Barbara Kanki

Dr. Barbara Kanki served as a NASA Principal Investigator in the Human Systems Integration Division at Ames Research Center for more than 25 years. Her primary expertise in aerospace safety was a focus on work teams and the crew factors that influence team performance in high-risk operations. She conducted human factors research to identify training, procedures and best practices to enhance safety and effectiveness.
She managed both flight deck and maintenance human factors projects in NASA Aviation Safety Programs and led research teams that typically collaborated directly with operational teams to develop intervention strategies to address human factors issues. For many years she also conducted FAA-supported research and collaborated on shuttle-related projects at Kennedy Space Center. Among the research methods employed was the use of high fidelity flight simulation, communication analysis from real-time recordings, and a variety of field and laboratory methodologies.
Dr. Kanki has participated on space shuttle assessment teams as well as NASA mishap boards, and has provided support to National Transportation Safety Board accident and incident investigations. She continues to consult on a variety of safety and training topics for NASA and the FAA and other high-risk industries.
She received a Behavioral Sciences PhD from the University of Chicago and began her tenure at NASA Ames as a National Research Council postdoctoral associate. She has authored and edited numerous publications associated with peer-reviewed journals, conferences and books. She is an editor on the IAASS textbook Space Safety and Human Performance currently under development.


Barbara Kanki
Chairman of the Human Factors & Performance for Safety Technical Committee