User interface solutions for supporting operators' automation awareness in nuclear power plant control rooms: Master's thesis

Paula Laitio

Research output: ThesisMaster's thesis


This thesis discusses the effects of nuclear power plant control room digitalization and of increasing control room automation on the operator work. The concept of automation awareness is introduced and automation awareness is defined as a part of situation awareness. The development and maintenance of automation awareness is considered to be a continuous process that comprises of perceiving the current status of automation, comprehending the status and its meaning to the system behaviour as well as estimating the future statuses and their meanings. The human operator is seen as a part of the system, and their decisions and actions affect the system state. The questions of what is sufficient automation awareness and how to examine the acquired level of automation awareness are addressed briefly. Sufficient automation awareness is defined as the operator's understanding of automation, their skills to interact with it and their will to cooperate with it on such a level that leads to safe and efficient operation of the nuclear power plant in all situations. Factors affecting the development and maintenance of the operators' automation awareness in a nuclear power plant control room are listed. The thesis presents literature-based guidelines for successful human-automation cooperation as well as for presenting automation in control room user interfaces. The key contributors to a successful automation user interface are observability of automation, workload and failure management. In the practical part of the thesis, these factors were taken into account when designing and developing a user interface for an emergency diesel power generation system simulator. In developing the final user interface, user evaluation was utilized in addition to the literature-based theory. The ready-made user interface is presented and the design solutions are gone through especially in terms of the three mentioned guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Place of PublicationEspoo
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeG2 Master's thesis, polytechnic Master's thesis


  • automation awareness
  • nuclear power plant
  • control room
  • human-automation cooperation
  • human-system interfaces


Dive into the research topics of 'User interface solutions for supporting operators' automation awareness in nuclear power plant control rooms: Master's thesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this