Source: CEE

For the sec­ond year in a row, a Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan stu­dent team won the annu­al Trans­porta­tion Tech­nol­o­gy Tour­na­ment, beat­ing out five oth­er final­ists from uni­ver­si­ties across the coun­try. The tour­na­ment is held by the Unit­ed States Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (U.S. DOT) and the Nation­al Oper­a­tions Cen­ter of Excel­lence (NOCoE). The team mem­bers includ­ed Madi­son Carl­son, Jun Ying, Xin Dong, and Xiao­tong Sun from Civ­il and Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­neer­ing, and Arya Pudo­ta from Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing and Com­put­er Sci­ence. The team was advised by Neda Masoud, Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor of Civ­il and Envi­ron­men­tal Engineering.

The Michi­gan team’s win­ning pre­sen­ta­tion, Curb Space Man­age­ment for Mul­ti-Modal Trans­porta­tion in Down­town Areas, focused on cre­at­ing solu­tions to improve mobil­i­ty and safe­ty by opti­miz­ing curb space allo­ca­tion. The team col­lab­o­rat­ed with the City of Ann Arbor and the Michi­gan Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion to iden­ti­fy this prob­lem as a high pri­or­i­ty for the city.

“It was real­ly reward­ing to work with the city of Ann Arbor and with MDOT because we were able to see real-world prob­lems and start to apply our aca­d­e­m­ic knowl­edge to help solve one of these prob­lems that we see in our every­day life,” said Civ­il and Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­neer­ing (CEE) under­grad­u­ate stu­dent Madi­son Carlson.

CEE post­doc­tor­al schol­ar Xiao­tong Sun, who was also on last year’s team, added, “It feels good to col­lab­o­rate with trans­porta­tion prac­ti­tion­ers to find the inter­sec­tion of the prac­ti­cal con­cerns in trans­porta­tion man­age­ment and inter­est­ing trans­porta­tion research questions.”

The team’s solu­tions include dig­i­tal infor­ma­tion boards to cre­ate flex­i­ble use curb zones, a smart park­ing sys­tem to iden­ti­fy open spaces in real time, increased non-sin­gle car options, and dynam­ic pric­ing on park­ing meters.

Besides pro­vid­ing a chance to apply what they learned in the class­room, the com­pe­ti­tion also gave the team mem­bers an oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op oth­er skills.

“An impor­tant thing I learned from the com­pe­ti­tion is how to do pre­sen­ta­tions and express my point in an effi­cient way.,” said CEE master’s stu­dent Jun Ying. She added that the com­pe­ti­tion “helps us have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of what we learned.”

The tour­na­ment took place dur­ing the Insti­tute of Trans­porta­tion Engi­neers (ITE) Annu­al Meet­ing, held vir­tu­al­ly this year. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan team was among six final­ist teams to make pre­sen­ta­tions. The oth­er teams were from Auburn Uni­ver­si­ty, Flori­da Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty, Iowa State Uni­ver­si­ty, the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Flori­da and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ten­nessee – Knoxville.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Michigan’s team was formed from Michi­gan Trans­porta­tion Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tion (MiT­SO) mem­bers. MiT­SO is an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion that encom­pass­es var­i­ous stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions active in the field of trans­porta­tion, includ­ing the U‑M chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Civ­il Engi­neers (ASCE) and the Michi­gan chap­ter of the Insti­tute of Trans­porta­tion Engi­neers (ITE). MiT­SO wel­comes under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stu­dent mem­bers who are inter­est­ed in the trans­porta­tion field from dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, includ­ing engi­neer­ing and plan­ning. In addi­tion to par­tic­i­pat­ing in dif­fer­ent com­pe­ti­tions, such as the Trans­porta­tion Tech­nol­o­gy Tour­na­ment and the ITE Traf­fic Bowl, MiT­SO holds a num­ber of social events for its mem­bers, and arranges tours of trans­porta­tion facil­i­ties. Inter­est­ed stu­dents can join MiT­SO by fill­ing out this form, or con­tact­ing MiSO offi­cers at .