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February 23, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Sherrard
(202) 994-1423;


WASHINGTON - Developing improvements to highway and vehicle safety will be the top priority of The George Washington University's National Crash Analysis Center during the next five years. A grant for more than $19 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration will fund research and development of advanced crash analysis technologies at the University.

"The grant builds on 15 years of collaboration with our federal partners, who have joined with the automotive industry in supporting our research on innovative ways of preventing injuries and saving lives," said GW President Steven Knapp.

Donald R. Lehman, executive vice president for academic affairs and George Gamow Professor of Theoretical Physics, said, "The National Crash Analysis Center has been a centerpiece of academic and transportation research activity at GW and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The numerous faculty and students involved in GW's transportation safety research are leaders, not only in academia, but in the industry worldwide."

"The School of Engineering and Applied Science takes great pride in the contributions that our faculty has made to transportation safety through the National Crash Analysis Center," said David S. Dolling, dean of the school. "This recent grant from the Federal Highway Administration reflects the confidence that our partners have in our ability to continue producing state-of-the-art crash analyses and other life-saving research."

The research grant, entitled "Advanced Crash Analysis to Improve Safety and Security," will be overseen by Cing-Dao "Steve" Kan, director of the National Crash Analysis Center, GW professor, and principal investigator on the project.

Kan said, "For the past 15 years, the center has developed unique capabilities in crash analysis, crash data statistics, simulation and modeling, and vehicle and barrier design, among other research findings. The capabilities, expertise, and resources housed within the National Crash Analysis Center are not duplicated elsewhere in the world at this level."

Using the grant funding, the center's researchers will work toward several objectives, including:

- Conducting advanced crash research to assist researchers and engineers in resolving transportation safety and security issues;

- Applying advanced research methods and techniques for the development and evaluation of vehicles, road features and hardware, and infrastructure protection systems to improve safety and security;

- Advancing the state-of-the-art in crash analysis methods and computer simulation and modeling technologies;

- Conducting full-scale crash and component vehicle impact testing to validate computer models and produce relevant data for crash analysis to improve highway and vehicle safety and physical security;

Research findings and the applications of advanced technologies will be shared with other researchers, practitioners, and decision makers to enhance awareness of safety and security issues. The National Crash Analysis Center also will continue to house Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash test videos and documentation in a national library to improve access to these resources.

The National Crash Analysis Center is a collaborative effort among the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and The George Washington University. Chartered in 1992 at GW's School of Engineering and Applied Science, the NCAC primarily supports the U.S. Department of Transportation's strategic goal to reduce fatalities and injuries on the nation's roadways, but has served to enhance efforts to improve safety worldwide.

The GW Virginia Campus is the University's research and technology campus, with nearly a dozen research centers of excellence and laboratories, and offers more than 20 graduate degree and certificate programs. The 100-acre campus is located in the Dulles business and technology corridor in the University Center on Route 7 in Ashburn.

For more information on the National Crash Analysis Center, visit
For more news about The George Washington University, visit

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