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FAA Design Competition Winners Announced

Contest Addresses Airport Issues And Needs

The FAA recently selected winners for its 3rd annual Design Competition for Universities. Binghamton University - State University of New York, The Ohio State University, and the University of Southern California captured first place awards; nine other submissions also received awards.

The FAA created this competition to engage individual students or teams of students at U.S. universities working under the guidance of a faculty mentor to address airport operations and infrastructure issues and needs. Students were presented with a number of technical challenges relating to airport operations and maintenance, runway safety, airport environmental interactions, and airport management and planning. The technical challenges embraced many engineering and science disciplines and were often used as part of a capstone design course. The Competition requires students to reach out to airport operators and industry experts to advise them in their proposals and to help them assess the efficacy of their proposed designs/solutions. It provides a framework and incentives for quality educational experiences for college students and raises student awareness of airports as a vital and interesting area for engineering and technology careers.

A student team from the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California won the first place award for Runway Safety. Dr. Michael Crowley was the team’s advisor. The students designed a Controller Intent Monitoring Interface (CIMI) that would ensure that all high-speed operations conducted on runways are executed in a safe manner that is consistent with FAA regulations.

 The Department of Aviation at The Ohio State University garnered the top prize for the Airport Management and Planning Challenge. A student team advised by Dr. Seth Young for its submission on “Developing an integrated web-based tool to enhance Safety Management System (SMS) planning and management for airports,” focused on engaging employees in implementation of the System and inclusion of a customer service focus.  

The Computer Science Department at Binghamton University - State University of New York captured the top prizes for the Airport Environmental Interactions and Airport Operation and Maintenance challenges. Professor William Ziegler advised the student teams. The submission, titled “Using a High Vacuum Evaporator to Treat Anti-icing and Deicing Byproducts,” won the first place award for the Airport Environmental Interactions challenge and was recognized for its imminently practical and technically feasible idea. The Submission titled, “Radiant Heating of Airport Aprons” secured the top prize for the Airport Operation and Maintenance challenges category and provided an innovative solution to snow and ice removal on airport aprons.

Panels of FAA, industry and academic experts selected the winning proposals. Students from winning teams will equally divide prizes as follows: $2500 for first place, $1500 for second place, $1000 for third place and $500 for an honorable mention. The first place teams will receive their awards from the FAA and presented their work at the American Association of Airport Executives annual meeting in Philadelphia on June 16.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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