DrWardDedicated teachers, dynamic researchers, and faculty devoted to the betterment of Montana are among the winners of the top Montana State University 2016 faculty awards announced this week.  The annual awards honor achievement in faculty research, teaching, outreach and creative projects.

Included in this list of accomplished individuals is Nicholas Ward, professor of industrial engineering and director of the Center for Health and Safety Culture at the Western Transportation Institute.  Ward will receive the Charles and Nora Wiley Faculty Award for Meritorious Research. He will receive $2,000. Sponsored by the MSU Alumni Foundation, the prize is given in honor of the Wileys, who were pioneer ranchers in eastern Montana.

Ward has been a pioneer in studying the social and cultural factors that lead to risky driving behaviors. Since joining the WTI research staff as a faculty member of MSU’s Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department in 2007, he has played a key role in developing the human factors research program, allowing WTI to greatly expand its work in the field of studying driver behavior and safety.

Ward also has become a leading authority in considering how to address traffic crashes as a public health issue that is estimated to become the third largest cause of loss of life and disability worldwide by 2020.

He was invited to author a chapter in the American Automobile Association Traffic Safety Foundation’s first compiled book on traffic safety culture and was the lead author for the traffic safety culture framework of the recently adopted National Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety vision. He has published numerous papers and presented national seminars on traffic safety culture.

The awards will be presented at the MSU Spring Convocation, set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, in Reynolds Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.