Human Factors

Thesis Human Factors in maritime operations-Schraagen



According to literature, over 70% of maritime accidents are caused by human errors. It is MARIN’s ambition to increase safety and efficiency of maritime operations. Therefore, we execute realistic simulations of behaviour and interaction between maritime objects, the environment and the operator. Variations in task demands related to variations in experienced workload could lead to variations in performance. We want to be able to adequately measure and assess workload, behaviour and performance of the operator(s) during simulations. These measurements provide objective indicators which will be used during nautical research, design of (offshore) operations and training. To do so, we want to develop a real time workload indicator based on several physiological indicators and simulator (task or performance related) signals.

Workload experiment 2015

In 2015 we measured brain activity (EEG), heart rate (ECG) and Galvanic Skin Conductance (GSC) in a workload experiment at one of our ship manoeuvring simulator. Participants were professional tug masters from different Dutch companies. We created low and high workload conditions by a N-back task and by variations in tasks. Physiological and behavioural responses showed significant differences between low and high workload.

Goal of the thesis

With the outcome of the 2015 workload experiment, we made a first step in the development of a fusion workload indicator. The goal of this thesis is to design, execute and analyse a new workload experiment in order to come to a reliable fusion workload indicator. The 2015-experiment, lessons learned and recommendations, will be the basis for a new experiment. The experiment will take place at MARIN’s manoeuvring simulator (at the end of 2016). Your psychological expertise will be combined with MARIN’s nautical and simulator expertise.