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Rob Hutton


School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Rob is a lecturer in the psychology department. He teaches undergraduate courses and supervises postgraduate students. He is also a member of the Placement Coordination team as well as a Placement Tutor for sandwich course students.

Career overview

Rob has spent most of his career in industry working in the defence and security sectors whilst trying to maintain links with academia through occasional teaching and building project teams with academic partners.

Rob spent his early career in Dayton, Ohio working for Klein Associates as a research scientist exploring methods and models related to understanding cognitive work in complex work environments, such as weather forecasting, air traffic control, aircraft decision aids, military headquarters information systems for planning and decision aiding, and medical decision making (with nurses and surgeons).

On returning to the UK, Rob worked for BAE Systems in the Human Factors Capability of the Advanced Technology Centre at the Sowerby Research Centre in Filton, Bristol, where he worked with multidiscipinary systems engineering teams solving complex human-technology interaction and integration challenges for BAE Systems and the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD).

From 2015, Rob co-founded, was Director and worked for a company which he started with colleagues called Trimetis Ltd. Trimetis offers research and consultancy in the area of supporting cognitive work and human factors psychology projects primarly for the MOD but also other clients (including the International Labour Organisation and the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch). He left Trimetis Ltd in 2021.

He continues to work as an independent consultant for customers such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) providing education, training, research and technical consultancy in the areas of improving decision making and leadership in complex socio-technical systems.

He now combines his passion for inspiring students and developing applied cognitive psychologists at NTU, and continuing his own practice as an indepedent consultant.

Rob is a Fellow of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, a member of the European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics, and a member of the British Psychological Society.

Research areas

Rob's research interests include: developing and applying cognitive field research methods; bridging the gap between science and application in order to ensure evidence-based solutions to challenging human-system work problems; developing models of macrocognitive work; and applying theories of cognitive ergonomics, cognitive systems engineering and naturalistic decision making to solving problems in complex socio-technical systems (e.g. military planning organisations; process control rooms; medical teams; and, emergency response teams).

External activity

Rob is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making

He is also on the Expert Reference Steering Group for the British Psychological Society's Psychological Government Programme.

Rob is an active reviewer for a number of international journals including: Journal of Applied Ergonomics; Theoretical Issues in Ergonomic Science; Human Factors Journal; Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making; and, the Journal of Occuptional Psychology.

He was  a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the 13th International Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) Conference, University of Bath, UK, 2017.

He was a Guest Associate Editor for Frontiers in Psychology – Cognitive Science. Research Topic: Macrocognition: The Science and Engineering of Sociotechnical Work Systems, 2015.