IADC Human Factors Conference & Exhibition

Start: 17 October 2017
End: 18 October 2017

Venue: Moody Gardens Hotel
Location: Galveston, Texas, USA

Conference Sponsors


Registration Information

Click Here To Register Online For This Event

  • Registration for this event is $600 per attendee.
  • Employees of federal regulatory agencies may be eligible for a 50% discount on conference registration.
  • Speakers, sponsors and exhibitors are not eligible for online registration. (Complete the Conference Registration Form PDF below)
  • In order to receive a letter of invitation, IADC requires payment via Wire Transfer. The wire transfer information is included on the registration form. (Complete the Conference Registration Form PDF below)
  • Click here to download the Conference Registration Form in fillable PDF format.
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Conference Links

For questions regarding the conference, please contact Lori Gagula at lori.gagula@iadc.org or +1.713.292.1945.


Recent events have triggered a growing awareness of the human contribution to catastrophic and process safety events. As other industries have proven, if the drilling industry can make a concerted effort to understand human factors and integrate these concepts into training and operations, significant value can be gained in terms of safety performance. The IADC Human Factors Conference & Exhibition will seek to examine the innovations that are shaping the future of drilling as it strives to merge rapidly advancing technologies with an understanding of human nature and form.

Conference Program

Tuesday, 17 October

7:30 am   Salons ABC & Foyer
Registration, Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

7:45 am   Moody II
Speaker Briefing   (Conference speakers, session chairs and moderators only)

8:20 am   Moody II
Welcome & Introduction

  • Steve Kropla, Vice President-Offshore, IADC

8:30 am
Keynote Presentation: Strengthening Personal Resilience: Beth Payne, Director of the Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience, U.S. Department of State
Beth Payne, Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience, will provide an introduction to personal resilience. These resilience tools and skills are designed to help individuals overcome adversity and perform at their best even when faced with high stress, threats or difficulty. Personal resilience is the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity and to bounce back from setbacks, trauma and high stress. Ms. Payne will help participants recognize low resilience in themselves and others and discuss practical steps people can take to enhance their resilience.

9:15 am
Human Factors – Where are We Now and Where do We Need to Go?
Moderator: Brad Smolen, SAC Committee Chair, Center for Offshore Safety; Director, GoM Region, BP
The panel will explore trade association perspectives relating to their work with human factors.

  • Philip Grossweiler, Chairperson, Human Factors Technical Session, SPE; Director of Corporate Outreach, M&H Energy Services
  • Scott Dotson, Chair, WEC Competence & Training Subcommittee, IOGP; Well Control Advisor, ExxonMobil
  • Ajay Shah, Chair, RP 75 Human Performance WG; GoM Regulatory Affairs, Chevron
  • Brooke Polk, Director-Program Development & Technology, IADC

10:15 am
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

10:45 am
Safety Culture & Performance Management
Session Chair: Doug Schonacher, Senior HSE Advisor Global D&C, Nexen

On Procedural Adherence: Jerold Timpson, President, Kaufman Global
Procedural Adherence is about behaviors. Many organizations focus on the technical side of procedural adherence (documentation and training), but don’t do so well with the behavioral aspect. Often the first indicator of a procedural or process problem is when a major malfunction occurs, a catastrophic event. Smaller, less obvious issues result in major loss, but are often not addressed at all. To improve outcomes, we must shift values, engage the organization in different ways and establish new behaviors that are leading indicators of procedural and process adherence.

Safety Culture and Performance Management: Michael LeBlanc, Consultant Manager, Intertek
The presentation will address influential and effective performance management by focusing on the “full experience” of the employee. Intertek believes performance management is a continuous process. Human error does occur and the speaker will talk about the importance of exploring “what happened” and the full experience related to the employee’s decision and behavior. The presenter will include and discuss the process flow of performance management involving positive feedback, coaching and progressive discipline. All of these are at the heart of influential and effective performance management and are essential to building and sustaining a thriving culture of safety.

