Nektarios Karanikas

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Graduate Studies
College of Aeronautics

Areas of Expertise

Safety management

Quality management

Human Factors & Ergonomics

Project management

Nektarios Karanikas

Dr Nektarios Karanikas was awarded his doctorate in Safety and Quality Management from Middlesex University (UK) following his research on the transformation of a safety program of a large and complex organisation into an operational safety management system based on established standards, quality and change management principles and design and employment of new performance indicators. Dr Karanikas also holds an MSc in Human Factors & Safety Assessment in Aeronautics from Cranfield University (UK) where his thesis focused on the detection of human factors issues through the analysis of maintenance records. He graduated from the Hellenic Air Force Academy (GR) as an aeronautical engineer and worked as an officer in the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) for more than 18 years before he resigned at the rank of Lt. Colonel in 2014.

While in the HAF, Dr Karanikas served in various positions related to maintenance and quality management and accident prevention and investigations, and he was lecturer and instructor for safety and human factors courses the majority of which he designed or substantially revised. In addition to the application of quality and project management approaches and skills during his service as an engineer, his active and intense engagement into safety management activities of the HAF included the completion of shorter and longer safety projects focusing on organisation-wide interventions and the promotion of a mature safety culture supported by effective strategies for proactive, predictive and reactive safety management.

In his appointment as Associate Professor of Safety & Human Factors in the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (NL) (2014-2019), Nektarios undertook the design, delivery and continuous evaluation of relevant courses across the whole Bachelor curriculum, supervised students conducting their research projects during their placement at various companies, delivered in-house and public masterclasses in safety, risk and investigation management, and led a 4-years co-funded project about Aviation Safety Metrics with the contribution of more than 40 partners as well as smaller contract research and consultancy projects with a total budget of about 1,200,000 EUR. Dr Karanikas willingness to bring closer academia and industry led to his initiative to launch in 2016 the International Cross-industry Safety Conference, which he chaired for three consecutive years.

Dr Karanikas holds engineering, occupational health & safety, human factors and project management professional qualifications and has been an active member of various prestigious international and regional associations. He has published an edited book, numerous academic journal articles, including papers in top-tier safety journals such as Safety Science and Risk Analysis, peer-reviewed conference papers and book chapters and has been invited to speak at more than 30 international and regional summits and workshops. He is an Associate Editor for Safety Science, a member of editorial boards and a regular reviewer of safety, human factors and aerospace-related journals, and he volunteers in various activities of professional bodies.

During his professional and academic career, Dr Karanikas has employed a multitude of methodologies and different population samples including documentation analysis from different organisational levels, analysis of historical records, administration of surveys and conduction of interviews with the participation of managers and employees from different locations, job functions and levels as well as diverse demographics and cultural backgrounds. He has demonstrable experience in quantitative data analysis through statistical tests as well as the processing of qualitative data through thematic analysis. Dr Karanikas ability to synthesise data and information from various sources has led to insightful findings for organisations as well as contextualised and feasible roadmaps to develop holistic and operational solutions for safety.

  • D. - Doctoral in Professional Studies: Safety and Quality Management, Middlesex University
  • M.S. - Master of Science in Human Factors and Safety Assessment in Aeronautics, Cranfield University

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate - Project Management Institute

  • MAVM 620: Project Mgmt for Avia Maint

May 2017 – today

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, College of Aeronautics, Department of Graduate Studies (US – Worldwide Campus),

Delivering the online Project Management module in the Masters in Aviation Maintenance Management

April 2019 – today

Associate Professor in Health, Safety & Environment

Queensland University of Technology, Faculty of Health, School of Public Health & Social Work (Queensland, Australia),

  • Course coordinator for the Post-graduate Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety
  • Coordinator, content developer and lecturer for the Units:

-Occupational Health and Safety Management

- Human Factors and Ergonomics

- Toxicology and Occupational Hygiene

- Occupational Health & Safety Law and Policy

  • Member of the School’s Learning & Teaching Committee
  • Supervisor of Master course students’ projects (8 completed – 1 in progress)
  • Supervisor of QUT PhD/MPhil students (1 in progress)
  • External/internal examiner for PhD and Master theses (3 completed)
  • Principal/Associate Investigator in Funded and Contract Research projects/proposals and Consultancy (See Appendix for a list of funded work - gross income to date: $103,392).

Sep. 2014 – March 2019

Associate Professor of Safety & Human Factors

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Technology, Aviation Academy (Netherlands),

  • Curriculum development
  • Lecturing
  • Principal Investigator and Project Manager of Funded/Contract Research and Consultancy (860.000 EUR income).
  • Developer and principal instructor of Master Classes in Risk Assessment, Advanced Safety Management and Incident Investigations, delivered openly and in-house (70.000 EUR income).
  • Joint research activities and paper authorship with external institutions (RMIT, Imperial College London, Limerick University, National Technical University of Athens, University of Bolton, Thessaly University of Applied Sciences)
  • (Under)graduate theses & research supervision and examination, including students from external institutions – (3 Masters supervision, 1 Masters examination, 28 Bachelors supervision and examination)
  • Founder, Chair of Program Committee, member of the Organizing Committee and Proceedings Guest Editor of the International Cross-industry Safety Conference (ICSC)
  • Contributor to proposals for fundraising (H2020, Erasmus+, SIA-NL, contract research):  See Appendix for a list of funded work.

