Kennesaw State transportation safety expert speaking Friday

KENNESAW, Ga. | Feb 14, 2022

Internationally respected traffic design and safety researcher Sunanda Dissanayake is the presenter for Kennesaw State University’s popular Research with Relevance – Friday Features this week in a virtual presentation at 4 p.m. Friday. 

Sunanda Dissanayake
Sunanda Dissanayake

Dissanayake joined KSU last summer as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

Kennesaw State’s Office of Research is highlighting the research of department chairs and directors during the current season of Research with Relevance throughout the spring semester. 

Research with Relevance began during the spring 2020 semester, creating a venue for KSU faculty across disciplines to engage in conversation on a variety of research topics and allow for an audience to participate in the discussion virtually.

Dissanayake’s discussion of her research on traffic engineering and transportation safety, will be live streamed from the brand-new Office of Undergraduate Research in the Academic Learning Center, allowing guests to join and participate virtually via Microsoft Teams

Vice President for Research Phaedra Corso will begin the event by interviewing Dissanayake about her previous research and her goals as department chair. The event will conclude with a question-and-answer period from the virtual audience.

Over the past 20 years, Dissanayake has conducted research on traffic engineering, highway design and applications of big data in transportation. Her research has led her to travel domestically and internationally to continue her efforts on understanding and assisting with the best practices to increase transportation and highway safety. 

In 2010, Dissanayake was named a Fulbright Scholar, allowing her to spend seven months in Sri Lanka conducting research on highway safety to prevent fatalities and injuries caused by poor road design and an increased rate of vehicular traffic. Additionally, Dissanayake traveled to China in summer 2016 to serve as an international expert after being invited to Tongji University in Shanghai, which has a college for transportation engineering, and the Joint International Research Laboratory of Transportation Safety. She has also presented at several conferences, including the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Dissanayake spent most of her academic career at Kansas State University, including serving as associate dean of the graduate school. With her belief that the mission of universities is to generate new knowledge through research, she joined KSU in August 2021 as both department chair and professor to allow her the opportunity to return her focus to research and interact directly with students.

For additional information on the talk and to learn about future guests, visit: Research Operations and Communications (

– Meagan Lowney 

Related Stories

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit