Asset Publisher
NPS Professor Determined to Improve Sailor's Lives
U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya

NPS Professor Determined to Improve Sailor's Lives

By Kenneth Stewart

NPS Associate Professor Nita Shattuck, center, is pictured with members of her research team wearing actigraphs, Feb. 20. Shattuck and her team use the actigraphs to measure sleep cycles and to test reaction times in an effort to optimize crew performance and to ensure that service members get adequate rest.

"Sleep is critically important to crew performance and combat effectiveness. There is often more work than crews can handle in a normal workday," said Shattuck. "We want to help decision-makers balance cost, performance and risk."

For over a decade, Shattuck and her team have been monitoring the sleep schedules of sailors and suggesting alternatives to traditional watch rotations.

"The goal is to increase the operational performance of the ship. You can do this by doing one of two things," said Greek Navy Commander Panagiotis Matsangas, one of Shattuck's former PHD students. "You can buy stuff for millions of dollars, or you can take our approach and optimize the organizational structure of the ship. Our way costs much less and it is easier to do."

In addition to her work analyzing at-sea watch rotations, Shattuck has worked with both the Army and the Navy to enhance recruit performance and with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to improve cadet sleep schedules. She is currently working with the White House's Emergency Operations Center and with the U.S. Marine Corps to document the sleep patterns of security personnel throughout the world.

Pictured from left to right are: Research Associate Navy Reserve Lt. Stephanie Brown, Matsangas, Shattuck, Research Associate Jane Barreto, and Research Associate Lt. Monica Amagna.

Nav buttons


2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Today@NPS showcases some of the speakers, conferences, experiments, lectures, and other events that take place at the Naval Postgraduate School on a daily basis. If you would like more information about any of the highlighted activities please contact the Office of University Communications at
February 2015 Title

February 2015

Asset Publisher