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THRILL: Human Factors in Amusement

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Who's who at THRILL

Principal Investigator


The Principal Investigator and Director of the THRILL lab is Dr. Kathryn Woodcock. A professional engineer specializing in Human Factors engineering, she is actively involved in Ryerson's Centre for Interdisciplinary Human Factors Research. Dr. Woodcock is a tenured associate professor in the School of Occupational and Public Health and a member of the graduate faculty in Mechanical/Industrial Engineering. Her full bio and contact information is available here.

Research associates

The 2012-2013 THRILL lab cohort includes several exciting projects. We kicked the year off with the annual onsite CNE behind-the-scenes observations. 

fileMore bio details to follow.


Joelle Feliz Javier completedher M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering, working on retrofits for classic amusement rides to modify patron perception and behaviour, and also suported the development of scale model rides for ride control prototype testing. She began her post-graduate career in the Elevating Devices and Amusement Devices Engineering team at the Technical Standards and Safety Authority.

Jovan Filipovic completed his BASc in Electrical Engineering after working on the design and development of prototyping platforms and prototypes of human operator control interfaces for single-operator directly observable amusement devicesand supported the development of technology for carnival ride retrofit prototypes. Post-Ryerson, he joined the consulting firm HHAngus.

QR code for Andrew Novak thesis

Andrew Novak completed his MASc thesis on cognitive work and expertise acquisition of amusement and elevating device inspectors. He came to the THRILL Lab with a BASc in Industrial Engineering from University of Toronto, specializing in Human Factors.

Kathryn Abella

Kathryn Abella graduated with a BASc in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University. She worked on developing tools for training and evaluating the development of defect identification expertise.

Shahram Aryanpour

Shahram Aryanpour graduated with a BEng in Electrical Engineering at Ryerson University. He programmed an iOS application for investigators to classify and record accident data for further research. Following a gold-medal Engineering Design Project jointly with Jovan FIlipovic, he has continued to graduate studies.

Arun Balbahadur

Arun Balbahadur graduated with a BASc in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University. With Maria Robibero, he developed datasets for evaluation and comparison aided and unaided investigation. His poster reporting on the validation of the dataset was accepted in the peer-reviewed Association of Canadian Ergonomists 2011 conference.

Zahrah Diyaljee

Zahrah Diyaljee graduated with a BASc in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University and also has a BSc in Biological Sciences from University of Alberta. She collaborated on analysis of official accident investigation reports and was a co-author of a paper in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2010.

Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson graduated with a BASc in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University and has a diploma in Chemical Laboratory Technology from Seneca College. Ron's active involvement in THRILL has reduced but he continues his collaboration with the Sign Language Interpreting Modelling project during his master's studies at Queen's University, and has joined Ledcor in a health and safety capacity. He has co-authored and contributed to several peer-reviewed papers and posters including Association of Canadian Ergonomists 2011 and the Ontario Society of Biomechanics.

Maria Robibero

Maria Robibero graduated with a BASc in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University and also has a Hon. BSc in Human Biology from University of Toronto. She collaborated with Arun Balbahadur to develop accident datasets for investigation research.

Past Students

The majority of names of past research students have been withheld for privacy reasons, but research alumni interested in being listed are encouraged to contact me!

Sophia Do is a graduate of the Ryerson Occupational Health and Safety program. She recently completed her work on the improvement of inspection checklists that she began with her bachelor's capstone research project in 2008.

2007-2008 Safety forum assistance by OHS team: Sophia Do, Ellick Li, Leslie McLean, Dipali Patel, Anne Petersen, Frances Bolton

BASc (OHS) research assistant, research associate: Janet Tsao