Vehicle systems program receives A2LA accreditation

The Vehicle Systems and Safety (VS&S) Program, a major research wing of The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State, has received laboratory accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The accreditation indicates that the program is in compliance with established standards of the International Standards Organization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

"This accreditation serves to significantly raise the profile of key research activities here at Penn State," said Martin Pietrucha, the Larson Institute's director.

"The profound work we are doing is greatly enhanced by this," said Zoltan Rado, director of the VS&S Program, "from our anti-terrorist barrier crash research and its contribution to our national security, to making our nation's public transportation vehicles more efficient and reliable."

The scope of accreditation includes all testing performed by the Altoona Bus Research and Test Center and the perimeter barrier and gate (anti-terrorist) crash testing performed by the institute's Crash Safety Research Team. The detailed scope of accreditation will be posted on the Larson Institute website along with the accreditation certificate.

Obtaining the accreditation included updating the bus test program's quality control program and implementing one for the crash team. Specific procedures and policies regarding the use and maintenance of quality documents, equipment calibrations, and research/testing records were established to meet the requirements of the standard. After completing the required application process, an auditor performed an in-depth, on-site evaluation of the policies and procedures to determine that they met the minimum requirements of ISO/IEC standards. The accreditation is valid through Aug. 31, 2013, provided VS&S undergoes a required 2012 surveillance visit and continues to comply with requirements.

Future plans include expanding the scope of accreditation to include crash testing in accordance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware, the nation's authoritative guide for crash testing of safety hardware devices for use on the National Highway System.

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Last Updated January 10, 2012