July 2, 2019

Winners Selected for the 2018 - 2019 TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) has selected winners for its annual University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. Now in its 13th year, the prestigious competition encourages students to design innovative and practical solutions to challenges at airports. Five first-place winners were chosen across four technical challenge areas: Airport Environmental Interactions, Airport Operation and Maintenance, Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions, and Airport Management and Planning.

Airport Environmental Interactions Challenge:
An undergraduate team from the civil and environmental engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley, won first place for its Smart Gate System for 400Hz Power Monitoring at Airports.  The design proposal offered an innovative and implementable solution for monitoring power usage at airport gates.  Faculty adviser: Jasenka Rakas

Airport Operation and Maintenance Challenge:
A team of graduate students from Purdue University School of Aviation and Transportation Technology won first place for its Augmented Reality Airport Training System.  The well-written and presented design proposal offered an innovative training solution for airport personnel. Faculty adviser: Mary Johnson

Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions Challenge:
A team of undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Aviation Institute captured first place for Internet of Things in the Cockpit: Intelligent Runway Status Indication System (IRIS).  The student’s innovative design brought many technologies together in an affordable system for mid-size and general aviation airports.  Faculty adviser: Chenyu Huang

Airport Management and Planning Challenge:
Two design proposals tied for first place.

In addition, three Purdue University teams won second-place awards, teams from Penn State University and the University of Missouri, Columbia, won third-place awards, and two teams from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and one from Penn State University received honorable mentions.  

Students were invited to propose innovations in any of the four technical challenge areas. The competition requires that students work with a faculty adviser and that they reach out to airport operators and industry experts to obtain advice and assess the practicality of their proposed design solutions. The Virginia Space Grant Consortium of Hampton, Virginia, manages the competition on behalf of the ACRP.

Volunteer panels of airport industry and academic practitioners as well as FAA representatives selected the winning submissions from among the proposals submitted by 48 student teams. First-place teams will receive their awards and present their work at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 16.  The students will also present their design at the Airport Consultant Council’s Airport Technical Workshop in Washington, D.C., on that day as the luncheon keynote presentation. In addition, they will be given the opportunity to present their winning proposal at an industry professional conference or workshop in late summer or fall 2019.  Winning teams receive $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third place, and $500 for honorable mentions.

The names of all winners and copies of designs receiving place awards are available at the http://vsgc.odu.edu/acrpdesigncompetition/2019-competitionwinners/.

New guidelines for the 2019-2020 academic year competition will be available on the competition website by Aug. 1, 2019.

The Transportation Research Board is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine.  The National Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.  For more information, visit http://national-academies.org. Funding for the competition is provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Andrew Robinson, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu