Advancing formative control room system evaluation – Decision support for human factors evaluation planning and method development
In response to the first research question, the interview study investigated those aspects of the NPP control room system that contribute to safe operation. In the first literature study these aspects were used together with aspects found in other studies to identify categories of measures relevant for assessing NPP control room systems. The identified categories – system performance, task performance, use of resources, user experience, and identification of design discrepancies – complement each other and should all be included in control room system evaluation during the course of the development process. In response to the second research question, the second literature study identified a gap in today’s evaluation practice and the research efforts focused on formative evaluation of more general (higher-level) design decisions, preferably undertaken early in the development process. A combination of two methods, heuristic evaluation and scenario-based talkthrough, was used in the case studies and focus groups to explore the evaluation activity in practice. This method combination was found to be useful for formative assessment of higher-level design decisions in NPP control room systems. In addition, HF specialists from other domains who participated in the focus groups believed that the method combination would be useful outside the nuclear power domain too. A description of the method combination is included in the thesis to provide concrete guidance for HF practitioners. The experiences from the case studies were also used to identify guidelines for developing HF evaluation methods that are useful in practice.
From the knowledge gained through exploration of the research questions five perspectives that provide decision support in HF evaluation planning and method development emerged: 1) the purpose of the evaluation activity, 2) the object to be evaluated, 3) the tactic used in the evaluation activity, 4) the evaluation procedure, and 5) the use of the evaluation method. Individual results from the studies, such as the categories of measures and guidelines for developing methods that are useful in practice, can be used as more detailed support within these perspectives.
control room system
formative evaluation methods
Chalmers, Industri- och materialvetenskap, Design and Human Factors
Aspects of the nuclear power plant control room system contributing to safe operation
Procedia Manufacturing,; Vol. 3(2015)p. 1248-1255
Paper i proceeding
Categories of measures to guide choice of human factors methods for nuclear power plant control room evaluation
Safety Science,; Vol. 102(2018)p. 101-109
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
A comparison of human factors evaluation approaches for nuclear power plant control room assessment and their relation to levels of design decision specificity
NES 2017 Conference Proceedings; A-L. Osvalder, M. Blomé, and H. Bodnar (Eds.), 20-23 August, Lund.,; (2017)p. 405-414
Simonsen, E., Osvalder, A.-L. Human factors methods for early evaluation of control room systems – guidelines for use in practice
Simonsen, E., Bligård, L.-O., Osvalder, A.-L. Feasibility of methods for early formative control room system evaluation
Evaluation plays an important role when we create something. Imagine a chef tasting a soup during cooking to see what other spices should be added. This is called formative evaluation – a way to know if we are on the right track and how to improve further.
The evaluation explored in this thesis applies to nuclear power plant control room systems. In today’s nuclear power industry, evaluation activities are often focused on the later stages of the development process. However, since problems are easier and cheaper to address if identified early, undertaking formative evaluation earlier in the process increases the possibility of creating a better control room design. Early formative evaluation has thus been a special focus of the research efforts in this thesis.
The design of a nuclear power plant control room system, for instance its interfaces and work routines, impacts the plant’s ability to operate effectively and safely, and it also affects the well-being of the operators. Evaluating the control room system during development is therefore a central design activity, and this thesis aim to improve this practice.
This thesis presents five perspectives that can be used as decision support when planning evaluation or developing new evaluation methods: 1) the purpose of the evaluation activity, 2) the object to be evaluated, 3) the tactic used in the evaluation activity, 4) the evaluation procedure, and 5) the use of the evaluation method. Through these perspectives the evaluation activity may be better understood and tailored to its task.
Säkerhet i kontrollrum
Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten (SSM) (2012-2201-1), 2012-07-01 -- 2016-06-30.
Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi
Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4474
Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL), Chalmers Tvärgata 4-6
Opponent: Dr Ronald L. Boring, Idaho National Laboratory, USA