Handheld cell use illegal when driving

Research Section

The Research Section supports NDOT’s vision, mission, and goals through three unique programs: the Research, Development, and Technology Transfer program; Product Evaluation; and the Research Library.

The Research program identifies and develops new technical knowledge and assists with implementation into common practice to address any relevant problem.

Product Evaluation is conducted to maintain a list of acceptable products, via the qualified product list (or QPL),  and coordinate the evaluation of innovative products that may be used by the Department and its contractors.

The Research Library catalogs and shares reference materials, coordinates the loan of materials from other libraries, and can assist with reviews and searches for specific transportation-related information.   

New Library subscription: ASTM / AASHTO DOT Portal
For the first time ASTM standards and AASHTO publications have been combined into one single search interface.

The Portal also includes ASTM’s premier Digital Library of peer-reviewed articles along with access to self-paced standards training.   (To access the training module you must create an account.)
The Portal is available over the web at all NDOT facilities.

For more information please contact the Research Library


Yearly proposals are selected, reviewed and prioritized. When these projects conclude, a research report is generated describing the scope of the project, outcome(s), and recommendation(s). Research reports can be found here.


The research program identifies research needs through solicitation of research problem statements in October of each year. This provides department personnel with an opportunity to explain their needs and allows the academic researchers to submit research ideas in their field of expertise. An NDOT division or district must endorse a problem statement originating from outside the department. Once problem statements are approved, the statement is submitted to the Research Division to be screened by research staff to determine if the problem statements are consistent with research goals. The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) then prioritizes the research statements.

In March of each year, the Research Division issues requeNDOTResearchProjectSelectionsts for proposals for the highest-ranked problem statements. The Research Division reviews the proposals for completeness and submits their recommendations to the RAC for prioritization. Setting priorities for the research proposals through the solicitation process allows the Research Division to develop a work program that is financially constrained and balanced against ongoing and recent research projects. After RAC meets, it recommends the list to the Research Management Committee (RMC).

In July the RMC selects the research proposals for funding. The proposals are included in the Annual Research Development and Technology (RD&T) work program. This program is submitted to the FHWA office for program approval.

For the approved research proposals, the Research Division negotiates a final scope of work and budget in August. The Research Division then drafts an agreement with a university or consultant. Research may be initiated only after the agreement is fully executed, which is generally the first part of January.

Technical panels are established for each research project that provides expert advice and direction to the Principal Investigator. Research is conducted with implementation in mind and its progress is documented in quarterly progress reports. Final reports are due by the project termination date. The implementation plan is approved by the appropriate NDOT division head or district engineer and submitted to the RMC for concurrence.

The 2003 Research Manualdescribes the organizational structures for research, processes, and procedures to develop, manage, and implement research and to administer product evaluation.

Research is the systematic study to establish facts on a specific topic and/or field. The crux of the effort is in the application of research results. In research, technology transfer goes beyond using the results of the departmentally-funded research to improve the department’s operations, but to share the results with the transportation community at large. The research staff disseminates the research reports to other agencies as well as affected divisions and districts within NDOT.


Product Evaluation Program


Product Evaluation Committee 2013
     Pictured above: NDOT Product Evaluation Committee

The Product Evaluation Program was designed to serve as a clearinghouse for the evaluation and approval of products for use on the Nevada Department of Transportation’s (NDOT) construction and maintenance projects. The program was developed to ensure quality, durability, and because of the increased number of products being presented to NDOT for use. The Product Evaluation Coordinator works with sections and districts within NDOT to ensure that all facets of the evaluation process are complete. In addition, the manufacturers and/or vendors have a formal application process that ensures the products are evaluated fairly and consistently.

About Product Evaluation:

There is a formal process to evaluate products for use on NDOT projects. The Product Evaluation Program serves as the clearing-house for product evaluation. When products meet the approved acceptance criteria, they are placed on the Qualified Product List (QPL) that contractors use to select products for NDOT contracts.  The Product Evaluation Coordinator manages the product evaluation process, coordinating efforts between applicants and the Department.  All applications for product evaluation and inquiries should go through the Product Evaluation Coordinator.

Product Evaluation Committee:

The Product Evaluation Committee (PEC) acts in an advisory capacity to address requests for acceptance criteria revision, establish qualified product list categories and approve requests for product field testing. The PEC recommendations are submitted to the Deputy Director/Chief Engineer for final approval. The PEC promotes interdisciplinary staff discussion of common problems dealing with the use of products and materials in construction or maintenance operations.

