Senior Research Associate-VTTI

Virginia Tech
Virginia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Closing date
Sep 29, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Engineering, Other Science & Technology, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Institutional Research & Planning, Research Administration
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Details

Job Description

There are jobs. Then there are careers that foster you to be a force for good in the world. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is a world-leading safety research center working with car companies, suppliers, and government agencies to bring about the safe development and deployment of automated vehicles on our roadways. Transportation is under transformation, so every day we are approaching problems differently to make a difference in the world (

VTTI seeks qualified ambitious research engineers interested in answering complex questions surrounding automated vehicle systems. The candidate should have an aptitude for applying mechanical and physics based analyses to research questions involving human and vehicle interaction. The candidate should be an experienced engineer capable of working independently and with multidisciplinary teams to improve transportation safety through cutting-edge research.

As a Senior Research Associate, this opening is pursuing applicants that demonstrate significant experience and skills in driving related analysis, proficiency in programming and familiarity with basic statistics. This position is expected to focus predominantly on driver support systems including autonomous vehicle systems.

Research projects range from small test-track experiments using a single next-generation vehicle to large naturalistic studies involving hundreds of vehicles on live roadways. The research often features data acquisition systems to unobtrusively collect various sensor elements with the aim of characterizing the roadway, vehicle, and driver performance. These measures and robust data sets are analyzed to address specific research questions that tend to focus on the characterization of existing transportation problems (e.g. crash causation) and/or the performance/development of advanced vehicle systems (e.g. crash avoidance technology).

Significant experience with working with vehicle sensor data, signal processing, and data analysis tools is preferred. The applicant must be comfortable and proficient in an environment where each project has some commonalities with previous efforts but poses many new challenges to solve.

Duties and responsibilities:|Conceptualize and organize customer needs into feasible open-road experiments, test track experiments, or analysis of large scale naturalistic driving databases as is appropriate.|Apply fundamental physics and engineering concepts to quantify driving situations particularly related to safety.|Develop program code for robust distillation of sensor and questionnaire data into informative summary data|Conduct routine data analysis and determine the accuracy and completeness of the data collected|Develop analysis code to process vehicle measures (e.g., accelerations, yaw, range to other vehicles) and describe or model events and alternative outcomes.|Write well documented, concise, and reliable code to perform various analysis tasks and subtasks of larger analyses.|Generate graphical and tabular summaries of large quantities of analyzed data.|Oversee instrumentation of vehicles to support research needs|Coordinate research support activities including video reduction tasks and recruiting|Execute appropriate statistical analyses for different research applications.|Oversee the daily operations of a project including schedule and budget maintenance.|Develop proposals and statements of work|Interface directly with sponsors to understand requirements and deliver technical presentations|Travel to research sites (requirement fluctuates but will generally be <25%)|Research and compose literature reviews|Compose, review, and critique reports and research plans|Present 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.
• May supervise or coordinate the work of other research associates, 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.

Required Qualifications

- Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering, Human Factors Engineering, Experimental and Human Factors Psychology, or similar fields. Candidates with a lesser degree and significant relevant experience will also be considered.
- Demonstrated experience and successes applying programming. in transportation or related field.
- Working knowledge of mechanical engineering / engineering physics principles.
- Ability to lead project teams and oversee project schedule, budgets, and deliverables.
- Demonstrated strong writing and organizational skills.
- Solid understanding of engineering principles needed to analyze, verify, and interpret work.
- Proficient in data processing and analysis.

Preferred Qualifications

- MATLAB and/or python programming experience.
- Machine Learning/Deep Learning/Artificial Intelligence background.
- Database programming.
- Motorcycle familiarity.
- Motorcycle license/endorsement.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with Experience

Review Date


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 veteran 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 Eichelberger) at ( during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Advertised: June 24, 2021
Applications close:

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