Sep. 2013 – Aug. 2014

Head of Safety Research and Analysis Department - Human Factors Analyst

Hellenic Air Force General Staff, Flight and Ground Safety Centre (Greece)

  • Annual safety reports and statistics publication
  • Researcher in Safety and Human Factors
  • Monitoring of safety recommendations and measures implementation
  • On-site adviser for Human Factors in safety investigations
  • Safety auditor
  • Safety investigator
  • Revision of safety-related regulations and handbooks

Sep. 2011 – Sep. 2013

Chief Engineer

114 Hellenic Air Force Base (Greece)

  • Manager of operation level maintenance for jet aircraft fleet.
  • Oversight of flight line, technical workshops, weapon workshop, maintenance scheduling, quality assurance and technical training activities
  • Accountable manager of about 100 technicians of various specialties (mechanical, avionics, electricians, fly-by-wire, weapon systems etc.).

Sep. 2009 – Jun. 2014

Lecturer in Aviation Safety and Human Factors

Hellenic Air Force Academy (Greece)

  • Curriculum Development
  • Lecturing
  • Bachelor theses supervisor and examiner (8 Bachelor theses supervised and examined).
  • Member of Educational Quality Assurance Board

Jan. 2009 – Aug. 2014

Instructor in Occupational Health and Safety

Hellenic Air Force Technical Non-commissioned Officers Academy (Greece)

Jan. 2009 – July 2014

Instructor in Human Factors and Safety Management and Investigations

Hellenic Air Force Command and Staff College (Greece)

Safety Officers and Investigators courses

Oct. 2008 – Sep. 2011

Safety Investigations Officer

Hellenic Air Force General Staff, Flight and Ground Safety Directorate (Greece)

  • Publication of official safety investigation reports
  • On-site adviser for Human Factors in safety investigations
  • Safety auditor
  • Safety investigator
  • Development of the Operational Risk Management framework and procedures
  • Revision of safety-related regulations and handbooks

Jul. 2003 – Aug. 2007

Total Quality Assurance and Maintenance Program Officer

Hellenic Air Force Support Command (Greece)

  • Monitoring and coordination of operational, intermediate and depot levels maintenance
  • Resolving of quality and safety related issues
  • Configuration management - technical modifications’ application
  • Safety investigator
  • Monitoring of follow-on support contract
  • Quality assurance auditor

Nov. 1996 – Jul. 2003

Maintenance Management and Quality Assurance Officer

114 Hellenic Air Force Base (Greece)

  • Head and staff of maintenance control office in aircraft squadron (3 years)
  • Inspector of aircraft airframe at operational level maintenance (3 years Junior Inspector and 3 years Senior Inspector)
  • Chief of aircraft maintenance workshops at operational level [1 year – management of periodical inspections and unscheduled maintenance accomplished by 4 workshops (airframe, electrical systems, radar – navigation systems and fly-by-wire systems) staffed in total by up to 30 technicians]
  • Ground safety officer of aircraft squadron (1 year)
  • Safety events investigator (3 years)
  • Chief of jet engines Workshop (2 years - maintenance manager of two jet engine types and leader of up to 50 technicians)
  • Staff officer for aircraft and jet engines quality standards - technical related accidents and incidents management (1 year)
  • Senior technical inspector for jet engines in intermediate level maintenance (2 years)
  • Quality assurance auditor
  • Instructor for aircraft structure


  • Institution of Occupational Safety and Health Graduate Member - GradIOSH, (ID 174472), since July 2014, (
  • Human Factors Specialist (ID: HFS068), European Association for Aviation Psychology, since August 2015, (
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy – SFEHA (ID  PR191011), since August 2020 (
  • Chartered Engineer – CEng (ID: 617886), since October 2014, (
  • Project Management Professional – PMP, (ID: 1745522), since August 2014, (


  • Australasian University Safety Association (ID 742), since May 2021 (
  • Advance Higher Education, since August 2020 (
  • Australian Institute of Health & Safety member, since July 2019 (
  • Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia (ID 227057), since July 2019 (
  • Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, since June 2019 ( 
  • Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow (since January 2020) and Member (2016-2019) (ID  3017375), (
  • Institution of Occupational Safety and Health Member, (ID 174472), since July 2014, (
  • International Society of Air Safety Investigators Member (ID M06544), since June 2014, (
  • Project Management Institute Member (ID 3098148), since May 2014, (
  • European Association for Aviation Psychology Associate Member (ID AM322), since May 2014 (
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Europe Chapter Colleague, since Jan. 2009 (
  • Hellenic Aviation Society Member, since April 2014 (
  • Hellenic Air Force Engineers Society Member, since Jul. 1996 (

  • 2021: Most Noteworthy Publication Award for October 2021, School of Public Health & Social Work, Queensland University of Technology.
  • 2017: Best Paper Award, 7th International Conference on Performance, Safety and Robustness in Complex Systems and Applications (PESARO).
  • 2013: Golden Cross of the Order of the Honour, President of the Hellenic Republic, Greece.
  • 2013: Medal of Military Merit 2nd Class, Minister of National Defence, Greece.
  • 2012: Staff Officer Service Commendation Medal 2nd Class, Minister of National Defence, Greece.
  • 2012:  Management Services Commendation Medal 3rd Class, Minister of National Defence, Greece.
  • 2009: Distinction awarded for the completion of the Master’s in Human Factors and Safety Assessment in Aeronautics, Chief of Air Force General Staff, Greece.
  • 2007: Golden Cross of the Order of the Phoenix, President of the Hellenic Republic, Greece.
  • 2007: Medal of Military Merit 3rd Class, Minister of National Defence, Greece.
  • 2004: Diploma of Recognition for the services offered during the Athens Olympic Games, Chief of National Defence General Staff, Greece.
  • 1992: Excellence Award for the work submitted to the national high school student competition about the history of the Macedonian region, Apogevmatini news publisher, Greece.
  • 1987 – 1992: Six (6) Awards of Highest Performed Student, Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs, Greece.
  • 1987 – 1992: Five (5) Rewards for Excellent Performance and Conduct, Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs, Greece.