Contact Peter McCarthy

Areas of expertise

  • Air Transport Safety & Investigation
  • Aviation Management & Operations
  • Ergonomics, Human Factors, Driver Safety
  • Human Factors


Pete is a Visiting Fellow and former Senior Lecturer with Cranfield University, Safety and Accident Investigation Centre - his current role is as Head of Human Factors for the Cathay Pacific Group of airlines.

Pete is a Technical Member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, a Human Factors Specialist with the European Association of Aviation Psychology, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Prior to joining the team at Cranfield, Pete spent 32 years in the British Army, 25 of those years flying helicopters. Education in psychology and human factors over this time, combined with the operational flying experience, resulted in a role as an Air Accident Investigator for the military, based alongside the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Research opportunities

Pete is a PhD candidate and the title of his research project is "Investigating Human Performance in Complex Socio Technical Systems".

Current activities

Pete currently works as the Head of Group Human Factors for Cathay Pacific Airways, his role includes:

Conducting studies into organisational and operational issues where workplace ergonomics and human factors are concerned.

Apply modern systems thinking and system safety principles to all HF activities.

Drive the organisation to adopt human-centred design principles in the development and implementation of new policies, procedures, technologies and systems of work.

Develop programs and initiatives to understand the difference between work-as-imagined and work-as-done, and make recommendations to improve safety through better work design.

Provide HF analysis, expertise and support to safety risk assessments and/or changes to policies, procedures and work.

Provide HF analysis, expertise and support to safety investigations in which HF has been identified as an area of interest.