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Zachary Doerzaph, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
  • Director, Center for Advanced Automotive Research, VTTI
  • Associate Professor
Doerzaph Zac 1
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Research Areas

  • Automotive Safety
  • 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

  • "Distinguished Leader in Research", Virginia Tech Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, 2021
  • 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-present)
  • 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)

Recent Publications

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

Doerzaph, Z. (2020). A Simple Method for Standardized Performance Evaluation of Vehicles with Automated Driving Features. Invited Presentation to:  Verification and Validation Task Force under SAE’s On-Road Automated Driving (ORAD) Committee

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.

Sykes, K., Basantis, A., Dingus, T., Murray-Tuite, P., Neurauter, L., & Doerzaph, Z. (2020). Human Factors Evaluation of an In-Vehicle Active Traffic and demand Management (ATDM) System. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 71, 119-144.

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

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.

Noble, A. M., Kusano, K. D., Scanlon, J. M., Doerzaph, Z. R., & Gabler, H. C. (2016). Driver Approach and Traversal Trajectories for signalized Intersections Using Naturalistic Data. Paper presented at the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting, Washington DC.

Owens, J., Antin, J., Doerzaph, Z., & Willis, S. (2015). Cross-generational acceptance of and interest in advanced vehicle technologies: A nationwide survey. Transportation Research Part F(35), 139-151.

Sarkar, A., Abbott, A. L., & Doerzaph, Z. (2014). Assessment of Psychophysiological Characteristics Using Heart Rate from Naturalistic Face Video Data. Paper presented at the IEEE International Joint Conference on Biometrics, Clearwater, FL.