AvioFit is excited and humble to have such a great line up of guest speakers from various sectors of the aviation industry but also from sports science, psychology and research field. All of them share the same goal, to improve aviators wellbeing!
Get to know who our speakers are and find out their expertise in their own industry.
Jim is an Assistant Director in the Irish Aviation Authority, Safety Regulation Division. As head of the National Supervisory Authority he ensures the supervision of the regulatory frameworks for civil airspace and the associated air traffic management and has responsibility for the certification and oversight of air navigation service providers as well as the preparation of national air traffic performance plans for the State. His department also has responsibility for oversight of civil Aerodromes and civil Aviation Security standards within the State.
A former military pilot and commissioned officer, with 20 years of service in Óglaigh na hÉireann (the Irish Defence Forces) and he held the senior rank of Commandant. Jim was a former Chief Flying Instructor and served as Chief of Military Aviation with the United Nations multi-national peace keeping force in the Central African Republic and in Chad.
Jim has flown 22 aircraft types to-date. A qualified commercial pilot, he holds an Airline Pilot Transport Licence and is currently rating on the Airbus 320 family of aircraft. Privately Jim flies the Boeing Stearman 1945 bi-plane for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation.
Assistant Director – Safety Regulation Division, Irish Aviation Authority
Ralph James joined the Irish Aviation Authority in May 2015 as Director Safety Regulation, having formally served as Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Irish Defence Forces. He also served as General Officer Commanding the Irish Air Corps and Director of Military Aviation.
Ralph graduated from the 47th Command and Staff Course in the Military College in 1990 and from the University of Glamorgan in 1995 with a BA (hons) Business Studies degree. He is a qualified flight instructor and an approved rating examiner with over 5,500 flying hours’ experience. He has flown a variety of aircraft types across operational and training roles, including maritime patrol and Ministerial air transport.
Director Institutional Reform, Irish Aviation Authority
Gitte has been flying 17 years. She started out flying for the U.N in Africa and Pakistan, before moving on to the Danish Airline Cimber Air, where she flew for 12 years and later in Jettime, where she flew two years. Besides the pilot job, she worked as a Flight Crew Supervisor and CRM Trainer.
She stopped flying in 2016, to solely concentrate on teaching CRM and Human factors in her own company About Human Factors. She is currently attending Lund University, at their Human Factors and System Safety program, to attain more knowledge in the field. Gitte is concerned with how the aviation industry has and are developing, and how this influences the performance and wellbeing of the crew.
Gitte Furdal Damm
CRM Trainer and Owner of About Human Factors
Paul is focused on the psychology of adaptive systems within high-consequence, complex operational environments including aerospace. Since 2006 he has worked closely with FTOs, commercial airlines and military aviation operations. He is an acknowledged expert on pilot assessment, selection and development, and is experienced in assisting pilots to maintain optimal mental health and performance.
Paul’s views on aviation psychology and aircrew mental wellbeing have been published in a number of textbooks and articles. He is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, where he is also Deputy Chair of the Human Factors in Flight Ops and Training group.
Aviation Psychologist, Deputy Chair RAeS HF Flight Ops & Training and Director, Health Psychology Ireland
Mandana is a Principal Human Factors Consultant and Systems Engineer and is a lead in Human Factors and User Centred Design for Arup.
Mandana works with organisations across industries to unlock the capability of the human within the system and helps clients design and develop products, systems, infrastructure, processes and organisations, that enhance human performance, engagement and experience; supporting ever more digital, connected, and further automated industries.
Mandana has a Master of Engineering in Avionic Systems and a Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering and Experimental Psychology, where Mandana studied the auditory modality, natural spatial hearing, and intuitive information display to support Situation Awareness (SA) for pilots in cockpits and flight-decks; creating an intuitive and engaging spatial auditory environment to support human performance.
Principal Human Factors Consultant/ Senior Management Consultant, ARUP Aviation
Paul is an airline Captain, and over a 21-year flying career has accumulated approximately 14,000 flying hours. Paul is an Associate Researcher at The School of Psychology at Trinity College Duvlin, accredited Air Accident Investigator and previously held the position of Director of Safety & Technical with the Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA).
As an airline pilot, Paul is concerned about the lack of understanding of the effect of working as a pilot has on an individual’s overall health, in particular mental health. Specifically, Paul is concerned about the flight safety impact of this, as well as the detrimental impact on pilot’s mental health/wellbeing. Overall, Paul would like to see change in this area.