11:45 am   Salon D
Luncheon & Exhibit Viewing

1:00 pm
Procedural Discipline vs. Checklists
Moderator: Rich Osmond, HSE Director GWO, BP
The panel will debate procedural discipline versus the use of checklists as it relates to human factors.

  • Ray “Wally” Albarado, Middle East Client Manager, Check-6 Inc.
  • Terry Barrett, Chief Operating Officer, CAVU International
  • Liam Powell, Head of Performance Enhancement, Seadrill

2:30 pm
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

3:00 pm
Simulator Based Training
Session Chair: Bob Newhouse, President, Newhouse Consultants

Use of Crew Resource Management Integrated with High Fidelity Simulations to Develop Drillers’ Well Control Competency: David Gouldin, Well Control Manager, Seadrill, David Conroy, IWCF
An industry partnership which developed simulation-based training devised to improve Drillers’ well control competency in a crew-resourced environment will be presented. Using advanced profiling of candidates to ascertain pre-program competency levels allows challenging team dynamics by blending these profiles. During simulation, the teams perform routine tasks with an anticipated well control issue. Each scenario begins by building situational awareness through detailed self-briefing. Simulations are designed to induce heightened monitoring of well conditions while absorbed in routine tasks. Improving competency allows teams to deconstruct taught warning signs while recognizing increased risk. Instructor facilitated distractions are critical to assess the Driller’s decision making capabilities in conjunction with assertive positioning during the simulation. Building competence through realistic crew based simulations has resulted in a significant reduction in well control incident rates.

Assessing Lifeboat Coxswain Performance using Simulation: Randy Billard, Chief Technology Officer, Anthony Patterson, Virtual Marine, Jennifer Smith, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Lochlan Magee, Independent Researcher
Lifeboat simulators have been specifically created for offshore personnel to practice emergency scenarios using representative equipment and virtual environments. A human factors study was performed to evaluate how training performed using a simulator compares to traditional training methods, including onboard drills and annual refresher training. Participants were trained one of three ways over a year and then evaluated on their ability to successfully launch a lifeboat in a plausible emergency scenario. Comparisons were made between traditional training and a group trained exclusively with simulation. The study identifies errors commonly made by trainees and suggests a need for more frequent training.

A ‘How-to’ Guide for Developing Simulator-based Team Training Exercises to Enhance Team Behaviours: Applying Five Principles of Design: Margaret Crichton, Managing Director, Brian Crichton, People Factor Consultants Ltd.
To enhance team behaviours and interactions, simulator-based team training (SBTT) exercises are increasingly being used due to the technological advances in drilling simulator development. Five principles for designing such exercises enhance the return on investment in terms of time and effort by attendees and employers. This presentation describes these five principles, and how they have been applied by both new teams preparing to drill, and by established teams testing out their procedures before novel or complex drilling sections. The principles were derived from experiences and lessons learned in contexts such as aviation and medicine where simulator-based exercises are at the core of training. The principles include developing learning objectives prior to training, training the team as a whole, using a structured observation tool, conducting a structured debrief immediately after completing the exercise, and repeating simulator-based training regularly.

4:30 pm
Human-Machine Interface & Automation
Session Chair: Bob Newhouse, President, Newhouse Consultants

Situation Awareness Assessment in Well Control Training using Eye Tracking Data and Scenario Planning: Saeed Salehi, Faculty, University of Oklahoma
Scenario-based training (SBT) is a powerful way to let trainees prepare, execute, and evaluate authentic tasks within a simulated environment. Individual and group well control scenarios based on real incidents are designed as practice by experienced and inexperienced students at University of Oklahoma Virtual Reality Drilling Simulator. In order to establish a real-time simulation, all the scenarios are designed through the commercial drilling simulator, DrillSim. The participants are then able to react to designated alarms of abnormalities in a simulated control room with typical drilling logs. The drilling scenario based training is equipped with virtual reality glasses to collect and analyze eye-tracking data to map the individual’s situational awareness and to understand the dominance of human-technology interface interactions. The application of the virtual reality data elevates human factor analysis to a new level allowing exploration of human errors, incident causation.

