Dr. David Embrey, Managing Director

Dr David Embrey is the founder and Managing Director of Human Reliability Associates Ltd.  He initially trained as a physicist and holds BSc and PhD degrees in Applied Psychology from Birmingham and Aston universities.  After holding Research Fellowships and lectureships at Birmingham and Aston Universities, he worked for the National Centre for Systems reliability before founding Human Reliability in 1982.  During the eighties he carried out research into human reliability assessment techniques for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with Brookhaven and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.  Since then, he has worked on consultancy and research projects in industries including chemical processing, aviation maintenance, air traffic control, nuclear power generation, rail and marine transport, and manned spaceflight.  He was the primary author of a standard textbook on human factors  in the chemical process industry: Guidelines for Reducing Human Error in Process safety for the US Center for Chemical Process Safety. 

In the healthcare and medical device sector, he has been involved in projects with the National Patient safety Agency and has provided human factors consultancy and training over a five-year period for the major Health Foundation project Safer Clinical Systems.  He has also provided training courses in human factors for Bolton Royal Infirmary and the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.  He has developed an extensive range of tools for process and use error analysis in medical devices. Recently, he has carried our research into the development of shared mental models in Cardiac by-pass surgery teams, in order to reduce communication errors.  He has also been active in the application of a a systematic error management tool called SHERPA (Systematic Human Error Risk prevention Methodology) to medical device design and to reducing errors in medication pathways.

You can contact David by email (demb[email protected]) band phone +44 (0) 1257 463 121. 

Jamie Henderson, Senior Consultant

Jamie Henderson holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Liverpool and a Masters degree in Ergonomics from Loughborough University. He is a member of the Ergonomics Society and has experience in a wide range of project areas and industry sectors. Over the past few years much of his work has been in the process industries, undertaking projects for companies such as BP, National Grid, ConocoPhillips, Borealis, Huntsman and Acetate Products. This work has given him considerable experience in the development of qualitative human reliability assessments for safety cases, and in the related areas of procedures and training.

Jamie has also made significant contributions to research projects covering diverse topics such as accident investigation, safety culture, remote working, emergency planning and safety critical checking. These projects have taken place in pharmaceutical, rail and aviation industries, as well as for regulatory bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

You can contact Jamie by email ([email protected]).

Dr. Dominic Furniss, Senior Consultant

Dr Dominic Furniss holds degrees in Human-Computer Interaction and Human Factors (MSc, PhD) from University College London (UCL).   He is a member of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. His particular areas of interest include user research, usability engineering, sociotechnical system design, and Safety-II.  His research has focused on the design and use of medical devices in context. He has published three books and over 70 papers in various academic and professional journals. He is an honorary lecturer at UCL and a member of the Health Foundation Q initiative, which is a forum for people devoted to quality improvement in healthcare.

You can contact Dominic by email ([email protected]), phone (+44 (0) 208 123 7522) and follow him on Twitter

Richard Marshall, Senior Consultant

Richard is a Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist (C.ErgHF), Registered Member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (MCIEHF) and a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner (CMIOSH) with the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). He has over Twenty year’s international experience, operating throughout the UK, Middle East, South East Asia and Australasia. A significant proportion of this experience has been gained within corporate positions, consultancy, high hazard operational sites (11 years at Upper Tier COMAH Facilities) and mega project environments (several projects in excess of $15 Billion). Richard has first-hand operational experience of designing, managing and integrating systems and processes for sustainable human factors solutions and health & safety controls within the power generation, offshore/onshore oil and gas, refining & chemical manufacturing complexes and construction (offshore and onshore) industry sectors.

You can contact Richard by email ([email protected] 

Julie Avery, Senior Consultant

Julie has over 20 years’ experience in quality systems and human factors in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics manufacturing.  Julie is a member and Trustee of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors and leads a special interest group for human performance in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.  Julie has participated in master classes with leading human factor experts including Sidney Dekker. Julie has successfully delivered strategic and tactical human factors programs globally and at individual manufacturing facilities integrating into existing systems.  She has a wealth of experience in Pharma and BioPharma Quality and associated Risk Management systems including remediation programs following Regulatory observations.  Julie has designed and delivered comprehensive GMP training including Data Integrity and Human Factors.  A background and expertise in change management and Lean manufacturing enables her to support a learning organisation to bring about cultural, sustainable change in an inclusive and engaging way. Julie has presented at international industry conferences sharing human performance experiences. As a certified coach, Lean and NLP practitioner Julie’s coaching style for continuous improvement enables people to develop their capability and apply learning effectively to achieve goals. Julie proactively advocates for a just culture where people are set up for success and able to be at their best every day. 

You can contact Julie by email ([email protected])  

Penelope Easter, Consultant

Dr Penelope Easter initially trained as an Electronic Engineer and holds a BSc in Applied Physics and Electronics, a PhD in Electronic Engineering and a PGCE in Education specialising in Physics. Since qualifying she has worked in a range of fields in Academia from providing the electronic support for ocean going research for an Ocean Science Department at Bangor University to working as the Head teacher of a science department in an Academy, much of her work has involved managing the Health and Safety of the workplace to ensure the safety of staff and students.

Since joining HRA she developed her knowledge, experience and competency as an analyst applying the SHERPA methodology to a range of Safety Critical tasks across a number of sectors, working mainly in the Process Industry carrying out Human Factor Critical Task Reviews (HFCTR) but also more recently in response to the COVID pandemic she was involved in conducting a Failure Mode Effect Analaysis (FMEA) on a Ventilator prototype for a UK company in the British Manufacturing race to meet demand. Currently she is working on applying the methodology to Pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Penelope whilst working is studying for an MSc in Psychology at Brunel London University and following the Energy Institute Learning pathway to gain her Chartership from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors.

You can contact Penny by email ([email protected]

Seamus Brennan, Consultant

Seamus Brennan holds a degree in Psychology from Lancaster University and a Masters degree in Human Factors and Ergonomics from the University of Derby.  Seamus is a new member to the team and is working towards his chartership with the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors.

He has over 15 years of Inspection experience in the Oil and Gas, and Petrochemical Industries.  Working first as an NDT Technician, and then as an Offshore Inspection Engineer, he has been part of integrity management teams at onshore facilities in the UK and Europe, and on offshore Oil and Gas Installations, FPSOs and lay-barges, in the North Sea and Africa.

You can contact Seamus by email on ([email protected]


Philip Marsden, Associate Senior Consultant

Phil has a first-class honours degree from Huddersfield University and a PhD from the University of Manchester.  He has a wealth of experience in the management of Human Factors across a range of high hazard industries.  Examples of his work include the following: Facilitation of Human Factors Critical Task Analysis (HFCTA) programme of work; Analysis of control room ergonomics in the context of COMAH-safety critical activities; and Development/ implementation of best-practice procedure development methodology.