Captain and Associate Researcher, School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
Dr Joan Cahill is a Research Fellow and Principal Investigator at the Center for Innovation in Human Systems (CIHS), at the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Joan’s research is at the nexus of people, technology and process delivery – focusing on technology-based supports and interventions in aviation, healthcare and road transport.
Joan has led human factors/human machine interaction (HMI) research on several European funded projects – including A-PiMod, Alicia and HILAS.
Joan’s current projects include (1) New technology to enhance patient experience and staff professionalism in oncology pathways, (2) Assisted Living, (3) Older Adults & Assisted Driving and (4) Pilot Lived Experience.
Joan is a member of the Safety in Health Systems Special Interest Group, and teaches on the M.Sc./Postgraduate Diploma in Managing Risk and System Change, at the School of Psychology, TCD.
Before joining TCD, Joan worked in the area of Human Machine Interaction (HMI) and Information Design, with a range of software development companies and HMI consultancies. Joan has also taught HCI at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire (IADT).
Research interests/areas include: Human Factors, Human Machine Interaction (HMI), assisted living, assisted driving, technology-based interventions and supports in healthcare, teamwork, wellbeing, work related stress (WRS), safety/risk management, aviation psychology, performance management, incorporating psychological concepts in the design of new technology, cyber-psychology, robotics, automation, philosophy of technology, work analysis and phenomenology.
Research Fellow and Principal Investigator (CIHS), School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
Keith Gaynor is an Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology, University College Dublin and a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the Outpatient Department of St John of God Hospital, Dublin.
Keith completed his clinical training at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London and received his PhD in University College Dublin.
Keith specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and has taught regularly on cognitive behavioural therapy and mental health. Keith has written widely in academic journals on the topic of cognitive behavioural therapy, mental health and well-being. Keith is regular contributor to the Irish media on issues of mental health. He has published his first book “Protecting Mental Health”.
Keith’s current research interests look at emotional regulation, models of cognitive behavioural therapy, work-related stress and well-being in airplane pilots, and loneliness.
Senior Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
A300 Capt. Carl Eisen is the founder of Mindful Aviator, UCLA Trained Mindfulness Facilitator, IMTA certified teacher with training in Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention “MBRP” from the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. He is a trained Critical Incident Response Program “CIRP” peer support volunteer and director of mindfulness programs at MA and LiftAffect.
Captain & Founder of Mindful Aviator
James has been in the aviation industry for more than 20 years. He began his career with the airlines working first in reservations before moving to cabin crew. From there he made the jump to Air Traffic control where he worked for many years as an operational Air Traffic Controller before making the move into management. He is now part of the senior management team at a busy UK regional airport.
Head of ATC Leeds Bradford UK
Owen Sims obtained his commercial flying license at the Cabair College of Air Training in the UK, graduating top of his class in ground school and flight school. After spending a few months ferrying light aircraft around Greater London, he joined Flybe, Europe’s largest independent regional airline, which currently trains around 300 new pilots every year.
Having suffered an episode of severe depression some years ago, Owen developed an interest in psychology and psychotherapy; in particular, now these impacted on his role as an instructor. At Flybe he is an instructor and examiner as well as a CRM Trainer; and even flies planes occasionally! He spoke at the Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium in 2016 on how the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy can be applied to flight training; at the European Airline Training Symposium in 2017 on the application of mindfulness and in 2018 on person-centred psychotherapy; has addressed the Human Factors Roundtable in Memphis, Tennessee; and will be speaking at the World Airline training Summit in America later this year. He has a bachelors’ degree in philosophy and is working towards another in psychology.
Type Rating Examinera and CRM Trainer, Flybe
Dylan Scally is a Business Development Representative at Sojern. Dylan graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a B.A Degree in Biochemistry, and an M.Sc in Exercise Physiology and for over half a decade he has worked with various cohorts across 3rd level education, Community Development Initiatives and Clinical Research to facilitate the health benefits of Wellness, Physical Activity and Sport Participation. Taking a scientific approach to the physiological impacts of aviation, Dylan will present a human first interpretation of extrinsic and intrinsic factors before opening the floor to an audience Q&A.
Quote : “To control the response we must understand the variables”
M.Sc Exercise Physiology, B.A Biochemistry