René Amalberti is doctor in Medicine (Marseille, 77), PHD Cognitive Psychology (Paris, 92), Professor of Medicine, physiology and ergonomics (Paris, 95).
After a Residency in Psychiatry, he integrated the Airforce in 1977, graduated in aerospace medicine, and got a permanent Military Research position in 1982. He retired with a rank of General in February 2008 as deputy director of the Institute of Aerospace Medicine.
He is now working half time as Senior Adviser Patient Safety at the Haute Autorité de Santé (the French medical accreditation agency) and half time as risk manager in a medical insurance (MACSF).
From 1982 to 1992, he was involved in several major European research programs on human errors. In the mid 80’s, during three years, he was a member of a European Research Project (MOHAWC) with Jens Rasmussen and Jim Reason. He pioneered in the mid 80’s the concept of pilot’s assistant (electronic crew) for fighter aircraft, and, in the early 90’s, the Crew Resource Management. In late 1992, he was detached half-time from the military to the French ministry of transportation, took the lead of human factors for Civil Aviation in France, and soon after, in 1993 (until 1999), became the first Chief Human factors and Flight safety for the European Aviation Authorities (JAA). During this period of time, he engaged into rule making on Human factors for Aviation, and pioneered a new approach of safety in complex systems termed ecological safety, giving emphasis to the role of compromises in risk controls and human factors.
His global contribution to safety in Aviation was acknowledged at national and international levels. He received the French aeronautical medal in 1993, the French Gold flight safety medal in 1995, the Roger Green‘s medal from the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2005, the special award of the Human factors Flight Safety Foundation in 2007, and the Special award of the International Association of Ergonomics in 2009.
From 1999 to 2007, although continuing working as a high level resource person for military (UAVs, accidents investigation) and civil aviation authorities (type certification Airbus A380), he progressively diversified the terrains studying risk management in the nuclear, the oil industry, professional fishing, and ground public transportations. During this period, he became chairman or member of numerous National and European scientific boards in the area of Environmental safety and air & land safety transportation systems. He is still the present chairman of the French National Programme of research, Quality and Safety in land transport (2002-13).
In 2000, he engaged researches in the emerging domain of human error in medicine, patient safety and resilience. In 2000, he was a member of the faculty at the first international Salzburg seminar following the publication of the well known US report To err is human. In 2001, he started cooperation with the French agency of accreditation (HAS), co-authoring the accreditation guide on risk management. His present work at the HAS is a mix of research (errors and violations, cooperation, resilience, system model) and strategic assistance for changes occurring in France in that area.
He has published over 100 international papers, chapters, and authored or co-authored 10 books, most of them on intelligent assistances, human error, system approach, deviances, safety and system resilience.