Alumnus wins prestigious award for ergonomics and human factors project

Alistair Cooper won the Best Student Project award presented by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) for his project investigating the influence of Safety Management Systems (SMS) on people working on the front line of rail services.

Alistair Cooper

SMSs are in place to ensure that railways’ activities and services are run safely. However, questions have been raised about their effectiveness as the Rail Accident Investigation Branch has begun investigating incidences of front-line staff performance suffering.

Alistair’s project explored the relationship between components of SMSs and the results revealed that one of the biggest influences of front-line performance was the inadequate control measures within these systems.

On his project and winning the award, he said:

“I became inspired by the field of safety science and absorbed myself in the topic because this field specifically attempts to look at the organisational factors that impact on people at work and understand more broadly why people act the way they do at work. It does not look to blame individuals. I feel very proud to have won my award. Loughborough inspired me to get my head down, and I learnt a lot from the course and really got inspired by the lecturers.”

Alistair graduated from Loughborough last year with a master’s in Human Factors and Ergonomics and now works as a Senior Psychologist at the Transport Research Laboratory, planning and conducting research projects.

Congratulations Alistair.