Under the leadership of Dr. Russ Brown and with more than 20 years experience in human-computer interface
(HCI) design and evaluation, Adventis Nuclear offers expert Human Factors staffing solutions in user
interaction, system usability and human factors engineering. Dr. Brown provides specific expertise
in human-computer interaction, task analysis, error analysis and reduction
Chalk River nuclear complex,
This large research facility is a major source of medical isotopes and needed to replace an aging, manually controlled electrical, sub-station with a modern Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system in a new control room. Dr. Brown was responsible for the Human Factors work including designing user interface of the SCADA system
based on operator information needs, not a more traditional engineering drawing display.
Panel Design for Ontario Power Generation, Pickering
Dr. Brown was hired to design the control panel of the Auxiliary Power System (APS) for the main control room of OPG’s Pickering reactors. The APS was a different generation of highly automated technology, yet it had to fit in with the traditional system and procedures. The biggest challenge turned out to be buy-in to the new technology and controlling it with older manual switches and meters. Russ developed a detailed computer simulation which enabled licensed nuclear operators (LNOs) to see how the proposed system would work. This was also used to simulate failures and alarms to ensure LNOs could deal with any potential problem.
After validation proved it’s effectiveness, the design went on to CNSC approval.
IAEA Periodic Safety Review (PSR), Bruce Power, Ontario
Dr. Brown was contracted to be responsible for the human factors portion of the International Atomic Energy Agency mandated review,
in accordance with IAEA Safety Standards Series No. NS-G-2.10.
Control Room Risk Assessment Tool, Pipeline Research Council International, Virginia
To meet federal regulations, American pipeline operators must have an approved control room risk assessment process. Dr. Brown developed easy to use server based software that gathered data from control room operators and subject
matter experts and then performed the required risk assessment. It was successfully tested at Exxon
and Enterprise Products control rooms in Houston and was deployed across the industry in June.
D2O Up-grader User Interface, Bruce Power, Ontario
Staff under contract to SNC-LAVALIN Nuclear, developed a state-of-the-art interface for the D2O up-grader that won overwhelming acceptance from the operators. By using subtle greys for the structure, tanks, etc, colour was reserved for process values and alarms so they stand out. The resulting interface is extremely easy to scan while monitoring normal operations as all process values are one colour while alarms stand out dramatically in appropriate colours, greatly improving response time and safety. The entire process followed NUREG and CNSC processes, including validation (simulated operation) with operators who had never seen it. Not only could the operators use it without training, an independent third party human factors consultant monitoring the validation for Bruce Power said, “It was well
planned and a good example of how validation should be carried out for other projects and by other contractors”.
Control Room Assessment for Gulf Petroleum Industry Co., Bahrain
Control room ergonomic heuristic evaluation— under contract to The Industrial Accident Prevention Association,
Russ reviewed all control rooms and procedures in this Middle East refinery.
Detailed recommendations were made for revised screens,
control panels and procedures to improve safety and efficiency. This was an extensive and thorough review covering more than a dozen control rooms.
Emerson Process Management, Austin TX, Field Operator Information Requirement
Emerson wanted to know what information operators in a process control plant really needed and in what priority. Several students taking process control
system training were interviewed at Lakeside Engineering. In addition, personnel at the Chemtura chemical plant in Elmira were interviewed in depth and recorded on video while they worked
through a computer simulation of current and proposed DeltaV user interface options. This eventually resulted in a plan to improve DeltaV.
Fisher-Rosemount Systems, Minneapolis, 375 Field Communicator User Interface
Dr. Brown designed the user interface for the 375 Field Communicator support and communications software, which updates device descriptions, transfers data and runs diagnostics.The 375 is a handheld device which allows staff in a process control plant to update and communicate with intelligent devices such as valves and sensors.
CIBC, Toronto, Learning Management System (LMS)
The LMS is used at least once a year by over 40,000 people but the volume of calls to the help desk seemed too high and costing well over a million dollars a year.
Dr. Brown was brought in to investigate. CIBC was surprised to find that their call volume was more than double the industry average and even more surprised to find out the cost. They had only looked at the direct call centre cost without realizing that they were paying for the person making the call as well. Dr. Brown determined the cause of the majority of the problems and provided solutions that dramatically cut the annual cost.