New documentary on rail safety, life-saving V2P technology, and innovative transportation solutions with General McDew.

Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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Volpe The National Transportation Systems Center

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

February 28, 2017


Introducing Volpe’s New Deputy Director for Research and Technology, Stephen Popkin


Stephen Popkin, PhD, is Volpe’s new deputy director for Research and Technology. In this role, Popkin will lead and manage Volpe’s suite of multimodal transportation research programs and will work with Director Anne Aylward on Volpe’s strategic vision.

Steve Popkin
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Cambridge Science Festival logo

Volpe Talks: Transportation Ideas Worth Sharing

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival, come and hear a series of short, live talks direct from Volpe team members working on emerging transportation issues such as maritime security, nonmotorized transportation, or advancing the flow of aviation traffic.

The talks will conclude with a tour of the Volpe’s simulators (how to drive a train, fly a plane, navigate an airfield), showcasing how Volpe is advancing transportation innovation for the public good.

Register to attend.


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Image of Dave Tyrell standing with a train crash.

NOVA Documentary on Rail Safety Features Volpe’s David Tyrell

The new NOVA documentary Why Trains Crash features Volpe’s David Tyrell, a principal technical advisor for train crashworthiness and safety. The documentary, which aired February 22 on PBS, explores recent rail tragedies and technological advances that can help prevent train crashes. Read more and watch the video.

Image of General Darren W. McDew

“Our Shared Transportation Future” with General Darren W. McDew

General McDew commands USTRANSCOM, which delivers global defense logistics anyplace, anytime, and for however long is needed. He recently came to Volpe to discuss the nation’s most pressing military and civilian transportation challenges, and the new thinking required for new solutions. Read the full story.

Image of Lumberton, North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew

Coordinating Emergency Transportation Response to Hurricane Matthew

When disasters hit, U.S. DOT deploys a team of emergency transportation representatives to coordinate large-scale transportation responsibilities that come with massive emergency response efforts. One of these representatives is Volpe’s Terry Sheehan. Read the full story.

Image of vehicle to pedestrian wireless communication.

Laying the Foundation for Vehicle-to-Pedestrian Communications

When a car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian takes the full brunt of the severe and sometimes fatal injuries. Vehicle-to-pedestrian communications can help avoid impacts or reduce the consequences when light vehicles collide with pedestrians. Read the full story.

Volpe staff assemble personal care kits.

Volpe Spreads the Love with Care Kits for the Homeless

The Volpe community helped spread the love this past Valentine’s Day by putting together care kits full of toiletries, water, snacks, socks, and handmade scarves for the homeless. Volpe employees created 100 personal care kits to donate to the Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place. Read the full story.

Volpe Staff at U.S. and International Events

Volpe staff were featured at the following events in January and February:                                     

  • Stephen Popkin facilitated the U.S. DOT Safety Council Meeting in Washington, D.C., on February 24.

  • Michael Dinning participated in a workshop focused on cybersecurity in the Internet of Things and smart cities, and multimodal payment systems to improve mobility. He led discussions on transportation payments and gave a presentation on payments for multimodal mobility. The workshop was sponsored by the Smart Card Alliance and hosted at the Utah Transit Authority February 1-2 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • Karen Van Dyke, Stephen Mackey, and Hadi Wassaf presented “DOT GPS Adjacent Band Compatibility Assessment Test Results” at the Institute of Navigation’s International Technical Meeting, held January 30 to February 3 in Monterey, California. The DOT GPS Adjacent Band Compatibility Assessment evaluates adjacent radiofrequency band power levels that can be tolerated by GPS and Global Navigation Satellite System receivers to better understand how such power levels impact transportation safety devices.

  • Gregg Fleming and David Pace participated in the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) Modelling and Databases Group, part of the International Civil Aviation Organization, in Denpasar, Indonesia, from January 30 to February 2. Fleming chaired and led the meeting and Pace presented a series of papers on modelling fleet evolution and how the economic environment can influence aircraft delivery and retirement trends.
Featured Volpe Reports


Motor Carrier Safety

Safety – Pedestrians and Bicyclists


Transportation Planning