Rich Hanowski, Director

Center for Truck and Bus Safety

Richard J. Hanowski is a Research Scientist at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and serves as the Director of the Center for Truck and Bus Safety. Hanowski earned his Ph.D. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2000. He has formal training in human factors engineering, systems design, safety, research methods, experimental design, statistics, training, and human-computer interaction. His experience includes transportation human factors with both heavy and light vehicles, laboratory and field testing, real-time automobile and heavy vehicle simulation, advanced system development and testing, design guideline development, and human performance evaluation. Hanowski is skilled in all phases of research including conceptual framing, research design, data collection/synthesis/analysis, assessment of results, and presentation of findings.

VTTI's Center for Truck and Bus Safety, which Hanowski directs, employs approximately 20 researchers. Hanowski has served as Principal Investigator or Co-PI on approximately 60 projects, managing over $40 Million in contract research. He has successfully assembled, led and managed multi-disciplinary and multi-organizational research teams. He currently serves as the Project Manager for an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Hanowski is the author of more than 200 publications including journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, and technical reports. His research, which has had an impact on national transportation policy (e.g., Hours-of-Service for truck drivers, driver distraction/texting, speed limiters for commercial vehicles), has been featured in the media including the NY Times and Washington Post, and in television segments on CNN, the Discovery Channel and the Weather Channel. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the ITS America, Safety Forum Committee and is a member of the ITS America Coordinating Council (2010-present). From 2000-2002, he served as Chairman of the ITS America, Safety & Human Factors Committee.

In addition, he is a Driver Impairment subject matter expert for the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence and is an expert on 'distracted driving,' particularly pertaining to commercial vehicle drivers. He was selected by the U.S. DOT to serve as one of six international experts on 'distracted driving' to develop a definition, research agenda, and provide domain expertise. His research has impacted national transportation policies such as truck driver hours of service and driver distraction/texting.

Hanowski has received several research awards including the 2008 SAE Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award, the 2008 SAE Arch T. Colwell Merit Award, both the 2000 and 1997 First Place Award for Outstanding Research in the Physical Sciences and Engineering at Virginia Tech, the 2009-2010 Governor's Awards Program Nominee (Virginia), and the 2011 SAE International L. Ray Buckendale Lecture Award. Hanowski is currently a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Society of Automotive Engineers.