5:00 pm   Salons ABC & Foyer
Welcoming Reception & Exhibit Viewing

Wednesday, 18 October

7:30 am   Salons ABC & Foyer
Registration, Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

8:20 am   Moody II
Welcome & Introduction

  • Steve Kropla, Vice President-Offshore, IADC

8:30 am
Human-centered Design for Cognitively-challenging Worker States: Tom Ferris, Professor, Texas A&M University
Humans in work systems operate at times under challenging cognitive states, such as those characterized by high cognitive workload, emotional load, stress, and/or time pressure. While these “cognitively-challenging” states are common in many work domains, they have negative implications for system safety and performance. This talk will highlight human factors research being conducted at Texas A&M to study these states and to develop human-centered solutions to support a work system in which they are present. The research explores the use of human physiological and behavioral data to detect when operators transition into cognitively-challenging states and to determine which specific type of state is present. With a problematic state identified, the system around the human can then be adapted so as to minimize and mitigate the negative consequences of that state. The talk will draw broadly on research conducted in several application domains, and will discuss extensions for drilling operations.

9:15 am
Process Safety – Operational Risk Management
Session Chair: Brooke Polk, Director-Program Development & Technology, IADC

Process Safety – Operational Risk Management: Optimizing Crew Performance and Mitigating Critical Risks using Threat Response Drills: Terrance Sookdeo, Director, Upstream Process Safety, Steven Craig, Mary Fernandes, Baker Hughes, a GE Company
This presentation will detail the methodology behind creating and operationalizing these drills at the wellsite. It will demonstrate how optimization can be accomplished and seamlessly embedded into operational workflows. Clarification on understanding and delineating the appropriate level of knowledge-based reasoning will be covered as well as the use of “success path” and reliability engineering in crafting smarter drills. The commercial value of demonstrating operational readiness and proactive risk management cannot be understated in these difficult markets where industry and clients demand safety assurance. These drills will identify the vital actions for job execution success and the essential response actions required for proper containment/mitigation of threats. It optimizes crew performance by directly evaluating what they have learned, remembered, and are capable of performing at the wellsite. The value includes: minimizing NPT and human errors, optimizing response times.

Bridging the Gap between Workforce Competency and Process Safety: Larry Powers, Partner, Boxley Group
Due to litigation, statutory and regulatory requirements, competition, safety, and environmental implications, the Oil & Gas industry is putting increasing pressure on organizations to prove their people are competent. A competent workforce is a major component of ensuring reduced environmental risks and for assuring operational safety. However, having your employees just take training courses and/or obtain specific certifications alone can fall short of the objective of mitigating risk and improving process safety. Competency-based Human Capital Management is the most comprehensive way to enable a capable tactical workforce (both internal and 3rd party), improve decision-making, provide a validated picture of organizational capability, and empower your process safety strategy.

10:15 am
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

10:45 am
Effects of Stress & Fatigue
Session Chair: Allen Kelly, Consultant

Too Broke to Pay Attention? Overcome the Distraction of Worry, Stress and Burnout: Heather Sayers Lehman, CEO & Executive Health Coach, Overcoming U-Mindful Corporate Wellness
Mental distractions are a well-documented safety risk. Worry, stress and burnout affect our ability to focus on tasks at hand. Pushing away thoughts is not an effective long-term strategy. Clearing our minds is a learned skillset. We become more mindful at work by learning to cope with our everyday stressors: finances, arguments, kids, divorce, aging parents, addiction, etc. Having better coping skills allows us to handle stress and worry immediately so we can get back to work. Rolling these strategies into our safety programming can create a more holistic and powerful approach to paying attention at work.

