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Farewell Lecture: Safety without Human Error

Improving Performance by Understanding Human Behaviour by Robert Jan de Boer, professor of Aviation Engineering


It is with mixed feelings that Robert J. de Boer, professor of Aviation Engineering, will leave the Aviation Academy to become the Director of the Amsterdam Campus for Northumbria University. In his farewell lecture, Robert Jan de Boer will return to the topic of his inaugural address; the balance between safety and other performance goals in organisations.

Lecture Safety without Human Error

Improving Performance by Understanding Human Behavior

Safety professionals are often well trained and competent. Nevertheless incidents as a result of human behaviour occur. In fact, human fallibility abounds and is usually not limited to the safety domain. During his lecture, Robert will challenge you to revisit your understanding of “human error” to improve performance, not just within aviation but within various industries. He will present a paradigm that facilitates learning and understanding, not just after incidents but continuously. This new paradigm has been shown to enhance performance in the safety domain as well as across the organisation.  

Date and time

16.00 Walk-in
16.20 Welcome by Gerard van Haarlem, Dean of the Faculty of Technology
16.25 Farewell speech by Robert Jan de Boer MSc PhD, former professor of Aviation Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam
16.50 Closing words by rector Geleyn Meijer
17.00 Drinks

This lecture will be the final event of the first day of the 3rd International Cross-Industry Safety Conference.

If you wish to give a present, Robert appreciates a donation to KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society), NL 92 INGB 0000012817 by name of 'KWF Kankerbestrijding'. Please mention your zip code, house number and 'farewell De Boer' in the description.


CASA Hotel is located only a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam Amstel Station at Eerste Ringdijkstraat 4, 1097 BC Amsterdam. You can find more information about directions here.

At Northumbria

In a newly-created role at Northumbria, Robert will be responsible for the start-up of the Amsterdam campus and its growth to ~ 500 students of all levels (doctorates, masters, bachelors) in the coming few years. Robert will closely collaborate with his former colleagues of the HvA as the campus is co-located within the HvA facilities and the programs will be jointly delivered, and will retain some research responsibilities as well.

More information

For more information you can contact Sanne Koopman-van Dorp: [email protected] 

Published by  Faculty of Technology 12 October 2018