February 5, 2019 | Mark Paradies

Obituary: Dr. Barclay Jones

On Sunday, January 27, Dr. Barclay Jones passed away. The picture above is from his early days in nuclear research.

I met Dr. Jones when he was the head of the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of Illinois. He started a joint program with the Psychology Department to do research on human factors and nuclear power. I was the first graduate student to do research as part of that program. The knowledge I learned in the program became part of the basis for the human performance section of the TapRooT® System.

Therefore, you could ay that Dr. Jones helped start the process that led to TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis!

Dr. Jones also helped TapRooT® RCA’s development by reviewing early versions of the TapRooT® System and the Root Cause Tree® Diagram.

Late last spring, I had the chance to go back to the University of Illinois to give a talk about human factors. While there, I visited Barclay at his home. It was great to see him and talk face-to-face once again. It goes to prove that you should always take the time to visit your early mentors, friends, and bosses who helped your career progress. You never know when they will be gone – unavailable for that one last visit.

For more about Dr. Jones’s accomplishments, see the Nuclear Engineering Department press release at:


We will miss him and his invaluable advice.

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