11:15 am
Crew Resource Management

Session Chair: Allen Kelly, Consultant

Growth of CRM Training in BP’s Global Wells Organization: David Lobdell, Competence Manager, Upstream Learning, Charles Holt, BP
BP’s Human Factors journey began in the late ‘90’s. From the origins in safety leadership development courses for Well Site Leaders, CRM training continued to rig leadership and crews utilizing simulators in greater size and scope along with corresponding competence assessment. An overview of the leadership programs, tools, the structure and administration of the programs as well as the resulting effects on overall efficiency, process safety and team effectiveness on our BP rigs today through the lens of the historic journey of Crew Resource Management implementation.

11:45 am   Salon D
Luncheon & Exhibit Viewing

1:00 pm
Ensuring Effective Training
Session Chair: Kevin Lacy, President, Drilling Principles LLC
The Science of Training: Evidence-based Practices for Skill Development: Eduardo Salas, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Rice University
In this presentation, you will learn what the evidence-based factors are that lead to effective design, delivery, implementation and evaluation as well as ensuring transfer of training. The presentation will highlight from the science what works, what to pay attention to and how to deploy learning systems that make a difference.

2:00 pm
Coffee Break & Exhibit Viewing

2:15 pm
Translating Human Factor Concepts to the Workplace
Session Chair: Steve Kropla, Vice President-Offshore, IADC

Get the Power Back On! Decision Making by Drilling Rig Electricians in High Stress Situations: Lauren Crichton, Safety & Risk Specialist, Margaret Crichton, Brian Crichton, People Factor Consultants Ltd.
An outline of a 4-day training course designed to enhance the technical and non-technical skills of Drilling Rig Electricians will be presented along with the results of a follow-up survey designed to gauge the transfer of training to the workplace. A total of 40 Electricians attended this highly interactive course, which incorporated practical exercises on a full-scale power distribution simulator. Exercise scenarios increased in complexity and stress throughout the course. Evaluations at the end of the course were extremely positive, especially the focus on decision making in stressful situations such as rig shutdowns. The follow-up survey conducted 4-6 months after attending the course highlighted behaviours that were implemented in the workplace to enhance safe working practices. In particular, aspects such as influences on decision making and the use of different communication styles had the most impact on behaviours.

Presentation Clearly Matters: Improving Learning, Hazard Identification and Knowledge Transfer by using Media in Job Safety Analysis: Erik Mortensen, Safety Advisor, Imperial Oil Ltd./ExxonMobil
A 30 minute “TED Talk” style presentation summarizing the human factors science behind the research. This includes an introduction, key findings with interactive exercise showcasing the effects of media in JSAs and procedures related to drilling, and practical implications and a challenge to attendees to act on this information and upgrade traditional text based documentation with media to make these documents more effective in the workplace.

Sustainable Engagement of Leaders: Introducing Human Factors to Leaders: Wendy Harris, Director Performance Excellence, Mary Fernandes, Kathryn Breitsprecher, Baker Hughes, a GE Company
HSE Leadership training within Baker Hughes has been a foundation of improvement efforts for the past several years. Recent modifications to the program have leveraged the opportunity to introduce human factors perspectives and challenge leaders to look beyond human behaviors. Additional updates have enhanced on the idea of ‘leaders developing leaders’ to ensure increased results and sustainability of the program in years to come. This presentation will cover the original concepts, current modifications, as well as the feedback and results achieved.

