into real world practice can be achieved.

Gemma has a PhD in human factors from Monash University. The research involved applying the cognitive work analysis framework and a design approach developed during the research project to understand pedestrian behaviour at railway level crossings and provide recommendations to minimise accidents. Her research was supported within a wider Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant titled Application of contemporary systems-based methods to reduce trauma at rail level crossings which has provided opportunities to collaborate both with industry and government partners and with internationally recognised experts in the field. Gemma continues to work in this area of research as well as supporting Prof Paul Salmon’s ARC Future Fellow research project entitled ‘A new complex systems approach to road trauma: Applying systems thinking to the fatal five’.

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Professional memberships

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (US)
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia


  • 2015 Mollie Hollman Doctoral Medal for best thesis, Monash University Accident Research Centre, Monash University
  • Winner, 3 Minute Thesis Competition, 2014, Monash Injury Research Institute (participated in university competition)
  • Recipient of HFES Student Travel Honorarium, 2012, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • Best paper (co-author) – 11th International Symposium of the Australian Aviation Psychology Association, 2012, Australian Aviation Psychology Association
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry), 2011–2014, Australian Research Council
  • APS Prize for Psychology – Monash University, 2009, Australian Psychological Society
  • Women in Transport Scholarship, 2009, Victorian Department of Transport

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • human factors in transport safety applications (road, rail, maritime)
  • human factors and rail level crossing safety
  • accident analysis
  • sociotechnical systems analysis and design
  • safety regulation
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