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Biography: Kathy H. Abbott, PhD

Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Flight Deck Human Factors

Dr. Kathy Abbott has over 35 years of experience specializing in aviation human factors. She specializes in human performance and human error, systems design and analysis, flight crew training/qualification, and flight crew operations and procedures. In these areas, she serves as the FAA liaison to industry and other government and international agencies.

Dr. Abbott has led the integration of human engineering into FAA/international regulatory material and policies for flight guidance systems, avionics, all weather operations, Required Navigation Performance, crew qualification, data communication, instrument procedure design criteria, electronic flight bags, electronic displays, organizational culture, design-related pilot error, and other areas. She has been involved extensively in accident, incident, and other safety data analysis. Dr. Abbott came to the FAA from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). At NASA she was responsible for leading analytical, simulation, and flight studies with the specific objective of improving aviation safety and operational efficiency.

Member, professional organizations and societies:

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
  • Senior Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • Fellow, Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Liveryman, Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
Industry and government awards:
  • R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine
  • NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal
  • Aerospace Laurel from Aviation Week and Space Technology
  • Engineer of the Year, AIAA - Hampton Roads Chapter
  • Christopher Newport University Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators Cumberbach Trophy for Outstanding Contributions to Aviation Safety
Academic achievements:
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Rutgers University
  • MS in Computer Science, George Washington University
  • BS in Mathematics and Information Science, Christopher Newport College

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