Product Evaluation Process:

Product applications are accepted throughout the year. It typically takes 3-4 months to evaluate a product. Evaluators review product applications in addition to regular job duties, the time frame for review may vary based on workload.

All products submitted for approval are submitted to the Product Evaluation Coordinator to be evaluated on the basis of need, performance, cost-competitiveness, and compliance with established acceptance criteria. Approved products are placed on the Qualified Product List (QPL). A contractor’s procurement and use of products are limited to those listed on the QPL or to those products meeting contract specifications. Placement of a product listed on the QPL does not constitute an endorsement by the department, nor does it imply a commitment to purchase, recommend, or specify the product in the future. Testing and certification of specific products remains in effect regardless of the status shown on the QPL. Annually, products are reviewed to ensure the product continues to meet the acceptance criteria, the product remains on the QPL. If a product exhibits poor performance in the field, the product will be suspended pending an investigation and the product may be removed from the QPL through Product Evaluation Committee action.

Field Tests:

Field tests can be requested by the product vendor or by an NDOT section, division, or district by submitting the proper application. Field tests require an NDOT champion and must be initiated by the Product Evaluation Committee prior to scheduling a field installation. Prior to initiation of a field test, an application is required that defines the objectives of the tests, evaluation criteria that may be used to qualify these types of products, participants, proposed location, participation by other states, municipalities, etc. Proposed cost to the Department is a factor on whether a Field Test will be initiated and must be included in the application. The application will be completed by the vendor with input from the NDOT champion and submitted to the Product Evaluation Coordinator.

Typically, field tests take three years with an initial set of selected tests run to set a base line for the project. Subsequent testing is completed and documented throughout the life cycle of the field test. A final set of tests are completed and compared to the activity throughout the life of the project. The Product Evaluation Coordinator, in cooperation with the NDOT champion, will write a final report at the conclusion of the Field Test.

For additional information, please review the Links below:


 NDOT Research Library 

New Books! Fall 2014
New Database: ASTM / AASHTO Portal

Reference Books

            NDOT Headquarters Building
1263 S. Stewart Street
Carson City, NV 89712
Room #115
(775) 888-7895

Library hours: M-F, 8:00-5:00 
              Library Catalog

New Books Fall 2014  

Create Your Library Account  

NDOT Research Reports  

PE Study Guides  

New Books RSS Feed  

The NDOT Research Library contains over 20,000 books, reports, periodicals, and CDs from state and national sources covering the entire range of transportation related subjects, including publications from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and more.  The Library also manages access to electronic resources, allowing desktop access to e-books, journals and standards.

Library services include interlibrary loan, literature searches, and research instruction on databases and other special references. The library is available for use by NDOT employees, other government agencies, and the public. 

  • Reference Services - provide direction to locate sources
    Research Services - find and acquire resources
    Bibliographic Search - find, acquire and briefly summarize a resource
    In-Depth Research - as determined by need and urgency

The library collection may be searched over the web via the online catalog.  The catalog features both basic and expert search interfaces.  Links to full text online resources are included whenever possible.  For assistance searching the catalog please contact the Library. 

The library subscribes to over 80 magazines and journals.  The library also offers full text access to online databases. 


  • ASCE Library - provides access to all Journals and Conference Proceedings, and over 300 E-books and Industry standards published by the American Society of Civil Engineers
  • ASTM / AASHTO Web Portal - combines the industry standards, publications and journal articles from both preiment transportation organizations into one searchable interface.
  • Lynda.com Training Library - offers over 2,000 training videos especially aimed at learning software and other computer applications (please contact the Library for two week check out)

(Note: access to databases is limited to NDOT facilities.)

Please see: Complete List of Journals.

The Library welcomes requests for information.  Please include as much as possible of the following information that applies:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Volume Number
  • Issue Number
  • Page Number
  • Year
  • Source
  • Link to citation
  • Any other relevant information

The Librarian will respond as soon as possible and may ask for additional information if necessary.


Contact Details

Research Chief
Ken Chambers
(775) 888-7220

Research Program Coordinator
Manju Kumar
(775) 888-7803

Research Analyst  
(775) 888-7223

Research Librarian  
Mitch Ison
(775) 888-7895

Product Evaluation Coordinator
Sabra Gilbert-Young
(775) 888-7894

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
(775) 687-1204

Mailing Address

Nevada Department of Transportation
Research Section
1263 South Stewart Street
Carson City, Nevada  89712

Physical Address:

1231 Oregon Street, Suite 15
Carson City, Nevada 89712