Nic Ward, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Health & Safety Culture; Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Professor Nicholas Ward (F. Erg. S) is the Director of the Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) in the Western Transportation Institute and a Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Montana State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology (Human Factors) from Queen’s University, Canada.

CHSC focuses on transforming health and safety culture across the social ecology including domestic violence, substance abuse, and traffic safety.  This is achieved through community engagement in the measurement, analysis, and transformation of the shared cognitions that define a culture including values, beliefs, attitudes, and norms.  These methodologies have been applied to high-risk driving behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving, seat-belt compliance, bystander intervention, and workplace safety.  In addition, Professor Ward and the CHSC are developing methods to examine the role of the safety culture of organizations responsible for traffic safety on their policy actions and its impact on safety performance.

As a founding member of the National Summit for Rural Traffic Safety Culture and the Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Roadway Safety Culture, Professor Ward is a national leader for the definition and advancement of traffic safety culture.   He has authored the first United States government (FHWA) white paper on traffic safety culture, helped AASHTO develop the traffic safety culture chapter in support of the National Toward Zero Death strategy, and recently published “A Primer for Traffic Safety Culture” for traffic safety practitioners.

Research Focus Affiliations

  • Safety and Operations

Contact Information