New Speaker Series Coming Soon

U.S. DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

View Online

Volpe The National Transportation Systems Center

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

June 29, 2017


How Traditional Aviation Testing Can Inform Unmanned Aerial Technologies


Concepts that a decade ago might have seemed at the outer limits of aviation are closer than ever to reality. With the possibility that someday automated aircraft will move people, what would happen if concepts from traditional aviation were applied to drone design?

U.S. DOT Volpe Center engineer Seamus McGovern explored this question in an award-winning paper.

Image of plane and UAS
gray border image

New Series Kicks Off with Deputy Transportation Secretary Rosen

Image of U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Rosen

Friday, September 15, 2017
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey A. Rosen will kick off the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s newest thought leadership speaker series, The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System, which will explore challenges and opportunities affecting the advancement of transportation systems.

Transforming Transportation continues the Volpe Center’s long history of convening thought leaders, decision makers, and stakeholders from across the global transportation enterprise to anticipate future transportation issues, generate fresh approaches to emerging issues, anticipate transportation trends, and inform decision making.

Learn more and register to attend. 

Volpe Home Volpe Linked In Volpe Linked In
Image of new speaker series logo

New Thought Leadership Speaker Series Coming Soon

Automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, sensing technology, and computing will transform the future of travel and commerce. Technological advances continue to change the national and global transportation landscape at an unprecedented pace.

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s upcoming speaker series—The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System—will explore challenges and opportunities affecting the advancement of transportation systems. Learn more about the new series.

Image of reporters

Analyzing Online Media Reporting of Rail Suicide and Trespass Incidents

Responsible media reporting on rail suicide and trespass incidents can inform the public and help those in need. However, media reporting of such events can also lead to copycat incidents. A new study illuminates common reporting practices that could increase suicide contagion on the rail system. Read the study’s key findings and recommendations.

Image of Rachel Sack

WTS International Honors Rachael Barolsky Sack with a “First of its Kind” Award

WTS International recently honored the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Small Business Innovation Research program manager for her exceptional leadership and commitment with its “Chapter President of the Year” award—the first honor of its kind granted by the association. Find out what made her stand out. 

Cambridge Science Festival Students

The Cambridge Science Festival Comes to U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center

Science lovers of all ages gathered at U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center to attend transportation events as part of the Cambridge Science Festival, an annual 10-day event that engages an estimated 50,000 people with science, technology, engineering, and math. Find out what our participants did with blocks, simulators, and transportation planning. 

Career Opportunity: Center Director for Safety Management and Human Factors

We seek a dynamic and innovative leader to serve as Center Director for Safety Management and Human Factors at U.S. DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This position oversees five technical divisions.

The ideal candidate must have expertise leading applied research and technology projects in safety management systems and/or human factors in the transportation field. Learn more and apply.

Volpe Experts in the Field

Volpe staff engaged in the following noteworthy activities in May and June:

  • Automated Vehicles: Dr. Scott Smith moderated a session on automated vehicles at the TRB National Transportation Planning Applications Conference, held May 14-18 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

  • Infrastructure: Luisa Paiewonsky moderated a panel discussion titled “Advocacy for Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure” on May 24 at the Boston Society of Civil Engineers annual Bertram Berger Seminar in Boston, Massachusetts. 

  • Measurement and Modeling: Chris Cutler participated in a NASA flight test of the Tecnam P2006T at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. This aircraft will later be modified as a NASA X-57 experimental hybrid-electric aircraft. Cutler gathered equipment details and technical information that will help Volpe’s acoustic team prepare for the X-57 flight test and other future measurement campaigns.

  • Measurement and Modeling: Juliet Page led a sonic boom test at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The measurements included human social surveys and operational verification of low-boom measurement equipment. These efforts are a precursor to 2018 quiet sonic boom dose-response tests, which will inform an X-plane effort to gather necessary community response data to enable supersonic overland flight.

  • Rail Safety: Dr. Scott Gabree and Bianka Mejia participated in a panel aimed at improving media reporting of suicides that occur on the rail system in the Northeast Corridor. During this event, which was hosted by Amtrak at Penn Station in New York City on June 15, Volpe provided an overview of rail-specific media concerns and preliminary thoughts for how to encourage responsible reporting practices. The panel’s goal is to work with industry to develop recommendations that could be used by stakeholders to help encourage responsible reporting following a rail fatality.

  • Vehicle Safety: Jared Young presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Eric Nadler and Dr. Donald Fisher titled Benefits of One and Two-Stage Crash Warning Systems on Transit Buses at the 25th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, held June 5-8 in Detroit, Michigan.



Hazardous Materials Transportation

Transportation Planning

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology