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Phillip Tretten
Phillip Tretten

Phillip Tretten

Associate Professor
Luleå University of Technology
Operation and Maintenance
Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
+46 (0)920 492855
T2048 Luleå


  • PhD in Industrial Design (2011), Luleå University of Technology (Focus on driving performance in relation to cognitive load)
  • Technology Licentiate degree in Industrial Design (2008), Luleå University of Technology (Focus on the location and usability of information in relation to in-vehicle locations)
  • MSc in Psychology (2005), Luleå University of Technology (Focus on Human Factors)
  • BSc in Psychology (1992), Palm Beach Atlantic University


My present research profile builds upon the expressed need for better understanding of maintenance risks using the maintenance systems, e.g. Human Machine Interaction (HMI) of the systems. More specifically, I’ve focused upon the development of guidelines for maintenance systems, to assist operators and maintenance personnel in their decisions. First, by risk analysis and, secondly, recommending and testing development opportunities. The overall goal has been to assist maintenance technicians with easy to use interfaces supporting their knowledge and need for the right information, in the right context, at the right time. This work has focused upon gaining tacit knowledge from the users of the system, that is, learning from them what they already know about, and can communicate it clearly.

More specifically how tacit knowledge, from maintenance technicians, can be learned and applied in intelligent systems. In Autonomous Maintenance, must technical systems and the physical maintenance actions harmonized so to complement each other. So that both explicit and implicit knowledge can be learned for next generation solutions. I have identified two major opportunities in which human intuitive cognition can collaborate with intelligent systems for maintenance solutions; through implicit situation awareness measurement techniques, using cognitive task, and the integration of collaboration concepts in the design of automated systems.

Teaching and Supervision

Involved in teaching courses and supervising theses at the Bachelor, Master and PhD level. This teaching includes Human Factors, Design, Maintenance Engineering, and Maintenance Strategy. Is also active in professional education. 


PhD Supervision

Deputy Department Head

As Deputy Dept Head, my role is to assist in leading the dept in management, budget planning, and strategic planning, with a special focus on educational quality. I've focused upon turning around the status of education and teachers, in which we've sucessfully gone from the poorest performing dept in pedagogical development, performance ratings, and quality improvements to the top. The dept consists of ca 400 employees and 18 research subjects with a turnover of ca 400 Mkr.

Head of Education

As Head of Education I am in charge of operation and management for the department's 14 BSc and MSc programs, which include Civil Engineering, Arctic Mineral Resources, Maintenance Engineering, Natural Resources, Chemistry, Mining, Construction Management, Building, and Architectural Engineering programs. My role is to systematically improve the quality of the programs, manage programs, manage personnel, manage student recruitment, lead contact to society, lead our educational administrative staff, and manage educational development projects.

Research Projects (selected list)

More information


Article in journal

Collaborating AI and human experts in the maintenance domain (2020)

Illankoon. P, Tretten. P
AI & Society
Article in journal

Judgemental errors in aviation maintenance (2020)

Illankoon. P, Tretten. P
Cognition, Technology & Work, Vol. 22, nr. 4, s. 769-786
Article in journal

A prospective study of maintenance deviations using HFACS-ME (2019)

Illankoon. P, Tretten. P, Kumar. U
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Vol. 74
Conference paper

Cybersecurity Workforce in Railway: A Case Study (2019)

Kour. R, Tretten. P, Karim. R, Singh. S
Part of: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop & Congress on eMaintenance 2019, 2019
Conference paper

Decision Support System for Flight Maintenance Technicians (2019)

Issues and Challenges
Illankoon. P, Tretten. P, Singh. S
Part of: Proceedings of the 5th international workshop and congress on eMaintenace, eMaintenance Trends in technologies & methodologies, challenges, possibilities and applications, s. 88-94, Luleå University of Technology, 2019
Article in journal

eMaintenance in railways (2019)

Issues and challenges in cybersecurity
Kour. R, Al-Jumaili. M, Karim. R, Tretten. P
Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Part F, journal of rail and rapid transit, Vol. 233, nr. 10, s. 1012-1022
Article in journal

Guidelines for a mobile tool to address human factors issues in aircraft maintenance (2019)

Normark. C, Tretten. P
International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, Vol. 6, nr. 3, s. 208-226
Article in journal

Lockout and Tagout in a Manufacturing Setting from a Situation Awareness Perspective (2019)

Illankoon. P, Manathunge. Y, Tretten. P, Abeysekara. J, Singh. S
Safety, Vol. 5, nr. 2
Article in journal

Modelling human cognition of abnormal machine behaviour (2019)

Illankoon. P, Tretten. P, Kumar. U
Human-Intelligent Systems Integration, Vol. 1, nr. 1, s. 3-26