Experts & Partners

OUR FATIGUE MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Steven R. Hursh, Ph.D.
IBR President and Chief Scientist

Steven R. Hursh, Ph.D.Dr. Steve Hursh is President and Chief Scientist of the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where he directs research and application efforts on human performance and fatigue, behavioral economics, drug abuse, and cooperative team performance. He is also Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Hursh's leadership of IBR builds on a distinguished career both as a behavioral researcher and research manager, including 23 years of experience as a scientist in the US Army, serving as the consultant to the Army Surgeon General for Research Psychology, Director of the Division of Neuropsychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and as a medical staff officer in the Pentagon, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development, and Acquisition).

Dr. Hursh is a technical leader of an effort to model the relationship between sleep deprivation and performance. His patented biomathematical model -the Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness or SAFTE™ model- has been accepted by the US Department of Defense as the standard warfighter fatigue model, has been validated and calibrated by the Department of Transportation as a fatigue risk management tool, and is currently used by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to assess fatigue in transportation operations. He is also the co-inventor of the FAST™ (Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool) and FAST Aviation computer programs used by government agencies and various industries to assess and manage fatigue in operational settings. Dr. Hursh currently serves on the FAA FRMS Review Committee and held a similar position with the FRA.

Dr. Hursh earned his B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He is also a world leader in theory and modeling in the Behavioral Economics subfield of Psychology as defined by the application of economic concepts and metrics to individual and group behavior. Over his 35 years in research, Dr. Hursh has authored or co-authored over 65 published articles, book chapters, and technical reports, and served as associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

Luis Pichard, Ph.D.
Lead Scientist for Operational and Fatigue Research

Luis Pichard, Ph.D.Dr. Luis Pichard brings more than 10 years of experience managing and directing research programs to meet organizational needs and transforming ideas into tangible results. His passion and training in sleep research and professional experience utilizing actigraphy to understand fatigue and operational readiness is well documented in the military, industry, and academia. In the operational environment, Dr. Pichard led the first in-theater sleep and performance study during live gunnery exercises in Germany and Poland, as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. In the Army, he explored the effects of repeated blast exposure on the sleep, performance, and health of instructors. At Johns Hopkins University and Kennedy Krieger Institute, he utilized actigraphy to study the connection between concussive and non-concussive impacts and effects on sleep and performance with varsity athletes. With more than a decade of experience in sleep and respiratory research, a passion for informatics and technology, and creative thinking, Dr. Pichard has helped pave the way for today's unquestionable link between sleep and operational performance.

Lindsay Schwartz, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist in Applied Behavioral Research

Lindsay Schwartz, Ph.D.Dr. Lindsay Schwartz currently serves as a staff scientist in Applied Behavioral Research at IBR. She has experience conducting research on the behavioral economics of substance use in both animal species and in clinical settings. Most recently, she completed her doctoral dissertation with patients at IBR’s REACH Health Services, investigating how treatment affects the value of drugs for patients with opioid use disorder. At IBR, she will continue to use behavioral economics to understand substance use, as well as investigate how this field can contribute to substance abuse treatments. Dr. Schwartz earned her BA in Animal behavior from Bucknell University, and her Masters and PhD in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience from American University.

Robert J. Gerbracht, Ph.D.
Aviation Scheduling Software Expert

Robert J. Gerbracht, Ph.D.Dr. "Bob" Gerbracht has forty-nine years of experience developing applications and performing analyses in the airline, aerospace, defense and civil government industries. He is an expert in the fields of algorithm development, analysis and performance, algorithm optimization for parallel and vector processing, large-scale system architecture and design, analytical and discrete event simulation, operations research, and system performance and tuning. Dr. Bob has a demonstrated ability to apply a broad experience level in solving a wide spectrum of problems and to derive innovative original solutions to new problems for which past experience is inadequate to the task. He has been an active leader in the development of airline crew pairing optimizers since 1970 and is the author of four generations of commercially successful pairing and bidline optimization systems.

Dr. Gerbracht supported the FAA with optimization studies, analyses and technical reports for the development of the science-based flight and duty time regulations published as the FAR Part 117 regulations promulgated in 2011 and put into effect on January 4, 2014. In conjunction with IBR, Inc. he conducted a study for the National Airline Counsels of Canada (NACC) in response to proposed Transport Canada (TC) flight and duty time limits, developing and validating a set of possible waivers to the proposed rules that would maintain or even slightly improve the safety risk due to pilot fatigue while simultaneously providing economic benefits to the airlines. With IBR, Dr. Bob developed the SAFTE-FAST Center (SFC), a universal portal that integrates aircrew scheduling data for processing by the SAFTE-FAST fatigue modeling system. At present supporting three dozen different input file formats, the SFC is used by a number of commercial airlines to bring in data to SAFTE-FAST from nine different legacy systems.

