Professor Paul Salmon - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Paul Salmon

PhD (Human Factors) Brun., MSc (Applied Ergonomics) Sund., BSc (Sports Science) Sund.

  • ARC Future Fellow
  • Director, Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems
  • Professor of Human Factors
+61 7 5456 5893
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Professor Paul Salmon

Paul Salmon is a Professor of Human Factors and Director and creator of the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at USC. He currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship has almost 17 years experience of applied Human Factors research across a range of domains, including road and rail safety, defence, workplace safety, aviation, emergency management, cyber security and sport and outdoor education.

Paul's research has focused on understanding and optimizing human, team, organisational and system performance through the application of Human Factors theory and methods. He has co-authored 14 books, over 180 peer reviewed journal articles, and numerous book chapters and conference contributions. He has received many awards and accolades for his research, including awards from the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Chartered Institute for Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF). In 2014 he was awarded the 2014 Vice Chancellor and Presidents Medal for research excellence and in 2016 he was awarded the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Australia's Cumming Memorial Medal for his research contribution.

Paul's current research interests include complexity and sociotechinical systems theory and safety, the development and application of accident prediction, analysis, and prevention methods, transport safety, the application of systems thinking in sport, and the use of Human Factors to tackle major societal issues such as terrorism, cyber security, and artificial intelligence.

Paul is also interested more generally in the development and extension of Human Factors theory and methods and the practical translation of Human Factors research across the safety critical domains. He currently leads ARC research programs in the areas of transport safety, cybersecurity, outdoor recreation, and accident analysis and prediction.

Stay in touch with Paul and visit his other page:

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Professional memberships

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


  • 2017 Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors Annual conference best paper award, for the paper 'Setting the Standard: A Systems Approach to the Design and Evaluation of Safety Standards'.
  • 2016 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Australia's Cumming Memorial Medal, Awarded for highly esteemed human factors and ergonomics-related research or application in a relevant area of human factors and ergonomics.
  • Vice Chancellor and President's Award for Excellence in Research, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2015
  • 2014 Australian Aviation Psychology Conference Best paper award
  • 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  

Research areas

  • Human factors and ergonomics
  • Systems analysis and design
  • Sociotechnical systems
  • Situation awareness
  • Transportation safety (road, rail, aviation, maritime)
  • Sport
  • Workplace safety
  • Defence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Accident causation and analysis
  • Teamwork and distributed cognition
  • Disaster preparedness, response and recovery

Teaching areas

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

Professor Paul Salmon's specialist areas of knowledge include applied human factors research across a range of safety critical domains, including road safety, defence, workplace safety, aviation, emergency management, rail transport and outdoor education.

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