Dr. Robert Sugarman

Chief Scientist & Director of Human Factors


Dr. Robert C. Sugarman is Stavatti’s Director of Human Factors Engineering and manager of Stavatti’s Western New York office. Dr. Sugarman has conducted research and development programs in instructional system development (ISD), perceptual processes, vehicle driving, human-computer interaction, equipment design and evaluation, and physiological processes. He has authored over 60 papers and publications, numerous training programs, and five patent disclosures (one US patent awarded), and is a contributor to the Human Factors Engineering Guidelines and Preferred Practices for the Design of Medical Devices, ANSI/AAMI HE48-1993, Human Factors Design Process for Medical Devices, ANSI/AAMI HE74:2001, and current revisions.

Dr. Sugarman’s projects have included an evaluation of a system to prevent drunken driving, an investigation of factors contributing to decreased alertness during long-duration low-event driving, studies of camouflage, the design of operator computer and operator/maintainer machine interfaces, and the design and evaluation of commercial products. He was selected by the international Human Factors and Ergonomics Society to participate in a program to develop a comprehensive human factors plan for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The project examined human engineering, procedures and operator aids, manpower and personnel, and training and training devices for all aspects of the nuclear power industry.

Dr. Sugarman supervised seven ISD programs (as prime or subcontractor) for aircrew and maintainer (Air Force B 1 and NGT, Navy E 2B/C, F 4J/N, F/A 18, LAMPS Mk III, and VTXTS) and other government and industrial operations, maintenance, and safety training programs. He developed a highly versatile, low cost procedures trainer to deliver computer-based training for military and industrial organizations.

Dr. Sugarman’s current work is the development of multimedia training programs for industrial operations, environmental health & safety, and maintenance and quality control for light to heavy industry. He also conducts classes on ergonomics for safety and ergonomics teams and was employed to manage quality for the start up of construction of the Buffalo Life Sciences Complex for Turner Construction Company. He has provided expert testimony in human factors engineering for civil and criminal trials for over 30 years.

Educational Background

1961 B.A., Physics (Math minor), University of Buffalo
1962 Graduate Studies, Solid State Physics and Math, Purdue University
(elected to Sigma Pi Sigma, Physics Honorary Society)
1963 M.S., Experimental Psychology (Physics minor), Purdue University
1965 S.M., Experimental Psychology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1967 Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo (Departmental Honors)
Registered Professional Quality Engineer (California Certificate Number QU2821)


1967-1982 Calspan (formerly Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory)
1978-1982, Director, Human Factors and Training Center
1969-2006 State University of New York at Buffalo, State University College at Buffalo, and Empire State College, D’Youville College. Part time Lecturer/Instructor (psychology, ergonomics, industrial engineering., statistics)
1982 Present RCS Company, Training Systems and Ergonomics Divisions
1997 Present RCS Performance Systems, Inc., President
2003-2003 Parsons Brinckerhoff, Quality Control Manager

Other Professional Activities and Honors

Fellow, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Technical Groups: Forensics Professional (former chair), Training (former chair), Health Care.
International Ergonomics Association, Technical committee on Slips, Trips and Falls
American Psychological Association , member Division 21, Applied Experimental & Engineering Psych.
Western New York Chapter of the Human Factors Society, 1982 83, 1984-85 President
Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, Human Engineering Committee
Reserve Deputy, Sheriff of Erie County, Scientific Reserve Division (retired)
Western NY Science Congress, Inc., Board of Directors
SUNY at Buffalo, Res. Asst. Prof., Industry/University Center for Biosurfaces, Human Factors Coordinator
SUNY at Buffalo, Extreme Events, Human Factors group
Stavatti Corporation, Board of Directors, Director of Human Factors Engineering
Aero Club of Buffalo

RCS Performance Systems, Inc.
Human Factors & Ergonomics Society
University at Buffalo