Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Featured Safe-D Student Interview: Alexis “Lexi” Basantis (VT/VTTI)

Alexis “Lexi” Basantis is a Safe-D student at VT/VTTI working on multiple Safe-D and VTTI projects, including Safe-D Project 03-082: Assessing Alternative Approaches for Conveying Automated Vehicle ‘Intentions’. Read her Safe-D Student interview below!

What are your research interests?

My research interests primarily lie in human factors of advanced vehicle technologies, specifically automated and connected vehicles.

How did you end up participating on a Safe-D project?

I started working on this project through support by my advisor Dr. Zac Doerzaph. We thought the project focused in on a key knowledge gap in the automated vehicle space and the Safe-D organization focus areas aligned well with the project we were proposing.

What is your role on the Safe-D project that you are working on?

I am one of the lead researchers on the project.

What do you like most about participating on this Safe-D project?

Through the project, I have a lot of independence and the ability to learn through “doing”.

What has working on this project allowed you to learn/do/practice?

Since I will be involved with the project from conception to data analysis, I have learned a lot about project development and management, which are key skills that I can apply to any sort of project or career I pursue in the future.

How has/will this project benefit your education and future career goals?

This project has not only allowed me to explore the human factors area more in depth, but it has also given me valuable project development and management experience.

Is your Safe-D project contributing to your thesis or dissertation? If so, when do you expect to complete your thesis/dissertation? If not, describe your thesis/dissertation topic and when you expect to complete it.

This project will be my thesis project. Hopefully I will be defending in August 2019.

What are your career goals? If you are nearing graduation and have already taken an employment position after graduation, which institution will you be working for?

I would like to continue working in the human factors area. I think the intersection of human performance and technology is fascinating and suits my skillset well.


The Safe-D Student and Faculty Interview Chain was created to encourage Safe-D students to facilitate contact with faculty and staff members participating on Safe-D projects via conducting a brief interview as a networking and career-building opportunity. To learn more about this initiative, please contact Safe-D Program Manager, Eric Glenn.