Distinguished Engineer Citations
Mica Endsley, Ph.D., P.E.
B.S. Industrial Engineering – 1982
At Time of Nomination in 2010
Dr. Mica R. Endsley is president of SA Technologies, a cognitive engineering firm specializing in the development of operator interfaces for advanced systems, including the next generation of systems for aviation, air traffic control, medical, power and military operations.
Endsley was born in California and grew up in Phoenix and Houston where she attended Spring Woods Senior High. She graduated Cum Laude from Texas Tech in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. While at Texas Tech, she was active in Alpha Pi Mu and Tau Beta Pi, and worked part time at Johnson Manufacturing (now Eagle Pitcher) and CBC, Inc as a draftsman and tooling designer to put herself through school, and later at Southwestern Bell as a central office manager. These experiences led to her strong interest in the area of human factors as way to improve the overall human performance as an integral part of the human-machine system.
Endsley moved to Lafayette, Indiana to obtain a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue in 1985, and then moved to Los Angeles where she obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1990.
While in Los Angeles, she moved through the ranks at the Northrop Corporation, while she worked on exciting programs such as the F-23 Advanced Tactical Fighter, and air force programs such as Cockpit Automation Technology and Pilot’s Associate that sought to implement advanced automation and artificial intelligence into future aircraft cockpits. It was during this time that she initiated her seminal work on situation awareness, developing the first definition of that construct, methods for measuring it, and an R&D program for finding ways to enhance this critical area through system design.
From 1990 to 1997, Endsley joined the industrial engineering faculty at Texas Tech, first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor, teaching in the area of human factors and expanding her work on situation awareness to other areas including air traffic control, driving, and military command and control. She was a visiting associate professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 1996 to 1997. In 1997 she left academia to found SA Technologies.
Endsley has authored over 200 scientific articles, reports on situation awareness, decision-making and automation, and is recognized internationally for her work in the area of situation awareness. She is a fellow in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and was awarded the Jack Kraft Innovator Award by that group. She has received numerous awards for teaching and research, is a Certified Professional Ergonomist and a Registered Professional Engineer. She serves on the editorial board for four major journals and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making. She is co-author of a book titled Designing for Situation Awareness.
She and her husband, Bill Jones, live in Marietta, Georgia and Midway, Utah. They have three daughters, Tristan Endsley, Jessica Jones, and Christine Jones.
It is a privilege and an honor for Texas Tech University’s Whitacre College of Engineering to select this outstanding alumna for recognition.