Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Faculty and Students

The Safe-D UTC is committed to training the next generation of transportation professionals and has a variety of opportunities available for both faculty and student involvement. Faculty and students that participate in Safe-D UTC research projects will gain access to state-of-the-art research facilities at VTTI, TTI, and SDSU, and students will have the opportunity to interface with potential employers through internships and collaborative research projects.

Opportunities for students and faculty within the Safe-D UTC are highlighted below:

  • The Safe-D Research program holds calls for new projects up to two times per year. Each project funded by Safe-D requires student involvement and has the potential to develop into a thesis or dissertation project. Safe-D research targets innovative topics and produce results that will be immediately impactful for to the developers of next-generation systems, thus maximizing our ability to make tangible safety improvements. Safe-D encourages research proposals which fall within the Safe-D theme areas of Connected Vehicles, Automated Vehicles, Transportation as a Service, and Big Data Analytics.
  • Leadership has been interwoven into the core of the Safe-D UTC. Professional skills training, summer internship programs, visiting scholars programs, and other leadership programs are available through the variety of leadership opportunities that Safe-D provides for both faculty and students. Safe-D is also always open to assisting faculty in developing new leadership opportunities through the funding of short-course, workshop, and other leadership program development.
  • The Safe-D UTC prioritizes Education and Workforce Development to connect with future transportation leaders at all educational and career stages. Safe-D also provides exposure to non-degree programs at each consortium member university, such as graduate certificates and internship opportunities. Each Safe-D research project includes an education and workforce development component, which will develop new learning materials for reaching educational audiences, such as though K-12 outreach, college-level lecture materials, or professional development curriculum materials. Safe-D is also open to receiving proposals from faculty members to develop instructional materials for educating transportation students and industry professionals in the Safe-D theme areas.
  • Disruptive technologies are revolutionizing the transportation industry. Through the combined technology transfer programs provided by consortium member universities and a dedicated Technology Transfer Coordinator, Safe-D seeks to capitalize on this rare opportunity by providing knowledge through accelerated and impactful Technology Transfer. Each research project funded by Safe-D requires a technology transfer plan, promoting the implementation of project results through direct stakeholder outreach, technical briefs, workshops, journals, short courses, and other activities. Proposals for projects strictly regarding technology transfer in the Safe-D theme areas can also be submitted for funding under this program.
  • The Safe-D consortium recognizes the importance of Diversity and has interwoven diversity efforts throughout our programs. While the numbers of underrepresented students (URSs) in STEM bachelor’s and master’s programs have risen somewhat since 1991, the proportion who receive doctorates in these fields remains below 10%, and there remain steep decreases in the proportion of URS participation at every stage of the education pipeline. We believe that hands-on funded research experience is a great mechanism for attracting young URSs to the transportation profession and maintaining that interest throughout their attainment of advanced degrees and rewarding careers. Therefore, consortium member universities are proud to offer multiple programs geared toward engaging URSs in the Safe-D research program. As part of this initiative, Safe-D welcome invitations for faculty and students to participate in outreach activities which reach a broad audience in promoting the mission of Safe-D.

As a faculty member or student, the first step to getting more involved with the Safe-D National UTC is to gain access to the Safe-D Researcher Portal. Here you will find detailed information on Safe-D programs, upcoming calls for proposals, and more.