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Ohio State University
Integrated Systems Engineering
Resilience Engineering


"David D. Woods, PhD,  is  Professor in the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at the Ohio State University and leads the university wide initiative on Complexity in Natural, Social, and Engineered Systems. A pioneer in Cognitive Systems Engineering for human-computer decision making in emergencies since 1980. He studies: Brittleness and resilience of human-automation systems – in crisis response, in nuclear power emergencies, in pilot-automation teams, in anomaly response in space shuttle mission operations, in critical care medicine, in replanning military missions, and in professional information analysis. He studies collaboration in risk critical operations as well as trust in automation and in layered sensing systems.

He was one of the pioneers on how to make systems resilient to improve safety beginning in 2000 as captured in the books Resilience Engineering (2006), Behind Human Error (2010, second edition), Resilience Engineering in Practice (2011), and his latest book, in preparation, titled Outmaneuvering Complexity. His other books include A Tale of Two Stories: Contrasting Views of Patient Safety (1998), Joint Cognitive Systems (Foundations, 2005 and Patterns, 2006). In health care Dr. Woods was a founding board member of the National Patient Safety Foundation (1996-2000), Associate Director of the Midwest Center for Inquiry on Patient Safety of the Veterans Health Administration (2000-2003), and served on National Academy of Engineering/Institute of Medicine committee, Engineering the Delivery of Health Care (2005).

Dr. Woods has served on many National Academy of Science and other advisory committees including recently Aerospace Research Needs (2003), Engineering the Delivery of Health Care (2005), Dependable Software (2006), and Autonomy in Civil Aviation (2014). He has testified to U.S. Congress on Safety at NASA and on Election Reform. He was one of the founding board members of the National Patient Safety Foundation, Associate Director of the Midwest Center for Inquiry on Patient Safety of the Veterans Health Administration, and advisor to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. He served on the FAA Human Factors and Cockpit Automation Team (1996; and its reprise in 2013), and the Defense Science Board Task Force on Autonomy (2012).  

Dr. Woods is Past-President of the Resilience Engineering Association (2011-2013) and of the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (1999). He is a Fellow of the latter as well as the American Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association.  He has shared the Ely Award for best paper in the journal Human Factors (1994), a Laurels Award from Aviation Week and Space Technology (1995) for research on the human factors of highly automated cockpits, the Jack Kraft Innovators Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (2002), Jimmy Doolittle Fellow Award for Research on Human Performance, Air Force Association, Central Florida Chapter, 2012, among others."