Dr. Thomas A. Dingus is director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and is the Newport News Shipbuilding Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is center director of the Tier 1 Connected Vehicle/Infrastructure University Transportation Center (CVI-UTC), which comprises a consortium of Virginia Tech/VTTI, the University of Virginia, and Morgan State University.
Since 1996, Dr. Dingus has managed the operations and research at VTTI. This multidisciplinary organization annually conducts more than $40 million in sponsored research. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Dr. Dingus was founding director of the National Center for Transportation Technology at the University of Idaho and was an associate director of the Center for Computer-Aided Design at the University of Iowa.
Dr. Dingus has conducted transportation safety and human factors research since 1984, including the safety and usability of advanced in-vehicle devices, crash avoidance countermeasures, truck driver fatigue, and driver distraction and attention. He has pioneered studies of naturalistic driving, which involve instrumenting cars, trucks, and motorcycles with video cameras and sophisticated instrumentation (e.g., radar) designed to assess crash and near-crash causation and to test a variety of crash countermeasures. VTTI is currently leading such studies worldwide with more than 4,000 equipped vehicles.
Dr. Dingus was recently named a White House Champion of Change and was selected for his exemplary leadership in developing or implementing transportation technology solutions. Dr. Dingus is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) from which he has received several awards, including the A.R. Lauer Award for outstanding contributions to the field of safety. He has had the honor of testifying before a U.S. Congressional subcommittee (three times), the National Transportation Safety Board, and the National Council of State Legislatures about issues of driver distraction and attention.
Dr. Dingus has more than 220 technical publications and has managed more than $250 million in research funding thus far in his career. Notable projects for which Dr. Dingus has served as a Principal Investigator or Program Manager include the 100-Car Study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Heavy Truck Drowsy Driver Warning System sponsored by NHTSA, and the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences (TRB).