2020 Competition Winners

Winners Selected for the 2019 – 2020 TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs

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 14th year, the prestigious competition encourages students to design innovative and practical solutions to challenges at airports. Four 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.

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• A team of undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology at Purdue University won first place for its proposal, A Cost-effective Approach to Predict Noise Impacts for Non-Towered General Aviation Airports. The students proposed a design for airport noise modeling that has potential for future development. Faculty adviser: John Mott.

• A team of graduate students from Purdue University School of Aviation and Transportation Technology won first place for its Aircraft Portable Stair and Accessible Loader (PSAL). The design offered an aircraft portable stair system for enplaning and deplaning that would address the safety issues of the current stair systems, including using a conveyer system for transporting carry-on items. Faculty adviser: Mary

• A team of undergraduate and graduate students from Michigan Technological University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department won first place for Runway Intersection Marking. The student’s innovative design brought many technologies together in an affordable system for mid-size and general aviation airports. Faculty adviser: Audra Morse.

• A graduate team from Purdue University won for its proposal, Commercial Space Advancement through Venture and Operations (CSAVO) Initiative. The design proposal addresses impacts of adapting existing general aviation airports to incorporate entry-level spaceport operations. Faculty adviser: Mary Johnson.

In addition, teams from Purdue University, Binghamton University – State University of New York, Michigan Technological University and the University of South Florida won second-place awards. Two teams from Penn State University as well as teams from Binghamton University – State University of New York and Purdue University won third-place awards. Teams from Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Oklahoma 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. Funding for the competition is provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Volunteer panels of airport industry and academic practitioners as well as FAA representatives selected the winning submissions from among the proposals submitted by 63 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 October 19, 2020. The students will also present their designs at the Airport Consultant Council’s Airport Technical Workshop in Washington, D.C as a keynote presentation. In addition, they will be given the opportunity to present their winning proposal at an industry professional conference or workshop in fall 2020. 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 here: https://vsgc.odu.edu/acrpdesigncompetition/2020-acrp-design-competition-winners-announced/.

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