Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Christina Rusnock, PhD.


Process control environments demand well informed high performing human monitors to maintain effectual control of multiple processes. Most research aims to satisfy this requirement through the evaluation of competing heuristic-based display design constructs. Contrary to that method, this study takes a novel approach by examining both factors internal and external to the human observer to identify where beneficial outcomes actually reside. External factors explore the underlying design construct attributes, while internal factors focus on the effect of operator task management strategy, age, and experience. Results from this study present several key findings relative to operator situation awareness, performance, and workload. Findings suggest the specific manner in which external information is presented and oriented on a process control room display is inconsequential toward situation awareness and performance. Further, operator preferred task management strategy has a profound effect on their performance and experienced workload, while exhibiting only a mild effect on situation awareness. In most cases, an Adaptive Attack strategy produces desirable results, while an Adaptive Avoidance does not. Interleaving and Multitasking fall between these two extremes. Lastly, findings indicate subject variables, age and experience have negative effects on overall situation awareness and system deviation prediction times.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number