Dr. Amy Pritchett
CEC Founder
Guggenheim Building, Room 448
270 Ferst Drive
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States
(404) 894-0199

Amy R. Pritchett is the the Head of the Aerospace Engineering Department at Penn State. Dr. Pritchett received an SB, SM and ScD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1992, 1994 and 1997, respectively. Dr. Pritchett has led numerous research projects sponsored by industry, NASA and the FAA. She has also served via IPA as Director of NASA’s Aviation Safety Program, responsible for planning and execution of the program ($75-82M / year), conducted at 4 NASA research centers and sponsoring roughly 200 research agreements, and serving on several executive committees, including the OSTP Aeronautic Science and Technology Sub-committee, and the executive committees of CAST and ASIAS. She has published over 170 scholarly publications in conference proceedings and in scholarly journals in cognitive engineering, automation and aeronautics. She has also won the RTCA William H. Jackson Award and, as part of CAST, the Collier Trophy, and the AIAA has named a scholarship for her. Professor Pritchett is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making. She has served as a member of the FAA REDAC and chaired the Human Factors REDAC sub-committee, and as a member or chair of National Research Council committees examining a range of concerns from the future of NASA's astronaut corps to FAA air traffic controller staffing. She is also a licensed pilot of airplanes and sailplanes.


Faculty Profile

Educational Background: 
  • Sci.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996
  • S.M., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994
  • S.B., Aeronautics and Astronautics (Avionics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992

Recent Projects

Technologies for Mixed-Initiative Plan Management for Human Space Flight

NASA’s future missions will push the bounds of human-space exploration and challenge the mission designers and engineers to create automated systems that will enable the joint human-automation teams to operate more autonomously as they move further from terrestrially based mission control and the time lag of communication becomes a challenge.

Objective Function Allocation Method for Human-Automation/Robotic Interaction using Work Models that Compute

Future manned space missions will require astronauts to work with a variety of robotic systems. To develop effective human-robot teams, NASA needs objective methods for function allocation between humans and robots. This study develops an objective methodology for function allocation between humans and robots for future manned space missions. Some problems that need to be addressed in function allocation include: (a) monitoring of agents, (b) agents waiting on other agents (idle time), (c) high task load of agents, (d) excessive amount of communication required.

NASA - Flight Deck Display Counter-Measures to Disorientation

The most common causes of aircraft incidents and accidents today are pilot spatial disorientation and/or loss of energy situation awareness. To re-assess the underlying mechanisms of SD and/or LESA, we are building a computational model of human pilot. Having a computational model allows us to create fast-time simulations instead of relying on the real-time human-in-the-loop simulations. The purpose is to utilize this novel model for large-scale evaluations spanning wide range of potential conditions and variations in flight crew behavior.

NASA - Scenario Based Methods for Verification of Authority and Autonomy

The research aims to contribute to analyze human/automation roles and responsibilities. This work will provide scenario-based methods for validation and verification of current day and NextGen concepts of operation and automated forms supporting these concepts of operation.

NSF GRFP - Design Knowledge Coordination: Enhancing Novice Aerospace Engineers’ Coordinated Decision-Making

Design Knowledge Coordination is a structured approach to integrating design considerations across the different disciplines in engineering design through use of goals, tasks, metrics, and decisions. A key aspect to connecting coordination to aerospace engineering design is the recognition that this process encompasses distinct, yet interdependent aspects of design.

This work addresses three research questions:

Map of Cognitive Engineering Center

Cognitive Engineering Center (CEC)
Georgia Institute of Technology
270 Ferst Drive
Atlanta GA 30332-0150