The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has named Robert H. Cary as its chief of innovation & technology (CIT), and Bart A. Thrasher as Richmond District engineer. Thrasher replaces Cary, as the latter previously served in the district engineer role.
The CIT position is new for the agency, says VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick.
“Rob is bringing new opportunities to transportation infrastructure in the commonwealth,” Kilpatrick explains. “He will have the freedom and latitude to work across all aspects of our organization and guide us in implementing new ideas.”
Cary’s focus will be on finding and using new technology and “innovative practices” to bring about advancements in the state’s infrastructure system.
“New transportation technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles, are very exciting especially in relation to economic development and safety opportunities,” Cary says. “In this role, I plan to focus on implementable innovations – not just looking at what we can do in five to 10 years, but now. By working across the agency and together with industry leaders, I truly believe we can make Virginia the ‘Silicon Valley’ for transportation.”
Cary had served as the Richmond district engineer since 2014 and previously worked as the district engineer in the Lynchburg and Salem districts. He began working at VDOT in 1992 as a transportation engineer in the department’s Staunton District. He then served as assistant district administrator for preliminary engineering.
In his new role, Thrasher will oversee the construction, maintenance and operations for 14 counties in the Richmond District, which encompasses roughly 18,700 lane miles of roads.
He started working at VDOT in 1997 as a transportation engineer trainee, then became a construction inspector, transportation engineer, state geometric engineer for the Location and Design Division and Assistant State Location and Design Engineer.
In this most recent position, Thrasher was responsible for the planning, implementation and oversight of VDOT’s project management and preconstruction activities across the state.
He is a member of the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Design and AASHTO’s Technical Committee on Geometric Design, a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Subcommittee on Geometric Design and is a co-author of several chapters of AASHTO’s Green Book.