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.

Francine O. James, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Scientist, Operational Fatigue & Performance

Francine James, Ph.D.Dr. Francine James is Associate Scientist specializing in operational fatigue & performance research at the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where she manages and conducts field studies on the physiology of scheduling, fatigue, and operational performance. She is a subject matter expert on the assessment of fatigue within fatigue risk management systems and consults on the development of data-driven policy while collaborating with IBR colleagues on the Institutes' clinical and small-group behavior and physiology research. Dr. James earned her B.Sc. in Immunology, M.Sc. in Psychiatry, and Ph.D. in Neurology & Neurosurgery from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Over the years, Francine has authored or co-authored over 14 published articles, book chapters, and technical reports and over 20 scientific conference presentations, and served as an invited peer-reviewer for multiple professional scientific journals.

Lauren B. Waggoner, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist for Operational Performance and Modeling

Lauren Waggoner, Ph.D.Dr. Lauren Waggoner has six years of experience researching sleep, fatigue, and operational performance in laboratory and field environments. Her most recent research efforts include a post-doctoral fellowship at the Naval Postgraduate School exploring the effects of watch-standing schedules on sleep and performance in U.S. sailors. Dr. Waggoner's graduate work ranges from development of metrics for measuring relative difficulty and human performance during deadly force encounters, adaptation of training based simulator devices for use in laboratory research, and bridging the gap between field and laboratory data collection among police officers as an enhanced research design method. Her current interests include biomathematical modeling of sleep and performance in operational settings, as well as developing customizable fatigue management techniques and tools for those working in 24-hour operations. Dr. Waggoner earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Washington State University with a research focus on performance effects of consecutive night shift work in police officers. She also holds a B.S. in Mathematics from St. Lawrence University.

Robert J. Gerbracht, Ph.D.
Aviation Scheduling Software "Guru"

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.

Brad Silen
President, Quality Process

Brad SilenAs the founder and visionary behind Quality Process, Brad brings over two decades of software and website development experience to the business. He has been a part of many successful software ventures over the course of his career, working for clients such as Berkeley Systems, Sun, and Apple, and developing the original interface for SETI@Home. Brad has a bachelor's degree in both Electrical Engineering and Philosophy from UCSD. Software compiler design is one of his skill specializations today. He also holds several patents, which reflects his ability to create innovative solutions. Brad's development process is used throughout the company and with all Quality Process clients, which ensures development of a rational project architecture and incorporates scalability, quality assurance, and functional verification into every product.

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.