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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Randa Radwan named director of Highway Safety Research Center

Randa Radwan

The new director of Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center is Randa Radwan, the fifth person and first woman to lead one of the nation’s first and most renowned transportation safety research centers. She began work on Dec. 3.

“Randa Radwan’s commitment to transportation safety over her 25-year career makes her exceptionally qualified to lead the premiere center for highway safety and its team of dedicated researchers and students,” said Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor for research.

“Technology and data are more connected to transportation safety than ever before, and HSRC’s unparalleled expertise makes it well positioned to study the safety impact of the transformative innovations in these areas,” Radwan said. “I am thrilled and honored to be working closely with HSRC’s talented researchers and in collaboration with the research community at Carolina and at large to both continue and broaden the important work of reducing the number of deaths and injuries on our roadways.”

Radwan has extensive experience in transportation safety and vehicle crashworthiness research. After earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rice University, she started her career at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For 17 years, Radwan served as a research program manager there, directing research in side crash protection, vehicle upper interior protection, vehicle and restraint system model development, crash test instrumentation and signal analysis. Radwan led a multi-disciplinary research program from concept to the notice for proposed rulemaking for NHTSA’s 2007 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for side crash protection, which annually has been forecasted to save over 300 lives and reduce 400 serious injuries.

Radwan earned her doctorate in transportation safety engineering from George Washington University in 2015 while working full time as the director of advanced research and a senior research scientist at the university’s National Crash Analysis Center. She also served as adjunct faculty in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. While at GWU, Radwan directed innovative research in transportation safety, including vehicle fleet and occupant modeling and the characterization of frontal vehicle crashes and roadside motorcycle crashes on state and national roadways.

“HSRC is thrilled to welcome Randa Radwan to our team,” said Laura Sandt, the center’s senior research associate and associate director. “Her expertise in vehicle safety performance and advanced technologies and experience fostering international partnerships with automakers, safety regulators and other researchers are great additions to HSRC’s foundational research in roadway and behavioral transportation safety.”