(February 19, 2018) The ISE Department would like to welcome Dr. Charlie Klauer, associate professor in human factors engineering and ergonomics, to the ISE department in Spring 2018 semester, as part of a joint appointment with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).
Dr. Klauer has been working with VTTI since 2000 as a research scientist and group leader for teen risk and injury prevention in the Center for Vulnerable Road User Safety. Before that, she was a research scientist at Batelle Human Factors Transportation Center from 1996-1999 and a human factors engineer for Symvionics, Inc. at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from 1994-1996. She received her Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering here at VT, an M.S. in human factors psychology at Wright State University, and a B.A. in psychology from Minnesota State University at Moorhead.
Dr. Klauer’s main research interests include driver distraction, novice teen drivers, and driver fatigue. Her research has been widely read and recognized; she received a Top 15 Most Read Article commendation from the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014. One of her studies was named 58th “Most Talked About” by Altmetric.com (also in 2014). She also won a Best Article Award in “Ergonomics in Design” from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) in 2012.
As an ISE alum, Dr. Klauer has a unique perspective in coming back to the department and integrating her professional experience with her human factors education. She says, “I have had the privilege of working 10 plus years at VTTI, which is a very unique and dynamic research institute solving real-world transportation problems. When I was an ISE graduate student, I was also lucky enough to work at this same institute where I was able to directly apply what I was learning in the classroom. Looking back on this experience, I realize how phenomenal this experience was for me as a student and how important it was to my overall success as a human factors engineer. I want to provide this same experience to future graduate students as our transportation system is undergoing transformative change. We will need fresh ideas and new ways to solve the problems we are facing. I want to provide this unique research environment to future graduate students to help educate and train our future transportation systems engineers who will be at the crux of improving highway safety.”
In working with potential Ph.D. students, Dr. Klauer says she is “looking for students who are passionate about applying systems engineering principles toward saving lives on our nations’ highways.” She adds, “I am hoping to develop transportation-related courses over the next few years and building and integrating a unique transportation human factors program within the existing ISE department that will attract the best and brightest transportation HF students to VT.”
Whenever she has spare time, Dr. Klauer spends time running, walking, biking, or hiking on the various outdoor trails in Blacksburg. She says, “We live in such a beautiful area of the country and I try to get out and enjoy nature as much as I possibly can.”