Neelam  Naikar Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Neelam Naikar

Lead Scientist, Centre for Cognitive Work and Safety Analysis
Defence Science and Technology Organisation

Neelam Naikar has worked as a scientist for the Defence Science and Technology Organisation since 1996. Her role involves addressing critical design challenges for current and future complex military systems through the development and application of work analysis techniques.


Neelam Naikar leads the Centre for Cognitive Work and Safety Analysis at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Melbourne, Australia. Following her academic training in Psychology, she was drawn to studying human behavior in complex engineered systems. Her interest in cognitive work analysis – of which work domain analysis is an important dimension – was captured when she recognized its potential for modeling the complexity of the cognitive demands on workers in complex sociotechnical systems in a form that could provide a powerful approach to system design. For the last 15 years, she has conducted extensive research into the cognitive work analysis framework – its concepts, methodology, and applications. Her major scientific contributions include the development of methods for performing cognitive work analysis, and the extension of the application of this framework beyond interface design to a range of other problems such as the evaluation of system design concepts, team design, and training. Her research is informed not only by a scholarly knowledge of a range of work analysis techniques, but also by the practical application of these techniques in industry. Neelam graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Psychology from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1993, and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 1996. She is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making.  

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Neelam's primary expertise is in Cognitive Work Analysis, although she is also proficient in other analytic techniques such as Cognitive Task Analysis and AcciMap Analysis. The design problems she is focused on currently are team and organisational design, interface and automation design, and training system design. Recently, she has also become interested in the application of Cognitive Work Analysis to problems commonly viewed as lying outside the fields of human factors and engineering, or cognitive systems engineering, such as military doctrine and strategy development.



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