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Human Factors North Inc.

Alison Smiley

174 Spadina Avenue
Suite 202
Toronto, ON
M5T 2C2
Phone: 416-596-1252
Fax: 416-596-6946

Consultant Bio

Dr. Alison Smiley is President of Human Factors North Inc., a Toronto-based human factors engineering consulting company. She holds an Honours BSc. (1970) in Applied Mathematics, and an MASc. (1972) and PhD (1978) in Systems Design Engineering, specializing in Human Factors. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto and in the Department of Civil Engineering at Ryerson University. She is a fellow and past-president of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists, and was the first chair of the Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists (1998-2002). She is a member and past chair (1989-1996) of the U.S. Transportation Research Board Committee AND10 on Vehicle User Characteristics, past Chair (1999-2001) of the TRB Group 3 Council on Operations, Safety and Maintenance of Transportation, and a member of the TRB Committee advising the U.S. DOT on its Intelligent Vehicle Initiative research program. She is on the Editorial Board of the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention. She is the 1997 recipient of the A.R. Lauer Safety Award given by the U.S. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society for outstanding contributions to the human factors aspects of highway safety. Dr. Smiley has over 38 years experience in the measurement of human performance, specializing in traffic safety. She has conducted numerous large-scale experiments using laboratory tests, simulators and instrumented vehicles to look at the effects of headlighting, alcohol and drugs, highway signing, video advertising and new technologies on driver performance. She teaches courses on human factors and traffic safety to traffic engineers, highway designers and police accident reconstructionists across Canada and the U.S. She has acted as an expert witness in over 120 legal cases involving car, truck, boat and train accidents. She has contributed to several public inquiries: the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Hinton Train Collision (1986), the Public Review Panel on Nuclear Safety in Ontario (1987) and the Public Review Panel on Oil Tanker Safety (1990). In 2000 and 2001 she served on Canadian and U.S. expert panels concerning proposed changes to the hours of service for commercial vehicle operators. HFN Associate Consultants, Dianne Davis and Tom Smahel, assist Dr. Smiley, specializing in measurement of human performance, software usability & wayfinding.

Company Description

Established in 1982, Human Factors North Inc. (HFN) is a Canadian consulting firm providing ergonomics expertise in designing work based on human characteristics. The goal is to prevent injury and improve performance and well being. Our staff includes experts in both cognitive and physical ergonomics.


English, French

Areas of Expertise

Architectural, Aviation / Aerospace, Communication Systems, Defense, Educational Systems, Energy Generation, Health Care, Industrial, Legislation, Natural resources, Processing Operations, Tertiary / Office sector, Transportation, Human / computer interaction, Human / systems interaction, Information Management, Expert systems, Communications


Human performance assessment, Litigation, Research and development, Risk management analysis, Task analysis, Task design, Usability testing and evaluation

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