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Chris Vaughan, P.E.
Transportation Data Collection Expert
  • Data collection with latest technologies

  • Volume counts & conditions for all modes 

  • Pavement condition – windshield surveys,
    data analysis, suggested repairs, report compilation

Chris does on-call work with Urban Innovators, and also works for NCSU's Institute for Transportation Research and Education.

Specialties of Excellence

Chris began in Transportation Engineering as a student in 2004 and full time in 2008. His career began with pavement condition surveys, then evolved into specialized data collection around all modes of transportation. Chris has worked extensively with:

  • Automobile data: camera, Bluetooth and Wi-fi, virtual loop detectors, radar, and even sound data,

  • Pedestrian and bicycle data:  Thermal and standard cameras, inductive loops, and pneumatic tubes,

  • Airplane data:  Transponder detection,

  • Train data:  Specifically, pedestrians in close proximity to trains and train tracks.

All of this data has been collected as a part of research projects for sponsors like the North Carolina DOT, FHWA, NCHRP, local municipalities, and more.

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  • Chris currently serves on TRB’s Highway Traffic Monitoring Committee (ACP70) and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Subcommittee (ACP70(2)).

  • He has co-authored numerous reports and papers for the previously mentioned sponsors, as well as co-authoring the recent TRB Circular for ACP70.

Project Examples
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NCDOT and FHWA: Principal Investigator for NCDOT Research Project 2015-08 and Task Manager for FHWA project studying the effectiveness of the recently popular zipper merge.


Chris has studied everything from static zipper merge signage to dynamic zipper merge implementations.

NCDOT: Data Collection Task Manager for multiple pedestrian and bicycle-related projects. These research projects observed an array of bicycle and pedestrian topics, including gathering regular count data of bikes and peds for planning purposes (RP 2014-44), conducting safety evaluations of separated bike lanes (RP 2020-24), and quantifying the accuracy and cost effectiveness of various available bike-ped counting technology (RP 2020-39).

NCDOT and FRA: Task Manager for multiple research projects with sponsors including the NCDOT (RP’s 2015-18, 2017-15, 2019-08, 2019-50) and the FRA on the frequency and severity of pedestrian trespassing on train tracks. Chris has led all efforts to collect the trespassing data using thermal and RGB (color) cameras, including from static locations on the side of the railroads and even from train engines. This data was used to create models for predicting trespassing hotspots.

Education and History
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  • B.S., M.S., Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2016


  • Professional Engineering (PE): NC, #040379


  • 15+ years with the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University

  • Father of one boy

  • Drummer at church (and home)

  • Surfer (at least I like to think so)

  • Recently completed restoration of 1986 Jeep CJ-7 – everything from cutting out rust and welding new sheet metal to mechanical work like brakes, shocks, etc.

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