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Staff Bio

Kimberly Vachal, Ph.D.
Program Director - RTSSC
Program Director - Ag, Energy, and Industrial Freight Center
Research Faculty
Phone: (701)231-6425
Fax: (701)231-1945

Dr. Kimberly Vachal is the lead investigator for Agricultural Industry and Rural Transportation Safety and Security activities at North Dakota State University’s Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. She conducts research and outreach to promote a competitive agricultural logistics system, along with a safe and secure transportation, in rural regions. Research, outreach, and educational activities are defined and accomplished in cooperation with stakeholders.

She has over 15 years of experience in transportation research, primarily in agriculture, safety, economics, policy, and freight mobility, and has worked extensively with both government and private industry agencies. In addition, she has had the opportunity to work with students as research assistants and in teaching courses in freight logistics, microeconomics, and international development economics.

Her research concentration has been in public policy and economics. She has written over 50 research papers and authored several journal articles. She also assists other research faculty with policy and economic analysis as it is relevant to their research.

Research Interests

  • Containerized and Identity Preserved Grain Marketing
  • Regional Economic Development
  • Agricultural and Biofuels Transportation
  • Small Urban & Rural Safety & Security
  • HazMat Transportation Safety & Security
  • CVO Safety & Security Training
  • Transportation Security in Small MPO's & Rural Areas

Recent Research Activities/Major Programs of Activity

  • Agricultural Logistics
  • Freight Logistics, Economic Development and Transportation
  • Traffic Safety for Small Urban Centers and Rural Areas
  • Logistics for Rural Businesses


  • 1999-Present, Advanced Research Fellow, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 1998-1999, Account Manager, Canadian Pacific Railway
  • 1992-1998, Research Assistant, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 1990-1992, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural Economics, NDSU
  • 1988-1990, Student Research Assistant, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • Summer 1989, Commodity Merchandising Intern, Cargill, Inc.


  • PhD, Public Policy, George Mason University, 2005
  • M.S., Agricultural Economics, NDSU, 1992
  • B.S., Agricultural Economics, NDSU, 1990

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

  • Transportation Research Board
  • Western Regional Science Association
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050