January 9, 2006 | Mark Paradies

Dr. Charles O. Hopkins, Human Factors Pioneer and Contributor to TapRooT® ® Root Cause Analysis

Dr. Charles O Hopkins - Human Factors Pioneer

Dr. Charles Hopkins, a human factors pioneer and contributor to the TapRooT® System, died from a heart attack on December 15, 2005.

Dr. Hopkins, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, was one of the true human factors pioneers. His work included consulting on the design of the Mercury space capsule and heading up a group of human factors experts that developed human factors program guidance for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after the accident at Three Mile Island. He was also a leader in the profession and helped found and held several leadership positions in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, including serving as President of the Society.

Dr. Hopkins’s links to TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis started by being the academic advisor, mentor, and friend to Mark Paradies while Mark studied Human Factors at the University of Illinois. It was during these studies that Mark learned the human factors concepts that form the basis of the Root Cause Tree® Diagram. Dr. Hopkins also helped edit the Human Factors Troubleshooting Guide (15 questions) on the front of the Root Cause Tree® Diagram and provided comments and ideas that helped form the Basic Cause Categories on the back side of the tree. Dr. Hopkins also helped develop and teach the first 5-Day course provided by System Improvements and provided reviews and comments on every edition of the Root Cause Tree® Diagram, the Root Cause Tree® Dictionary, and the TapRooT® Manual and TapRooT® Book. Dr. Hopkins also presented human factors topics at the first two TapRooT® Summits.

Chuck will be missed by all who knew him and the human factors profession.

Current Events, Human Performance
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