Dennis Wightman, Ph.D.

Senior Human Factors Engineer

Dr. Wightman is an expert human factors engineer and aviation psychologist with expertise in the areas of aviation, flight training and simulation, human factors engineering, systems engineering, human performance, and ergonomics. He holds a Ph. D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology and has vast experience in human factors and human performance both as a research psychologist and a human factors engineer.

Dr. Wightman began his Federal government career as a research psychologist in Orlando, Florida, with what is now the Naval Air Warfare Center, Training Systems Division (NAWC TSD). He rounded out his 30-year government career as the field unit chief of the Rotary Wing Aviation Research Unit of the Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences at Fort Rucker, Alabama. In that role he managed a complex program of human performance, training and simulation research for U.S. Army Aviation. Subsequent to his Federal service, Dr. Wightman has served in numerous roles as a human systems integration subject matter expert for a wide variety of organizations including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and a major aerospace corporation. He has a wealth of experience in a human factors research and applications examples are:

  • Aviation psychology and aviation human factors experience encompassing flight training, aviator performance, and simulation design and applications.
  • User interface and human systems requirements for wearable biometrics devices for U.S. Army intelligence.
  • Visual and data analytics process for addressing worker injury causation at a major aerospace corporation.
  • Participated in the development of a human factors design guide for ambulance patient compartments for the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Hazard and risk assessment of shipboard systems for a US Navy shipbuilder.
  • Usability assessment of a software tool for evaluating performance of transportation security officers at airport checkpoints.

Selected publications and presentations

Wightman, Dennis C. & Lintern, Gavan (1985), Part-task training for tracking and manual control. In Cooke, Nancy J. & Salas, Eduardo (Ed.), Best of Human Factors: Thirty Classic Contributions to Human Factors/Ergonomics Science and Engineering. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2008

Wightman, Dennis C. (2003). Preparing Army Aviators: Past Research and Future Directions. In S.L. Goldberg (Chair), U.S. Army Transformation: psychology’s challenge to support future soldiers. Symposium conducted at the American Psychological Association’s 2003 Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada.

Wightman, Dennis C. (1998). Panel discussion: Simulation in lieu of flight time: Has its time come? AIAA. Modeling and Simulation Conference, August 10-12, 1998, Boston, MA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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