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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Dr. Donald L. Fisher

Principal Technical Advisor for Surface Transportation Human Factors

Dr. Donald L. FisherDonald Fisher, PhD, is the principal technical advisor in Surface Transportation Human Factors at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. Prior to becoming a principal technical advisor, he served as a faculty fellow at Volpe for two years.

Dr. Fisher joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall of 1982. He became the head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 2009 and served in that capacity until August of 2015.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College, master’s degree from Harvard, and PhD from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Fisher is the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over $31 million in research funding, including grants from the following: 

  • Federal government: National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Centers for Disease Control
  • State government: Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau
  • Regional government: New England Transportation Consortium
  • Private and public foundations
  • Private industry

Dr. Fisher’s current research interests are in human factors and surface transportation, especially automated vehicles, distraction, and training. He is editor of the recently published Handbook of Driving Simulation for Engineering, Medicine, and Psychology and has over 450 scientific publications and presentations.

He has served on the editorial boards of the leading journals in human factors, has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences Human Factors Committee, and currently serves on a number of TRB committees.

Dr. Fisher has been asked to speak as an expert on transportation safety to state and federal officials (MassDOT, U.S. Congress, National Institutes of Health, National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center), to foundations (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety), to nationally convened expert panels (State Farm), and to international conventions as a keynote speaker (Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands).

Last updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2022