TTI Research ScientistRoadside Safety
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
1254 Avenue A, Room 100
Bryan, TX 77807
Dr. Silvestri Dobrovolny directs research for various State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Roadside Safety Pooled Fund Group, and University of Transportation Center (UTC) that designs and tests roadside safety hardware and physical security systems to improve the safety of transportation. These projects have used computer modeling, statistical evaluation, full-scale crash testing, and benefit-cost analysis to develop improved roadside hardware and installation practices aimed at improving roadside safety.
Dr. Silvestri Dobrovolny specializes in the field of structures with an emphasis on occupant protection and highway safety. She has extensive experience with the evaluation of a number of roadside safety devices, including guardrails, median barriers, guardrail/bridge rail transitions, and breakaway sign supports, and has developed guidelines for their use. She has co-authored more than 50 publications and presentations in this field.
Her active research includes finite element methods applied to different fields, from impact and structural mechanics to biomechanical applications. Dr. Silvestri Dobrovolny also has a wide range of experience in the development, validation, and use of computer simulation in the design, analysis, and evaluation of highway safety appurtenances and roadside geometric features, including portable concrete barriers. Her research accomplishments include suggestion of selection, placement, crashworthy analysis, and policy definition with regard to roadside barrier installation, evaluation of roadside safety systems through finite element modeling, and full-scale crash testing with employment of anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs). She is leading a MASH Coordination Effort project through the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund Group, with the objectives to coordinate information and testing activities related to MASH implementation program and to develop databases of MASH-tested devices with and without granted FHWA eligibility letters, and DOT needs for MASH testing. Her contributions also include the evaluation of human dynamics and injury mechanism for motorcycle riders deriving from upright oblique impacts against roadside safety hardware. Dr. Silvestri Dobrovolny has also lead multiple efforts through computer simulations and full-scale testing to develop motorcycle-friendly barriers with the scope to reduce riders’ injury severity derived from upright impacts.
Dr. Silvestri Dobrovolny is active with multiple technical groups and organizations within the roadside safety community, currently serving as a member of Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee ANF30, “Motorcycles and Mopeds.” She is actively involved with the TRB AFB20 “Roadside Safety Design,” TRB ANB45 “Occupant Protection,” the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Task Force 13, and the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund Group.