Gavin Huntley-Fenner, Ph.D.

Gavin Huntley-Fenner's CV View Dr. Huntley-Fenner’s CV Gavin Huntley-Fenner, Ph.D.

Dr. Gavin Huntley-Fenner is a human factors and safety consultant with a unique problem-solving skill set and communication style developed over 20 years as a researcher, author, educator and business consultant.  He regularly provides consumer product hazard analyses and has served as an expert witness for matters relating to risk perception, instruction manuals, warnings, labeling, safety and human development, human reaction time, and decision-making. Dr. Huntley-Fenner is an educator and certified Continuing Legal Education (CLE) provider, as well as a published author.

  • Ph.D., Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995
  • B.A., Cognitive Sciences, Vassar College (Phi Beta Kappa), 1990

Recent Projects and Publications

Dr. Huntley-Fenner’s consulting and forensic projects have involved a wide variety of types of products and situations, including consumer products, professional tools, medical devices and human behavior in a variety of environments including homes, schools, workplace and daytime and nighttime outdoor contexts. Dr. Huntley-Fenner’s research employs a range of tools including literature reviews, incident database analyses, statistics, experimental design, hazard and risk analyses, and specific human behavioral research methods such as surveys and human subjects testing.

Dr. Huntley Fenner’s recent research has focused on the impact of risk perception and design on product safety, an analysis of online consumer reviews for child safety related content, a review of the effectiveness of auditory and visual warnings at railroad grade crossings, and a study on the impact of environmental signs on perceived risk.  Dr. Huntley-Fenner’s peer reviewed and invited publications include: “ANSI Z535.6 and conspicuity: A test of the new state of the art format for instructional manuals” (Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society) and “How will the Searchable Consumer Products Safety Incident Database Improve Product Safety” (Analysis and Perspective, Product Safety and Liability Reporter).


Dr. Huntley-Fenner has been invited to speak at national and international scientific and nonscientific gatherings on topics ranging from basic and applied research to forensic consulting and to education. He is a former member of the United States Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee and he served as a member of California’s Statewide Committee on Autism and Education.

Prior to focusing full-time as a human factors consultant, Dr. Huntley-Fenner was a business consultant at McKinsey & Company.  He began his professional career as an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine.  While on the UCI faculty, Dr. Huntley-Fenner’s National Science Foundation-supported research focused on problem solving, language processing and language development, cognitive development, and normal and abnormal brain development.  Dr. Huntley-Fenner served as a Governing Board Member of the Irvine Unified School District 2005-2013.