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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Research and Development Branch

Featured Items/Latest News

Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) Research, Development & Technology (RD&T) Forum – December 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) led a virtual public Research, Development & Technology (RD&T) Forum on December 1st, 2022. The forum focused on highlighting RD&T's current research projects, current and future research initiatives, program strategies & priorities, and gathering input from stakeholders. A brief summary of the report will be available shortly.

Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) Research, Development & Technology (RD&T) Forum - October 2021

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) held a public Research, Development & Technology (RD&T) Forum in October 2021 to present the results of recently completed research projects, announce new project plans, and obtain stakeholder input on the direction of current and future research projects. The Forum took place over the course of four half-day sessions that included government and industry presentations covering the mitigation of climate risk, energy products, commodity flow analysis, packaging integrity, and emerging technologies. To view the complete summary of the RD&T Forum, including presentation summaries and material, use the link below.
Office of Hazardous Materials Safety Research and Development (R&D) Public Meeting and Forum Event Summary Report

OHMS has awarded six projects totaling over $9.6 million to various researchers that will support safety and innovation in hazmat transportation as a result of its 2020 Broad Agency Announcement.

Researcher Project Title

North Carolina State University

Composite Metal Foams for Impact Protection of Hazardous Material Transportation

Virginia Commonwealth University

Honeycomb-Encapsulated Phase Change Materials Composites for Battery Transportation Safety


Default Classification of Thermites


High Strain Rate Rupture and Fragmentation of Aluminum Cylinders

West Virginia University

Thermo-Mechanical Responses of FRP Composite Jacketing for Tank Cars under Impact and Fire

APT Research

Fine Grain Metal Powder Standards for Consumer Pyrotechnics


About the R&D Branch

The Research & Development Branch leads and coordinates innovative research projects that are focused on near-term solutions to hazardous materials transportation problems.

Vision: To promote innovative approaches to support the safe commerce of hazardous materials for a multi-modal transportation system.

Mission: To provide research, analyses and technical information needed to manage the public risk associated with hazardous material transportation.


The staff of the Research, Development & Technology branch conduct all aspects of program management within OHMS, including preparation of RFPs, SOWs, milestones, meetings and deliverables. R&D projects are conducted by a number of internal and external research partners and in cooperation with other DoT modal partners. OHMS R&D efforts include laboratory testing, piloting and field implementation. RD&T staff also identify potential emerging risks and challenges to the safe transport of hazardous materials and provide fiscal oversight of diverse projects within their areas of responsibility. Current staff consists of Joshua Davis and Andy Leyder.

Research Needs

To submit research needs concerning hazardous materials transportation, email Joshua Davis at or Andy Leyder at