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Zachary Doerzaph, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Doerzaph Zac 1
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Research Areas

  • Biomechanics
  • Dynamics and control

Research Interests

Dr. Zachary Doerzaph both directs the Center for Advanced Automotive Research at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and serves as Associate Professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (BEAM).

Dr. Doerzaph coordinates a research team of faculty and students focused on measuring and improving the performance of next-generation transportation systems.  Working alongside multi-disciplinary collaborators from academia, industry, and government, Dr. Doerzaph strives to improve safety through advanced design, development, and evaluation of connected vehicles, collision avoidance systems, automated driving systems, driver interfaces, big data analytics, driver behavior monitoring and evaluation.

Dr. Doerzaph is passionate about educating the transportation safety workforce.  He believes transformative improvements in the human condition are only possible through combining traditional transportation engineering approaches with high-technology solutions derived from a variety of disciplines.  Dr. Doerzaph is a thought-leader and visionary yet balanced with technical knowledge in system integration, training, and hands-on experience with vehicle design, data acquisition, and research methods.


  • Virginia Tech: Ph.D. Industrial and Systems Engineering, Human Factors Option, 2007 
  • Virginia Tech: M.S., Industrial and Systems Engineering, Transportation Safety HF Option, 2004 
  • University of Idaho, BS, Mechanical Engineering, 2001

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • Associate Editor: SAE International Journal of Connected and Automated Vehicles (2017-present) 
  • Member: Honorifics Committee, Biomedical and Engineering Mechanics Department (2017-present) 
  • Member: Executive Steering Committee, Connected and Automated Vehicles, VDOT (2016-present) 
  • Member: Board of Directors, Intelligent Transportation systems Virginia Chapter (2016-present) 
  • Chairman: SAE Crash Causation and Data Analysis Committee (2011-present) 
  • Member: International Standards Organization (ISO) TC204 Committee Member (2011-present) 
  • Recipient of Safety Certificate from the National Safety Council (2004) 
  • University Transportation Center Student of the Year Award (2001-2002) 
  • University of Idaho and Engineering Deans Lists, and Deans Scholarship (1997-2001)

Recent Publications

Novotny, A., Doerzaph, Z., & Basantis, A. (2019). Pre-Rear End Positioning and Risk Extenuation System. Paper presented at the 5th International Symposium on Future Active Safety Technology toward Zero Accidents (FAST-zero-19), Blacksburg, VA.

Basantis, A., Doerzaph, Z., Harwood, L., & Neurauter, L. (2019). Developing a Standardized Performance Evaluation of Vehicles with Automated Driving Features. SAE International Journal of Connected and Automated Vehicles, 2(3). doi:10.4271/12-02-03-0011

Viray, R., White, E., Mollenhauer, M., & Doerzaph, Z. (2018). System Overview and Descriptive Evaluation of Baseline Communication Performance of the Virginia Connected Corridors. Paper presented at the 25thITS World Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Doerzaph, Z. (2018). Connected and Automated Vehicle Research. Paper presented at the Presented to the Intelligent Transportation Systems of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

Basantis, A., Bloomquist, E., Grambo, P., Greatcatch, R., Haus, S., Novotny, A., . . . Doerzaph, Z. (2018). Development of the Pre-Rear End Risk Extenuation System (PREPARES). Paper presented at the NHTSA 26th Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) Student Competition, Eindhoven, Netherlands. 

Doerzaph, Z. (2017). Infrastructure Considerations for Connected and Automated Vehicles. Presented at the Transportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting Washington, DC.

Song, M., McLaughlin, S., & Doerzaph, Z. (2017). An On-Road Evaluation of Connected Motorcycle Crash Warning Interface with Different Motorcycle Types. Transportation Research Part C, 74, 34-50.

Doerzaph, Z. (2015). Safety Pilot Integrated Vehicle Warning Research Overview. SAE 2015 Active Safety Systems Symposium. Troy, MI: Society of Automotive Engineers.

Doerzaph, Z. (2014). Consumer Attitudes Towards Advanced Automotive Safety. Advanced Automotive Safety 2014. Novi, MI: Telematics Update.

Harwood, L., Klauer, S., & Doerzaph, Z. (2014). Cell Phone Resting Locations; Use of the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study to Determine the Most Frequent In-Vehicle Cell Phone Placement and Containers. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2434, 72-79.