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Zachary Doerzaph, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
  • President, Global Center for Automotive Performance and Simulation
  • Associate Professor
Doerzaph Zac 1
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Research Areas

  • Automotive Safety

Research Interests

Dr. Zachary Doerzaph serves as the executive director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and as president of the Global Center for Automotive Performance and Simulation (GCAPS), a university-affiliated non-profit research and development company. In addition, Doerzaph is an associate professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.

Dr. Doerzaph coordinates a large research team of faculty, staff, 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 the human condition through research leadership relating to advanced vehicle and roadway infrastructure design, development, and evaluation including topics such as 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 and infrastructure 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

  • Virginia Business 100 People to Meet in 2022 (11/29/2021-12/31/2022).  Ranked as CNBC’s Top State for Business for two consecutive years, Virginia earned the distinction in part for its “wealth of colleges and universities.” I was one of educators and leaders who are helping to grow that national reputation for academic excellence. 
  • VT Presidents Council (2021-present)
  • VT Academic Affairs Council  (2021-present)
  • Research and Innovation Council (2021-present)
  • Road to Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (RIDE) of VTTI (2021–present)
  • Virginia Tech HPC Investment Committee (2021-present)
  • Commonwealth Cyber Initiative SWVA Innovation Board (2022-present)
  • Qualifying Exam Committee, BEAM (2018-2023)
  • Honorifics Committee, BEAM (2017- present)
  • "Distinguished Leader in Research", Virginia Tech Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, 2021, 2023
  • Associate Editor:  SAE International Journal of Connected and Automated Vehicles (2017-present)
  • Representative:  BEAM Engineering Faculty Representative, Alternate (2019-present)
  • Member:  NoVA Transportation Authority Transportation Technology Committee (2019-present)
  • Member:  VTTI Safety Review Committee (lead reviewer 2018-2021)
  • Member:  Honorifics Committee, Biomedical and Engineering Mechanics Department (2017-present)
  • Member:  Board of Directors, Intelligent Transportation systems Virginia Chapter (2016-present)
  • Member:  Indy Autonomous Vehicle Challenge Planning Committee (2019)
  • Chairman: SAE Crash Causation and Data Analysis Committee (2011-2019)
  • Member:  International Organizing Committee & Scientific Committee, Future Active Safety Technology toward Zero Accidents (FAST-zero) International Conference (2018-2019)

Selected Publications

Novotny, A., Bloomquist, E., Basantis, A., Rossi-Alvarex, A., Riexinger, L., Greatbatch, R., Haus, S., Doerzaph, Z. (2022). Concept Development of the Novel Pre Rear-End Positioning and Risk Extenuation System (PREPARES). International Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems Research, 20, 805–817.

Nayak, A., Eskandarian, A., & Doerzaph, Z. (2022). Uncertainty Estimation of Pedestrian Future Trajectory Using Bayesian Approximation. IEEE Open Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems. DOI:10.1109/ojits.2022.3205504

Kim, H.*, Song, M., & Doerzaph, Z. (2022). Is Driving Automation Used as Intended? Real-World Use of Partially Automated Driving Systems and their Safety Consequences. In Transportation Research Record (Vol. 2676, pp. 30-37). doi:10.1177/03611981211027150

Basantis, A.*, Miller, M., Doerzaph, Z., & Neurauter, M. L. (2021). Assessing Alternative Approaches for Conveying Automated Vehicle "Intentions". IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC. doi:10.1109/THMS.2021.3106892

Mao, H., Guo, F., Deng, X., & Doerzaph, Z. (2021). Decision-adjusted Driver Risk Predictive Models using Kinematics Information. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 156. doi:

Jin, H., Sharma, R., Meng, Y., Untaroiu, A., Doerzaph, Z., Dobrovolny, C. S., & Untaroiu, C. (2020). Evaluation of the Injury Risks of Truck Occupants Involved in a Crash as a Result of Errant Truck Platoons. SAE International Journal of Transportation Safety, 8(1), 14.

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

Doerzaph, Z. (2018). Innovation and America’s Infrastructure: Examining the Effects of Emerging Autonomous Technologies on America’s Roads and Bridges. Testimony Presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Washington DC Retrieved from Innovation and America’s Infrastructure: Examining the Effects of Emerging Autonomous Technologies on America’s Roads and Bridges - Hearings - U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works