Cranfield professor receives top safety award

December 06, 1999

Helen Muir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Aerospace Psychology at Cranfield University's College of Aeronautics, has received the Whittle Safety Award from the International Federation of Airworthiness (IFA).

At a ceremony held at the university on Monday, Professor Muir received a medallion and certificate carrying the citation; "In recognition of her contribution to improved airline cabin safety through the application of human factors in the field of passenger behaviour in emergencies", from Ronald Yates, IFA's Vice-President for Australasia.

Handing over the award, he said; "The IFA is most anxious to reward anyone in the world who contributes significantly to the safety of the travelling public. There were several eminent nominees for this award. The unanimous decision, however, was that in studying the reactions of passengers under emergency conditions, Helen stood out for her contribution, now recognised world wide, towards cabin safety."

A delighted Helen said; "This is a tremendous honour, not just for myself but for all at Cranfield, it was only made possible by good teamwork. I would like to thank everyone involved, not just on the experiments but those who worked so hard to support them."

The purpose of the Whittle Safety Award is to honour the global aerospace community's most outstanding achievements in the field of air safety. Whether single contribution or achievement, major technical innovation or other work or advance aircraft safety, its aim is to provide recognition on an international scale.

After the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Frank Hartley commented; "I am delighted that Helen's work has received the international recognition it so richly deserves."

The Whittle Safety Award is named after Sir Frank Whittle (June 1907 - August 1996), co-inventor of the jet engine. Sir Frank Whittle himself has strong links with Cranfield and was made an honorary graduate in 1987 and the university has a building named in his memory.

Cranfield University

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