Sondra Iverson has been a driving force at VTTI for the last 15 years. In her role as a senior software engineer in VTTI’s Division of Technology Implementation (DTI), her primary responsibility is leading the server development for the various client-server applications developed by DTI for transportation research purposes. The VCC Cloud is a collection of several of these server applications that receive and process assorted types of messages from connected vehicles and infrastructure.
One project that Sondra has been involved in is Safely Operating ADS in Challenging Dynamic Scenarios, which demonstrates how vehicles equipped with automated driving systems can safely interact with public service personnel ─ such as police, firefighters, and EMTs ─ and infrastructure providers. She was part of the team that developed the in-vehicle application that relays information to passengers, an important feature since the vehicles are driverless!
Sondra grew up on a farm in South Dakota, where she had the opportunity to operate a variety of vehicles, her favorite being the payloader! She said that “having the experience of driving a semi-tractor trailer gave me a better understanding of the extra challenges faced by those drivers and an appreciation for the research being done by VTTI in that area.” Prior to joining VTTI, Sondra worked on various software projects, including real-time 3D games, assemblers/compilers, and driving simulators. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Houston.
Sondra’s personal interests range from the active to the cerebral. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, and puzzles ─ including the daily nerdle puzzle ─ and she has recently been learning to sail and knit.
Sondra’s husband, Dean, also works for VTTI as a senior software engineer. When their two sons were going through school, Sondra enjoyed helping to coach their various math, science, and robotics teams. It’s clear that the talent for math and software development has taken hold in the next generation: Alex has started a software consulting firm and Matt is working in the Starlink division of SpaceX.
When asked what she likes best about working at VTTI, Sondra replies: “I get to work with great people, including my husband, Dean, on interesting projects that have a positive impact on people’s lives. We are making transportation safer!”