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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

Safety Management and Human Factors

U.S. DOT Volpe Center employee using the FRA Grade Crossing Driving Simulator
U.S. DOT Volpe Center staff using the FRA Grade Crossing Driving Simulator, housed at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center's Human Factors Lab. (U.S. DOT Volpe Center image)

About Us

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Safety Management and Human Factors Center improves transportation safety by developing and applying innovative safety management and human factors processes and principles to our sponsors’ research and demonstration projects.

We collaborate with our sponsors, which include FAA, FMCSA, NHTSA, and other U.S. DOT modes in addition to DOD and others, to advance research and improve business practices, by identifying, developing, and communicating state-of-the-art practices in safety management and human performance.

Our team includes IT and computer scientists, program analysts, business operations analysts, transportation industry analysts, human factors engineering psychologists, operations research analysts, and engineers among other disciplines.

We develop and apply cutting-edge approaches to safety management (including safety assurance, hazard analysis, safety culture, communication, and regulation support) and safety data to extend utility and enable transparency.

We pioneer ways to improve the interactions between humans, transportation systems, and current and emerging technologies that enhance transportation safety, security, and productivity.

Our Impact

Our Priorities

The results of our work equip transportation decision-makers at all levels of government and industry with the information and tools necessary to:

  • Determine how best to allocate resources to mitigate risks in the transportation system
  • Efficiently and effectively conduct safety oversight and enforcement
  • Improve the overall safety of transportation, reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage
  • Design transportation systems to reduce the likelihood and minimize the consequences of human error

Our Portfolio

We partner with key administration officials and other federal career leaders, adding value through technical excellence, innovation, and a commitment to public service. Learn more about our sponsors.

Meet Our Team

Our Organization

Our Technical Center is organized into four divisions—each specializing in a different facet and mode of safety management and human factors.

Our Leadership

Maura LohrenzMaura Lohrenz

Technical Center Director

Maura Lohrenz, director of the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Safety Management and Human Factors Technical Center, has more than 15 years of experience in human factors and human-system interaction, specializing in flight deck displays, mission planning systems, and tactical decision aids.

In her role as center director for Safety Management and Human Factors, Lohrenz oversees four technical areas.

Read Maura Lohrenz’s full bio.