C.Y. David Yang

C.Y. David Yang
BSCE 1991, MSCE 1993, Ph.D. 1997
Executive Director
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety


"Be courteous to others. Be consistent with your words and actions. Be prepared. Be innovative. Be thankful."

Dr. C. Y. David Yang was born in Taiwan and grew up in Honolulu. One of the reasons he decided to attend Purdue University was because a childhood hero of his, Neil Armstrong, graduated from this top engineering school.

Upon graduation with his doctoral degree, David worked as a transportation engineer in a consulting firm located in Seattle. In 2001, he joined U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA, as a research engineer. In that capacity, he worked on some of the earlier versions of in-vehicle safety technologies. He joined the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of Transportation in 2008 as a senior-level research engineer. In 2012, he was promoted as FHWA’s Human Factors Team Leader and led a multi-disciplinary team in conducting traffic safety research. David was the recipient of FHWA Administrator’s Leadership Award and U.S. DOT Secretary’s Partnering for Excellence Award in 2014.

David became the seventh Executive Director of AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in October 2016. As AAA Foundation’s Executive Director, he oversees the day-to-day operations of this charitable research and education organization and leads a talented group of staff to fulfill its mission of “saving lives by preventing traffic crashes and reducing injuries when crashes occur.”

David has authored/co-authored approximately 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, and government reports on subjects related to traffic safety, transportation operations, planning, and Intelligent Transportation Systems. An ITE Journal article he co-authored won Institute of Transportation Engineers’ 2015 Traffic Engineering Council Best Paper Award. David is the Chair for Transportation Research Board’s Users Performance Section. He also serves on the editorial boards of two journals and was a guest co-editor for a 2017 special issue of Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems titled ‘Connected and Automated Vehicles’. He is currently on several advisory boards of transportation research centers/programs.

David and his wife, Kelly (BS 1992, College of Health and Human Sciences), met at Purdue University. Their two older sons, Mark and Aaron, were born in Lafayette. Their youngest son, Nathan, was born in Seattle.