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Staff Bio

Kimberly Vachal, Ph.D.
Program Director - RTSSC
Program Director - Ag Center
Senior Researcher
Phone: (701)231-6425
Email: kimberly.vachal@ndsu.edu
ORCID: 0000-0002-9577-0395

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 safe and secure transportation, with focus on rural regions. Research, outreach, and educational activities are defined and accomplished in cooperation with stakeholders.

She has over 20 years of experience in transportation research, primarily in safety, agriculture, program evaluation, policy, and freight flows, and has worked extensively with both public and private stakeholders. In addition, she has had the opportunity to work with students as research assistants and in teaching courses in freight logistics, microeconomics, international development economics, and traffic safety assessment.

Her research concentration has been in public policy and program evaluation. 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

  • Human factors in traffic safety
  • Healthy community transport
  • Agricultural and biofuels transportation
  • CMV safety & security
  • Containerized and identity preserved grain marketing
  • Regional economic development

Recent Research Activities/Major Programs of Activity

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


  • 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.


  • Ph.D., Public Policy, George Mason University, 2005
  • M.S., Agricultural Economics, North Dakota State University, 1992
  • B.S., Agricultural Economics, North Dakota State University, 1990

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

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