Director's Message

I am honored to serve as the Interim Director of the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute. Having had the pleasure to work with LTI as a faculty associate for the past 11 years, I have greatly benefited from working with the institute and hope to continue its history of excellence.

As we embark on this collective journey, I would like to share my vision and goals for the institute, building upon our rich history and the incredible work that we have accomplished. Since its inception in 1968, the Larson Institute has evolved into a model of interdisciplinary research and one of the most productive transportation institutes in the United States. Our commitment to the threefold mission of research, education, and service under the College of Engineering at Penn State has shaped our identity and success.

I am excited to outline my personal goals for our institute:

  1. Strengthen and Create New Research Collaborations: Collaboration is at the heart of innovation. I am dedicated to fostering an environment that encourages and supports research collaborations, both internally at Penn State and with external partners. Together, we can tackle the complex challenges of transportation infrastructure resiliency, climate change, sustainability, equity, and safety.
  2. Grow LTI's Research Profile: Our institute's research scope and impact have steadily expanded over the last several years, a testament to the remarkable dedication of our staff, researchers and previous leaders. My primary goal is to build upon this momentum, ensuring that the Larson Transportation Institute remains at the forefront of transportation-related research in the United States. We will continue to address emerging issues and contribute to the development of innovative solutions that benefit society.
  3. Advance Our Focus Areas: Transportation is evolving rapidly, and our research must reflect these changes. I am committed to advancing our research in areas crucial to our future, including infrastructure resiliency in the face of adversity, strategies to combat climate change, promoting sustainability in transportation systems, enhancing equity in access and mobility, integrating advanced technologies (such as electrification, automation, and connectivity), and ensuring the safety of all transportation network users.
  4. Nurture Our Exceptional Team: Our staff and researchers are the lifeblood of the Larson Transportation Institute. I will prioritize creating an inclusive and supportive environment that empowers each member to excel in their respective roles. Together, we will harness our collective expertise to drive meaningful impact.

As we work together to achieve these goals, I am excited about the future of the Larson Transportation Institute. The challenges in the field of transportation are significant, but I have no doubt that our collaborative efforts will lead to innovative solutions and positive change.

I invite each of you to join me on this journey. Your dedication and contributions are invaluable as we continue to shape the future of transportation research and education. Together, we will strengthen our institute's legacy and make a lasting impact on the transportation landscape.

Thank you for your commitment and support.


Vikash V. Gayah
Interim Director
Larson Transportation Institute
Pennsylvania State University

Vikash Gayah

Vikash Gayah, Interim Director



The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute is Penn State’s transportation research center. Since its founding in 1968, the Larson Institute has maintained a threefold mission of research, education, and service. The Institute brings together top faculty, world-class facilities and enterprising students from across the University in partnership with public and private stakeholders to address critical transportation-related problems.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710