Key Personnel

Frank Betz

Executive Director/CEO
  • Full Bio

As the Rahall Transportation Institute (RTI) and Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) executive director/chief executive officer Frank Betz is responsible for the overall strategic and operational direction of the two organizations’ programs, staff, as well as the execution of their missions.  He leads a dynamic team of business, academic and research professionals working to enhance economic development opportunities through basic and applied research, applications and technology solutions for public and private organizations.  Currently, Frank serves as the assistant director of the Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure Consortium (MTIC), one of ten Tier I University Transportation Centers.

Frank was formerly the chief operating officer of RTI.  Prior to joining RTI, he performed a variety of functions working with some of the country’s top product and technology firms. Frank is the former vice president of finance & operations for a multi-state healthcare provider.  He also served as a European strategic planning manager and software product manager for 3M France, where he worked cross-functionally with European business unit heads and product managers to streamline their operations. Adept at developing complex financial models, negotiating strategic alliances and delivering technology solutions, he was cofounder and chief information officer of a multinational dot-com internet technology company based in Silicon Valley. Frank started his career as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Cognitive Therapy with publications in the field of psychology.

Frank is fluent in French.  He earned his Master’s in International Business from Pepperdine University, the Institut de Gestion Sociale and La Sorbonne in Paris, France in 1995. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Wael Zatar

UTC Director
  • Full Bio

Dr. Wael Zatar is the Director for Innovations and Asset Management of Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure Systems at RTI. He is also the Dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering at Marshall University and a Professor of Civil and Structural Engineering, where he directs the Weisberg Engineering Structural and Materials Experimental and Computational Labs. His key contributions include the development of retrofit techniques for existing structures using advanced FRP composites, corrosion deterioration and mitigation, post-earthquake and other hazard mitigation plans, and deployment of high performance materials in transportation infrastructures.

Dr. Zatar is a Member and Communication Coordinator of the TRB AFF80 Committee on Fiber Reinforced Polymers Committee. He serves on the TRB AFN20 Committee on Properties of Concrete. He sits on several national and international Structural Engineering Code and Fiber Reinforced Composite committees. He serves as a reviewer for 15 International Civil Engineering Journals. He has been an invited speaker in 43 universities and technical institutions. He currently serves as the President of the West Virginia Section of the American Society for Civil Engineers. He has provided several short training courses on Fiber Reinforced Composites, Risk Assessment and Mitigation, High Performance Construction Materials and Structural Engineering.

Cassey Bowden

Marketing Manager
  • Full Bio

Cassey Bowden joined RTI on June 1, 2012 as the Marketing Manager. Cassey obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marshall University. She began her career in marketing with United Way of the River Cities where she spent nearly 8 years as the Director of Resource Development & Marketing. She has experience in developing brand identity and communications strategies for organizations and programs, media relations, development and execution of special events and providing creative direction of promotional materials and tools. Cassey has utilized her background in marketing and public relations to act as a key spokesperson for United Way and other community organizations in addition to hosting/co-hosting shows and commercials for local businesses.

Dr. Diana Long

Director of Workforce Development
  • Full Bio

As Director of Workforce Development, Dr. Long enables workers from all over the country to receive the training and development essential to their developing careers. Diana’s passion to develop and serve others has been one key to her successful career. Since her beginnings at RTI in 2005, Diana has assisted more than 1500 professionals through completing more than 60 courses.

She has significant experience in all aspects of workforce development and has designed numerous workplace education courses and seminars, including: online learning modules, skill/knowledge validation; professional development courses; license-required continuing education; technical skill upgrades; “train the trainer” courses; and adult basic education and refresher courses. She is also Principal Investigator for RTI’s workforce development research and technology transfer projects.

Diana has been involved with the classroom setting for many years. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in English/Speech Education from the University of Charleston and a Master’s Degree in Technical and Adult Education from Marshall University. After several years of working for corporations and public education, Diana went on to achieve her doctorate of education from West Virginia University in 1991.

In 2000, Diana was the first higher education professional in West Virginia to obtain certification in Economic and Community Development by the International Economic Development Council. She has served as an adjunct professor in Leadership Studies and Research.

Dr. Andrew Nichols

Director, Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Full Bio

Dr. Andrew Nichols conducts research in the general area of Intelligent Transportation Systems, with emphasis on traffic signal systems and advanced traveler information systems. He also conducts research in highway safety, work zones, commercial vehicle weight enforcement, technology evaluation, sensor accuracy, and transportation data management. He has multi-year projects with WV-DOT in the areas of traffic signal system management, ITS evaluation, and 511 system management, as well as other specific projects funded through the research division. He manages the WV-DOT Satellite Traffic Management Center in Huntington, WV. As a faculty member at Marshall University, Dr. Nichols has served as a Co-PI on two engineering education projects funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Nichols teaches courses in Transportation Engineering, Highway Design, Geomatics, and Engineering Economy in the College of Information Technology and Engineering at Marshall University.

Dr. Nichols is a member of ITS America and served as Co-Chair for the 2010 National Rural ITS Conference in Huntington, WV. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).