Human Systems Integration and Behaviour

The Belgian Defence is confronted with a wide array of specific or universal challenges such as the budgetary context, the shortage of personnel, time constraints, information overload, the omnipresent uncertainty and complexity in the operational context, as well as other challenges that need optimised organisational and decisional processes, as well as highly developed operational and training means.

This focus areas aims to study the behaviour, performance and efficacy of the human being, as a bio-psycho-social being, in a high-technology environment where both “man/machine” and “man/organisation (or society)” interactions have to be taken into account properly, as parts of a much larger whole.

Human/Machine Interfaces, Human Autonomy Teaming and Human Systems Integration, advancing the human perspective of interactions with machines, incorporating the cognitive and physical interfaces between the human (systems) and machines in a context of performance and efficacy of systems and organisations. The use of neuro-science for human systems integration in a context of cognitive performance and efficacy is also part of this focus areas.

In addition to an increasing technological complexity, the Defence personnel is more and more confronted with an increasing sociocultural complexity. Consequently, scientific research about multinational military operations in different cultural and anthropological environments is gaining prominence. The greater attention paid to internal diversity is also part of it.

In this context, a multidisciplinary approach of research subjects gives added value, because the functioning and integration of human beings in systems and/or organisations and/or a highly technological society can be studied from a socio-economical, legal, psychological or philosophical point of view. This focus areas also includes dealing with the application of information on physical and psychological characteristics to the design of devices and systems for human use (human factors engineering) and the various aspects of survivability and performance in extreme environments.

The Defence personnel’s engagement in a complex, highly technological and potentially hostile environment also entails the need to manage a multiplicity of risks and complexities. Therefore, this focus areas includes studies in the following domains: management of ethical and legal aspects of warfare and the use of (semi-)autonomous weapon systems, (organisational) change management, human resource management – including diversity management –, risk management and complexity management.

Military health-related aspects of this axis are covered under axis A10 Advanced Military Health.

Ongoing projects concerning this focus area

Database programme 2021 with search options