Perspectives on COVID-19 from Naturalistic Decision Making & Resilience Engineering

Resilience Engineering Association presents the Special webinar series on COVID-19

The REA is a global community of practice creating opportunities to collaborate with others who are leading research and developing practical applications in how to create resilience in complex systems. Our events allow participants to learn from other domains seeking to engineer resilience into their systems such as healthcare, critical infrastructure, energy, critical digital services, transportation (aviation, marine, rail), automation (self-driving cars, drones), emergency response, finance, and aerospace.

We are launching a special webinar series on COVID-19 and societal resilience – what is the resilience contribution in terms of strategies and regenerating readiness to respond. We see that we have a social responsibility to contribute to the crisis situation at hand and we invite people involved with resilience in practice and crisis to share knowledge and experience through these webinars. Watch the REA website for our calendar of upcoming presentations.

May 11, 2020
5-6pm Central European Time
11-12am Eastern Time (US)


This conversation explores perspectives from different countries and industry sectors, relating to the value of expertise within the current pandemic scenario, how to make the most of various sources of expertise and how these can be “brought up to speed” in the face of rapidly and radically changing circumstances. We combine insights emanating from both NDM and RE, and discuss how these communities can contribute to the capabilities of the society to act and respond when dealing with crisis.


Pedro NP Ferreira holds a PhD in “Manufacturing Engineering and Operations Management” by the University of Nottingham. He has close to 20 years of experience, both as a researcher and a consultant in the fields of human factors and ergonomics, occupational health and safety, risk management and resilience. For the last 10 years, he has been an active member of the Resilience Engineering community and is currently the Secretary of the Resilience Engineering Association. Throughout various research and industry consultancy projects, he developed expertise on a wide variety of domains, namely in transport (road, rail, aviation and maritime), process industry and the oil & gas sector.

If you would like to submit any questions or comments to the speakers in advance of the webinar, please email them to:

The Presenters

Jan Maarten Schraagen is Principal Scientist at TNO and Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at the University of Twente, The Netherlands. His research interests include resilience engineering, team communication processes, and human-machine teaming. He is the main editor of Cognitive Task Analysis (2000) and Naturalistic Decision Making and Macrocognition (2008) and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Expertise (2020). He is editor in chief of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making. Dr. Schraagen holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Jan Maarten will talk about: How does one organize evidence-based policy decision-making in the current COVID-19 situation, involving experts that have only limited knowledge of how the situation will evolve? Does this add to, change, or fundamentally modify our current conceptualizations of expertise?

Laura G. Militello, MA is cofounder and senior scientist at Applied Decision Science, LLC. She has been a member of the Naturalistic Decision Making community since 1991; has attended 11 of the 14 previous NDM meetings; and has contributed to 10 edited volumes and special issues on NDM. She contributed to the development of early cognitive task analysis methods, and coauthored Perspectives on Cognitive Task analysis: Historical Origins and Modern Communities of Practice, a leading text on the topic. She has been a leader in adapting NDM methods for use in healthcare domains. Her research interests include studying decision making in complex settings, and strategies for supporting expertise via technology design and training.

Laura will talk about: Three challenges for supporting expertise in the context of the COVID crisis include: Developing just-in-time scenario-based training, collecting and curating lessons learned from hotspots, and supporting people in assessing credibility.

Gary Klein, Ph.D. is the CEO of ShadowBox LLC. He is a cognitive psychologist who helped to initiate the Naturalistic Decision Making movement in 1989. His Recognition-Primed Decision (RPD) model has been tested and replicated several times. He also developed a Data/Frame model of sense making and a Triple-Path model of insight. His work relies on Cognitive Task Analysis methods, primarily the Critical Decision method that he and his colleagues developed in 1985. In addition, he has formulated the Pre-Mortem method for identifying risks, and the ShadowBox method for training cognitive skills. The 5 books he has authored and the 3 he has co-edited have sold over 100,000 copies. He also has a blog on Psychology Today that has received over 300,000 views (as of April 2020). He founded Klein Associates, Inc. in 1977 and when it grew to 37 employees he sold it to Applied Research Associates in 2005. He started his new company, ShadowBox LLC, in 2014.

Gary will talk about: “In some ways expertise is at the core of Naturalistic Decision Making — this talk will identify 6 NDM tools to rapidly boost expertise in the face of a pandemic.”

If you are interested in being a presenter for our special series please email, regular webinar series, please email

To follow on these and other developments from the RE community, please visit the REA website and signup to our mailing list