How To

Achieve High Performance

Control Room Operations

Join industry experts, engineers, and plant managers as they share project experience, case studies, success stories, and lesson learned from actual control room projects that center around operator performance and abnormal situation management.


An unseen problem in the control room is a danger for your entire operation.

Alarm Management Training

Learn Alarm Management through our self-guided online workshop.

  • Video Based training
  • Each section includes a progress self test
  • Completion of this course with a 80% or higher score will provide your users a certificate of completion

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Alarm Management in the Processing Industry:

ALARMS are a major challenge to the processing industry, you can’t function without them and you can’t function withthem. Alarms are required to bring an operator’s attention to a pending consequence which could involve harm to people,damage to equipment, processing errors impacting production, quality and cost, and may impact the environment.Hence, the alarm is designed to prevent these consequences.

Available now on Amazon.

User Centered Design Services Inc. would like to announce the return of Dave Lee to UCDS.

Dave has been hired as President and will be working hand in hand with Ian Nimmo and the UCDS family. Together Dave and Ian will be tackling daily operations and fulfilling customer requests for improved staffing arrangements, alarms, High Performance HMI displays, ergonomics, and control room designs that are tailored for process operators. Dave started his career in engineering in 1985 when he graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in chemical engineering. He has since worked in industry as an engineer and manager and across the world as a consultant. Dave met Ian when he was a customer in 2002 while working for LyondellBasell as the Plant Automation Manager. Over their shared British origins Ian and Dave hit it off and have been friends and working partners ever since.

  • Dave brings 38 years of experience in automation, control room operations, operator user interfaces, control room technology, and automation project leadership skills.
  • Dave is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of IChemE.
  • Prior to rejoining UCDS Dave worked with Emerson the past 5 years as an operator performance and solutions consultant.
  • He is a leading figure in alarm management, display design, operator staffing, automation engineering, and an operator effectiveness expert.
  • Dave is an active member of ISA where he has held various leadership roles and is currently Chair of the S&P Board. He is an active member of several standards committees.
  • He also represents the US on IEC 63303 as an HMI SME.

We are grateful and excited to have Dave join us again at UCDS!

"Need more from your process? Invest in your people!"

By Stephen Maddox, Business Development Manager, UCDS

"It's been studied and reported that companies’ operating costs are increasing. Many would believe that the majority of operating costs come from maintenance, utilities and equipment management. But 82% of the money goes to payroll: the workers. Yep, you heard that right. The people are the highest operating cost. Of course they're a critical component, but—are they really that important?..."

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We provide a complete Operator Centered Situation Awareness Control Room Methodology.

Starting with a workload / operator staffing assessment - ensuring operators can respond to critical alarms in a timely effective manner, then developing an alarm management standard, next designing an operator user interface (displays) and screen design layout to enhance situation awareness, then designing a console specification, and last we integrate everything into the design of the control room.

Situation Awareness is an Operator Requirement – it is achieved when you integrate all 6 of the following phases into an Integrated Human Factors Solution:

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Customer Testimonial

"Ian has consulted for us in the area of alarm management, central control room design, process control management and operator workload assessments. He is without doubt one of the world's experts in the above fields and has assisted us implementing leading edge techniques with definite business outcomes."

— Angelo, Senior Process Control Engineer, BHP Australia Worsley Alumina

We've worked with organizations all over the world.

Here are a few you might know.


Schedule a Consultation

Since you are on our website, it is safe to assume that you are probably trying to figure out how to improve your control room environment. It might be around safety or reducing expenses. It might be because you just want to improve operations. The best way to take a step in improving things is to schedule a consultation. It is free and does not take a lot of time. Use the form here to let us know you would like to schedule a consultation and we will respond to you right away.