Hans P.A. Van Dongen, Ph.D.
Director, Sleep and Performance Research Center

Hans Dongen, Ph.D.Hans P.A. Van Dongen, Ph.D. is Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University Spokane, who has partnered with IBR on operational fatigue studies and related matters. He is internationally known for his research on cumulative cognitive deficits due to chronic sleep restriction; individual differences in vulnerability to performance impairment due to sleep loss; mathematical modeling of sleep and fatigue; and fatigue risk management. With more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, his work is frequently cited and widely applied in laboratory and operational settings. He has been awarded research funding by the NIH, NASA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Research Board, Regional Airline Association, and various industry partners.

Nina McGrath
FRMS and SAFTE-FAST Consultant

Nina McGrathNina McGrath provides expert advice on fatigue risk management to businesses in safety critical industries who employ shift workers. She supports SAFTE-FAST software and IBR FRMS implementation activities in Asia and Australasia.

Nina's comprehensive industry experience (Virgin Blue, easyJet, Clockwork Research, Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific) provides a unique depth of understanding of all aspects of fatigue risk management in aviation and other operational shift work environments. She holds a Bachelors degree in Aviation and a Masters degree in Safety Management Systems and plays an active role in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) FRMS Taskforce and FRMS Forum.

Captain Greg Whiting
Former United Airlines Pilot
Former ALPA Chair, Fatigue Mitigation Joint Implementation Team

Captain Greg WhitingGreg Whiting is a recently retired B777 Captain for United Airlines (UAL) who operated primarily internationally for the past ten of his total 34 years with United. Captain Whiting was the ALPA Chairman of the Fatigue Mitigation Joint Implementation Team from 2008 - 2010, which focused on methodologies to reduce pilot fatigue at United Airlines and was a member of the UAL Fatigue Review Committee.

Reid C. Blank, MBA
Chief Operating Officer

Reid Blank Reid is Chief Operating Officer at the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where he directs and coordinates IBR's marketing, communications, contract management, and organizational development initiatives. He earned his M.B.A. in International Business Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ and has more than 20 years of business development and administrative operations experience in sleep and fatigue management. Reid was founder of The Big Sleep Show®, the first-ever consumer health event for sleep and alertness, and served as Vice President of Alertness Solutions, a private fatigue management consulting firm, and Associate Executive Director of the nonprofit National Sleep Foundation.

Dr. Timothy F. Elsmore
Author of FAST

Timothy ElsmoreThe author of the original FAST software was the behavioral psychologist and pioneer of laboratory computer science Dr. Timothy Elsmore.

Dr. Elsmore's efforts in software development started with implementation of a laboratory control system on the Digital Equipment Corporation PDP8 computer and touch-screen interfaces for studying primate behavior.

Tim's most lasting and influential achievement was authorship of the Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool - FAST. His flair for data presentation and interpretation was skillfully applied to design the graphical portrayal of performance changes in FAST. The original program was written for the US Air Force under a Small Business Innovative Research grant to NTI. He was assisted in that process by Drs. Steven Hursh and Douglas Eddy, but the fundamental design decisions and architecture originated with Tim and they have endured to this day in the version integrated with SAFTE-FAST used by airlines and corporations around the world.

His impact on the science of sleep and performance extend beyond FAST. Dr. Elsmore also wrote the software sold by Ambulatory Monitoring Incorporated to analyze and portray actigraph data, ActionW. Again, his data management and graphic skill set the standard for presentation of activity data.

Tim also pioneered the development of mobile performance assessment with the Palm Pilot-based performance assessment battery, ARES. That system was successfully applied in patients to forecast the onset of migraine headaches and was combined with mobile neural assessment to field assess potential concussive brain injury in football players a decade before it became commonplace.

Tim also developed a laboratory simulation of work and multi-tasking with his programs SynWork & SynWin. This system is sensitive to drugs and sleep deprivation, and permits the investigation of executive function and divided attention.

We thank Tim for his innovations and hard work - his impact on operational fatigue and performance research is broad and enduring. Many thousands of workers enjoy a safer work environment because of the visionary work of Dr. Elsmore.