Chason Coelho
Chason J. Coelho, Ph.D., ASP, CFI
Managing Scientist
Human Factors
Seattle

Dr. Coelho is a human factors, technical safety, and risk management professional with experience in aerospace, on- and off-shore petrochemical, marine, crane, and utility industries. A cognitive neuroscientist whose research focuses on human motor control, he applies a uniquely interdisciplinary expertise in cognitive and physical behavior to issues such as human error prevention, decision making, human reliability, safety in design, human-machine interfacing, and ergonomics. He addresses these and other facets of human performance in routine operations, maintenance, and emergency contexts that span both process and occupational safety.

Dr. Coelho conducts proactive risk analyses aimed at reducing human error through incorporating human factors principles in design, policies, procedures, hardware, software, work environments, and team resource management. He also specializes in root cause analyses and incident investigations involving human performance gaps that lead to adverse events such as explosions, fires, chemical releases, and major equipment failures.

Dr. Coelho is a published subject matter expert on a variety of topics, including action selection, manual object manipulation, handedness, hand choice, lateralized performance asymmetries of the arms, coordination of walking, standing, and reaching behaviors, decision making, learning, visual object recognition, fatigue, and risk perception.

He holds an Associate Safety Professional certificate from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, a Certified Fire Investigator designation from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and a Safety Practice Certificate from Texas A&M University for advanced training in industrial hygiene, fire risk management, and other similar topics. He is also a volunteer firefighter who maintains firefighting, technical and confined space rescue, vehicle extrication, and emergency medical technician certifications.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Coelho did his doctoral research at Pennsylvania State University after completing an internship at the University of Chicago and an undergraduate program in learning, memory, and cognition at UCLA. He started his applied professional career as a human factors design engineer supporting the International Space Station Program at NASA Johnson Space Center.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2013
  • M.S., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2011
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2007, magna cum laude
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Honorable Mention (2011)

    Nominated Collegiate Scholar, International Scholar Laureate Program of the Golden Key International Honor Society (2007)

    UCLA Departmental Highest Honors in Psychology (2007)

    UCLA University Merit Grant (2005)

    California Governor’s Scholar Award (2001)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Associate Safety Professional (ASP), Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)

Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist (CEAS), BackSchool

Safety Practice Certificate, Mary K. O'Conner Process Safety Center, Texas A&M University

Certified Fire Investigator (CFI), Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP)

Vehicle Rescuer / Extrication Technician, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)

Firefighter II (vol.), State Fire Fighters' and Fire Marshals' Association (SFFMA)

Technical and Confined Space Rescue Technician (SFFMA)

Licensed (Texas) Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Basic

OPITO Approved Basic Off-shore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET)

Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (HUET)

International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) RIGPASS

Escape System Training (EST)

ISO 45001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (BSI)

ISO 19011, Auditing Management Systems (BSI)

OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance and Auditing (ABS)

EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) Compliance and Auditing (ABS)

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Incident Investigation (ABS)

Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) Leader (ABS)

Publications

Brown, A. & Coelho, C.J. (2017). Modeling Goal-Directed Movements in Modern Pistol Competition. IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. Banff, Canada.

Solnik, S., Pazin, N., Coelho, C.J., Rosenbaum, D.A., Scholz, J.P., Zatsiorsky, V.M., & Latash, M.L. (2014). Postural sway and perceived comfort in pointing tasks. Neuroscience Letters, 569, 18-22.

Hollaway, D. M. A., Johnson, J. D., & Coelho, C.J. (2014). There will be blood: API 770 and Human Error Prevention in Process Safety. 17th Annual International Symposium, MKO Process Safety Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 773-786.

Coelho, C.J., Studenka, B.E., & Rosenbaum, D.A. (2013). End-state comfort trumps handedness in object manipulation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40, 718-730.

Rosenbaum, D.A., Chapman, K.C., Coelho, C.J., Gong, L., & Studenka, B.E. (2013). Choosing actions. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, Article 273.

Coelho, C.J. & Rosenbaum, D.A. (2013). Is handedness just response bias? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20, 957-962.

Solnik, S., Pazin, N., Coelho, C.J., Rosenbaum, D.A., Scholz, J.P., Zatsiorsky, V.M., & Latash, M.L. (2013). End-state comfort and joint configuration variance during reaching. Experimental Brain Research, 225, 431-442.

Coelho, C.J., Przyblya, A., Yadav V., & Sainburg, R.L. (2013). Hemispheric differences in the control of limb dynamics: A link between arm performance and arm selection patterns. Journal of Neurophysiology, 109, 825-838.

Przyblya, A., Coelho, C.J., Akpinar, S., Kirazci, S., & Sainburg, R.L. (2012). Sensorimotor performance asymmetries predict hand selection. Neuroscience, 228C, 349-360.

Coelho, C.J., Nusbaum, H., Rosenbaum, D.A., & Fenn, K.M. (2012). Imagined actions aren't just weak actions: Task variability promotes skill learning in physical practice but not in mental practice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Language, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 1759-1764.

Rosenbaum, D.A., Coelho, C.J., Rhode, J.D., & Santamaria, J.P. (2010). Psychologically distinct classes of motor behavior inferred from individual differences: Evidence from a sequential stacking task. Journal of Motor Behavior, 42, 187-194.

Knowlton, B.J., McAuliffe, S.P., Coelho, C.J., & Hummel, J.E. (2009). Visual priming of inverted and rotated objects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 837-848.

Representative Presentations

Coelho, C.J. (2016). Addressing Human Factors in Process Safety – Corporate and Plant Practices, 12th Global Congress on Process Safety, Houston, TX, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Coelho, C.J. (2018). A Novel Approach to Reducing Human Error in Utility Industries, Electric Power, Nashville, TN.

Coelho, CJ. & Fiume, L. (2018). A Novel Approach to Reducing Human Error in Utility Industries, The Changing Face of Station Maintenance, Centre for Energy Advancement through Technological Innovation (CEATI) International.

Academic Appointments

Lecturer (Psychology, Research Methods, Statistics), Psychology Department, Pennsylvania State University, 2011-2013

Professional Affiliations

Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)

Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (HFES)

National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)

State Fire Fighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association (SFFMA)

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

Acta Psychologica

Cognition

Ergonomics in Design

Experimental Brain Research

Frontiers in Cognitive Psychology

Human Factors

Journal of Motor Behavior

Laterality

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2013
  • M.S., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2011
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2007, magna cum laude
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Honorable Mention (2011)

    Nominated Collegiate Scholar, International Scholar Laureate Program of the Golden Key International Honor Society (2007)

    UCLA Departmental Highest Honors in Psychology (2007)

    UCLA University Merit Grant (2005)

    California Governor’s Scholar Award (2001)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Associate Safety Professional (ASP), Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)

Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist (CEAS), BackSchool

Safety Practice Certificate, Mary K. O'Conner Process Safety Center, Texas A&M University

Certified Fire Investigator (CFI), Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP)

Vehicle Rescuer / Extrication Technician, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)

Firefighter II (vol.), State Fire Fighters' and Fire Marshals' Association (SFFMA)

Technical and Confined Space Rescue Technician (SFFMA)

Licensed (Texas) Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Basic

OPITO Approved Basic Off-shore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET)

Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (HUET)

International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) RIGPASS

Escape System Training (EST)

ISO 45001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (BSI)

ISO 19011, Auditing Management Systems (BSI)

OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance and Auditing (ABS)

EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) Compliance and Auditing (ABS)

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Incident Investigation (ABS)

Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) Leader (ABS)