3:45 pm
Conference Recap & Closing Remarks

  • Steve Kropla, Vice President-Offshore, IADC

Conference Program Committee

Allen Kelly, Consultant
Bob Newhouse, Newhouse Consultants
Doug Schonacher, Nexen
Jennifer Guidry, Precision Drilling
Jim Raney, Anadarko
John Gidley, Atwood Oceanics
John Thorogood, Drilling Global Consultant LLP
Julia FitzGerald, Center for Offshore Safety
Kevin Lacy, Drilling Principles LLC
Paul Sonnemann, SafeKick
Quincy Hodge, The Frontline Group
Rich Osmond, BP
Brooke Polk, IADC
Steve Kropla, IADC


Well Control School
Wild Well Control
International Well Control Forum (IWCF)
ENERGY worldnet, Inc.
Maersk Training
Virtual Marine
CS Inc.
Endeavor Technologies Corp
IADC Bookstore
IADC Accreditation & Credentialing

Exhibition Information

Cost for the 10′ x 10′ space is $2,000.
The space will be set with a skirted table, two chairs and access to electricity.
With the space, you receive one complimentary conference registration and up to two additional registrations at half price.
No refunds for cancellations will be issued.

  • Exhibitors can set-up after 3 pm on Monday, 16 October 2017. All booths must be completely set up by 6:30 am on Tuesday, 17 October 2017.
  • You may tear down your booth space after the last coffee break ends (tbd) on Wednesday, 18 October 2017.
  • The exhibitor space is a 10′ x 10′ area. It will be set with a 6′ skirted table and two chairs with access to electricity. Please do not exceed 10′ across, as the space in the exhibition area will be limited.
  • Wall space for signs/banners will not be available. All signs/banners must be affixed to the table or free standing.
  • All personnel working the exhibition must be registered. With your space, you will receive one complimentary registration and up to two additional registrations for half price or $300.

Click here to view exhibition diagram.

Exhibitions at IADC events will be limited to showcasing products and services that advance technology, competency or HSE. Exhibitions centered on recruitment or employment should not take space at IADC events.

For exhibition details, please contact:
Lori Gagula at lori.gagula@iadc.org or Stephanie Carling, stephanie.carling@iadc.org at +1.713.292.1945.

Sponsorship Opportunities

There are four levels of sponsoring: Diamond sponsors, Platinum Sponsors, Gold Sponsors, and Silver Sponsors. Event sponsorships are also available and will be categorized by monetary contribution with the appropriate level of sponsorship. Please find the benefits of the sponsor packages below. The conference sponsor will receive high profile recognition before, during and after the conference.

Diamond Sponsor Header

Diamond $25,000
(10 Comps*)


Platinum $15,000
(5 Comps*)


Gold $10,000
(3 Comps*)


Silver $5,000
(1 Comp*)


Event sponsorships are also available!

For more information please contact:
Lori Gagula, lori.gagula@iadc.org, or Stephanie Carling, stephanie.carling@iadc.org at +1.713.292.1945.

* Comps refer to number of complimentary registrations

Hotel Information

Please make your room reservations directly with the hotel.
Please be sure to mention IADC Human Factors Conference Block to obtain discounted rate.

Moody Gardens Hotel

Seven Hope Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77554, United States
Phone: +1.409.741.8484 Toll Free: +1.888.388.8484 Fax: +1.409.683.4936
Room Rates: $149.00 per night (single or double)
Rates are available until 25 September 2017.

Click here to make your hotel reservation online.
Click here to view the hotel website.

Warning: Please note that there is a company named Exhibition Housing Services (EHS) actively approaching conference delegates and exhibitors by phone and email trying to sell hotel rooms at the Hotel for a cheaper rate than the published rate on this conference website. Please note that Exhibition Housing Services does not represent IADC or the hotel, nor has IADC or the hotel authorized EHS to use their names or trademarks on information they send out to exhibitors and delegates.

To avoid being a victim of fraud, please do not give out your credit card details to any other party and make your hotel reservations exclusively through the Hotel.


Press Policy

Complimentary press registration is limited to one (1) person per company. This individual must be a titled editor, writer, reporter or other bona fide editorial representative of a legitimate industry or consumer publication. Publishers and sales and marketing specialists are excluded from this complimentary registration practice and must pay the full conference registration fee to attend an event.

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Event Summary

IADC Human Factors Conference & Exhibition