Dr. Sophia Vardaki holds a diploma in Surveying Engineering and a PhD in Transportation Engineering with a focus on road safety. She is currently a senior researcher and laboratory teaching staff member in the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens, as well as an external freelance researcher. She has over 25 years of experience in R&D activities and has acted as a principal investigator and co-investigator in several European and national and international research projects. Furthermore, Dr. Vardaki has provided consultancy services in highway design and safety projects and road safety audits. Her background includes (broadly) research on road safety, road safety auditing, consultation in highway engineering, and teaching.
Dr. Vardaki’s scientific expertise and research/professional interests include driver behavior, attitudes and interaction with the road environment, particularly older drivers and those with neurological diseases, including surveys, field observations, driving simulation and data mining using the SHRP2 NDS and RID resources. She has experience in examining road safety and human factors issues in road design and operations. Following her training by the BIVV/CARA (Belgisch Institut voor de Verkeersveiligheid vzw, Brussels) in performance assessment of elderly drivers during practical on-road driving tests, she developed a protocol for evaluating driving performance of elders. She is an accredited road safety auditor and has experience in road safety audits and road safety inspections. She has developed educational material and curricula on the topic of human factors in road design and operations for candidate road safety auditors in Greece. She has been an educator on professional development and road safety audit (RSA) accreditation courses for experienced highway engineers in Greece. She has developed road safety education material for road users and road safety training courses and educational material for undergraduate students in the School of Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens.
She has experience in the development of road safety strategic plans for Greece and in the application of science-based research results in safety policies/programs. She has developed road safety interventions in engineering and education, incorporating the Safe System approach to road traffic. She is an experienced communicator of safety concepts and research results to public and private sector stakeholders, road user groups, professionals, undergraduate and post-graduate students, and the general public, through presentations and consultation documents on road safety education and traffic safety culture, road safety strategic planning, improvements of infrastructure safety and road safety auditing. She has assisted in the development of NCHRP Report 600, Human Factor Guidelines for Road Systems, Washington, D.C. (2012) and Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems – 3rd edition (Project NCHRP 17-80) (ongoing) as a member of the Working Group. She has provided assistance to the Greek Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks preparing briefings and internal reports related to European Union legislation, road safety auditors’ accreditation, infrastructure safety management and infrastructure safety material. As a member of the Road Safety and Driving Behavior Committee of the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Road Safety Observatory of the Technical Chamber of Greece she has prepared reports and consultation documents in the professional area of road safety engineering. She has also developed consultation documents for the Hellenic Cross-Party Parliamentary Committee on Road Safety. As a member of the former Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Safe Mobility of Older Persons (ANB60) she has delivered lectures for Human Factors Workshops in TRB Annual Meetings.
Her published work includes more than 65 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. She is a member of several professional and scientific organizations and committees such as the TRB Committee on Human Factors of Infrastructure Design and Operations (ACH40), the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the Technical Chamber of Greece. She is also a reviewer for a number of international scientific journals and conferences. Her published work includes more than 65 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Vardaki is a member of several professional and scientific organizations and committees such as the TRB Committee on Human Factors of Infrastructure Design and Operations (ACH40), the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the Technical Chamber of Greece. She is also a reviewer for a number of international scientific journals and conferences.