Job Listings

Human Factors Transportation Researcher

Company:
Virginia Tech
Job Location:
Blacksburg, Virginia
Category:
Laboratory and Research

Job Description

Make a difference while working with the latest technologies in a field that affects the safety and quality of lives of almost everyone. Transportation is undergoing an incredible transformation towards autonomous vehicles and you can play a part in the implementation of automated technologies in heavy trucks. At the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), a world-leading research enterprise, we are working with government agencies, transportation and safety organizations, vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, and others to overcome these challenges and improve transportation safety and performance on the world's roads.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj4VWviw5JA).

The Division of Freight, Transit, and Heavy Vehicle Safety (DHVY), a research-focused group within VTTI, seeks qualified and ambitious engineering, human factors, or traffic safety professionals with a strong background in psychology, safety, and/or vehicle technology. The ideal candidate is an experienced researcher capable supporting (as a research associate) or leading (as a senior research associate) research projects and working collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams to improve transportation safety through cutting edge research. Research projects range from test track experiments using a single vehicle to largescale naturalistic driving studies that involve collecting data from hundreds of vehicles on public roadways. The candidate must be interested in working with heavy vehicles, including commercial trucks, transit buses, and motorcoaches. The candidate must also be interested in automation and learning how it impacts safety. The successful candidate will contribute to the conceptualization of research and proposal development with principal investigators. With guidance, the successful applicant will manage the day to day operations of research projects including: literature reviews, research design, research execution, data analysis, report writing, presentations, and publications. Experience with human factors research in transportation or related fields and expertise in statistical analyses is preferred. Proficiency with data collection and working knowledge of analysis software packages is desired. The applicant must be interested in improving transportation safety and be willing to work on multiple projects in a fast paced, demanding, and highly rewarding research environment. VTTI provides opportunities for professional advancement and a pay for performance structure.

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE RANK - Research Associates will be expected to provide input into the design and initiation of research. They are expected to make contributions toward the preparation of budgets but will have limited responsibility and/or authority in the project management process. Work will be supportive in nature and contribute to the overall program/project success. They may supervise junior level team members and student employees as assigned. Duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Assist in the development of proposals
  • Research and assist in the composition of literature reviews
  • Assist with the conceptualization and creation of work plans, protocols, and procedures
  • Coordinate and collaborate with subcontractors and interface with stakeholders and sponsors as required
  • Prepare and analyze data
  • Develop and manage software
  • Interpret results and develop robust conclusions
  • Write research reports
  • Present research findings
Directions given and received:
  • Work with peers, research assistants, undergrad students, technicians and support staff to coordinate project tasks to ensure timely completion.
  • Must be able to work effectively independently with oversight as well as within multidisciplinary project teams as appropriate.
SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE RANK: As a senior team member, the successful candidate will contribute to the conceptualization of research and proposal development and serve in both principal investigator and co-principal investigator capacities. The successful applicant will manage the day-to-day operations of research projects and conduct various project research tasks, including literature reviews, research design, research execution, data analysis, report writing, presentations, and publications. Experience with human factors research in transportation or related fields and expertise in statistical analyses is preferred. Proficiency and working knowledge of computer vision and machine learning based software is required. The applicant should have an interest in improving transportation safety and be willing to work on multiple projects in a fast paced, demanding, and yet highly rewarding research environment.

Duties and responsibilities will include:
  • Lead in the development of proposals and assist other senior researchers in the development of proposals
  • Perform and/or oversee literature reviews
  • Lead and assist conceptualization and creation of work plans, protocols, and procedures
  • Review, critique, and revise research plans and reports
  • Coordinate and collaborate with subcontractors and interface with stakeholders and sponsors
  • Maintain existing sponsor relationships, develop new relationships with potential sponsors, and solicit research funding
  • Prepare and analyze data
  • Develop and maintain software
  • Interpret results and develop robust conclusions
  • Write research reports
  • Present and publish research findings
Directions given and received:
  • Communicate project objectives, provide feedback on proposed research plans, and manage project logistics as a principal investigator and project managers.
  • Supervise or coordinate the work of other researchers, graduate research assistants, students, technicians, and research staff who assist in specific assignments.
  • Must be able to work effectively independently as well as within multidisciplinary project teams as appropriate.
VTTI provides opportunities for professional advancement and a pay for performance compensation structure. The starting salary range for Research Associates begins at $53,500; however, offers will be commensurate with experience. The starting salary range for Senior Research Associates begins at $79,570; however, offers will be commensurate with experience.

Required Qualifications

General:

  • Thorough understanding of research methodology designs and analytical methods.
  • Proficiency with descriptive and inferential statistical analysis techniques.
  • Must have strong communication skills and organizational skills.
  • Willingness to work on solving complex problems and develop solutions that will improve safety on our nation's roadways.
  • Willingness to learn extensively about heavy vehicle automated driving systems.
  • Experience conducting literature reviews
  • Experience designing and executing research protocols and collecting data in human factors research
  • Experience writing reports, presentations, and publications.
  • Working knowledge of analysis software packages
  • Research Associate rank will require a master's degree in engineering, human factors, statistics, psychology, science, or related field. Candidates with a lesser degree and significant experience in transportation safety in lieu of master's degree will also be considered.
Senior Research Associate rank will require a PhD in engineering, psychology, science, public health, or related field with research experience in transportation safety. Candidates with a lesser degree and significant experience in lieu of PhD will also be considered.

Preferred Qualifications

Previous experience in transportation research (e.g., vehicle or systems automation and/or commercial trucks or buses).

Appointment Type

Restricted

Salary Information

Starting rate of $53,500 for Research Associate and $79,570 for Senior Research Associate Rank, Commensurate with experience.. See position summary for more detail.

Review Date

05/16/2022

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Lisa Eichelbergerat lisae@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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