Careers at Virginia Tech

Senior Research Associate (VTTI/CIB)

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Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: Vice President for Research
Department: Virginia Tech Transportation Instit
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Categories: Transportation

Job Description

The Sr. Biomechanics Research Associate will have expertise in all aspects of the subject matter within the functional area of the assignment. Work will be planned and conducted with independent evaluation, utilizing adaptation and modification of standard techniques, procedures and criteria as needed. Duties and responsibilities: This position focuses on transportation-related safety issues. A large portion of the duties are devoted to the study of automotive crash, with specific application to impact biomechanics. Execution of crash sled and impact testing is a key component of this work. Roadside safety evaluation and statistical analyses using national databases are also key. Testing is conducted using post mortem human surrogates (PMHS). PMHS preparation and autopsy is central to this testing. Setup of data acquisition and imaging systems are part of this work. Reduction and analysis of transducer data and video sequences are important functions associated with this position. Directions given and received: Independently performs most assignments with instructions as to the general results expected: Receives technical guidance on unusual or complex problems and supervisory approval on proposed plans for projects: May supervise or coordinate the work of graduate research assistants, technicians, and others who assist in specific assignments: expected to generate publications and proposals.

The ideal candidate is a biomechanical engineer capable of conducting technical analyses related to injury potential and other injury-based principles and mitigation techniques to plan, develop, coordinate, and direct injury-based or crash-related transportation research projects. The candidate should also be willing to accept guidance for complex challenges and work in a team environment. The projects range in scope and may include:
• examining the impact of crash rates and fatalities on health outcomes as related to driver safety and performance;
• simulation-based analysis of vehicles crashes and guardrail systems ;
• research support of data collection efforts;
• analysis of transducer and video data;
• test and evaluation of systems, methods, and procedures designed to improve transportation safety and reducing vehicle-based injury;
• preparation and testing of PMHS;
• extraction and analysis of event data recorder (EDR) data
• support warfighter protection studies (primary and underbody blast)
The applicant must be interested in improving transportation safety, specifically injury prevention, and be willing to work on multiple projects in a fast-paced research environment.

The ideal candidate should have a proven track record of project management experience involving large, multispecialty teams. This includes monitoring project success and deliverable milestones, interacting with team personnel, successfully resolving issues as they arise, fiscal tracking, and proper communication with sponsors and contracting personnel.

Duties and responsibilities:
• Research and write literature reviews
• Review and critique reports and research plans
• Conceptualize and write work plans
• Process and analyze data
• Write research reports
• Present research findings
• Project management
• Proposal development (as the lead investigator)
• Travel (up to 25 percent of time)
• Directions given and received:
o receive instructions on project objectives,
o provided feedback on proposed research plans, and project logistics from principal investigators and project managers.
o supervise or coordinate the work of doctoral and masters level researchers as well as research assistants, students, technicians, and others who assist in specific assignments.

Due to the restrictions from the funding agencies, US Citizenship or Permanent Resident is required.

Required Qualifications

- PhD degree in mechanical or biomedical engineering
- Experience in Impact Biomechanics and Transportation Safety
- Prior experience in performing PMHS tests
- Experience with DTS data acquisition systems
- Experience with Vision Research imaging systems
- Expertise in statistical analyses
- Familiarity with crash sled testing
- Familiarity with the NHTSA WinSmash code
- Expertise in anatomy and autopsy procedures
- Willingness to work in a fast-paced research environment, including managerial skills to potentially coordinate technicians, researchers, undergraduate and graduate level student
- Ability to work on US DOT and DOD projects
- Ability to prepare successful proposals and manuscripts

Due to the restrictions from the funding agencies, US Citizenship or Permanent Resident is required.

Preferred Qualifications

- Familiarity with static and high-speed x-ray
- Experience analyzing injury-based data
- Supervisory or instructional experience


Appointment Type


Salary Information

Starting rate of $90,000; 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 military 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 Natalie Jett at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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