2010 ITS America Annual Meeting Student Essay Competition

February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm

ITS America’s 20th Annual Meeting & Exposition, scheduled forMay 3-5, 2010, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas will provide transportation professionals and policymakers the necessary tools and strategies they need to create communities that are safer, cleaner, more livable and less congested.

This year’s theme is “Connecting Communities through Smart Transportation Solutions.” We will also provide you with important policy insight from government officials and planning insights from leading transportation practitioners.

The competition, held in conjunction with the 2010 ITS America Annual Meeting & Exposition and sponsored by Southwest Research Institute, provides an opportunity for today’s transportation and engineering students to apply their knowledge in a thought-provoking and enjoyable competition and to build awareness of a career path with unlimited potential in the ITS industry.  Contest guidelines are attached.

2010 Student Essay Competition Guidelines

The Student Essay Competition is designed to encourage student interest and future participation in the development of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and solutions. The objective of the essay competition is to provide an opportunity for today’s transportation and engineering students to apply their knowledge in a thought-provoking and enjoyable competition and to build awareness of ITS as a career path with unlimited potential.  Essays will be judged on their creativity, quality of exposition, originality, depth of knowledge, and awareness of ITS issues and challenges.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Authors must be graduate or undergraduate full-time students enrolled in an accredited institution of learning in the U.S.
  • Entries are limited to one paper per student and should be original, unpublished work of an individual student.

Essay Topics

Essays must be based on one of the following topics.  You may also focus the paper on the sub-topics listed:

Topic 1:  Cooperative Systems

  • How cooperative systems will quantitatively improve the performance of standalone active vehicle safety systems?
  • One of the challenges of implementing cooperative systems is the penetration rate required.  What are the barriers to achieving the necessary penetration rates in order to realize system level benefits of a specific cooperative system/application?
  • Describe relevant research into the application of multi-agent/intelligent agent theory on current transportation challenges.

Topic 2: How will Traffic Management evolve, possible subtopics:

  • What new technologies/approaches will be used for collecting traffic status data?
  • How will regions integrate their data to provide consolidated views for the traveling public?
  • How can the information dissemination to travelers be improved?

Essay Format Requirements

  • The cover page must include the title of the essay, author’s name, name of school, mailing address, phone number, and the student’s e-mail address and phone number.  The author’s name and essay title should appear at the top of all other pages.
  • Essays should be typed, double spaced, and appear on 8 ½”x11” white paper.
  • A complete bibliography should be included, if appropriate.
  • Essays are not to exceed 2,000 words in length, must be written by only one person, and should not have appeared in any publications other than in school publications.
  • Essays will be evaluated considering: writing quality and clarity; interest of the topic and content to the broad Intelligent Transportation Systems industry; analysis and reasoning; timeliness, originality, and creativity; quality and use of research; and compliance with these rules.


The 1st, 2nd , and 3rd place winners will :

  • receive $1,500, $1,000, or $500 respectively to cover expenses of their trip to the conference.
  • receive a complimentary full registration to attend the conference.
  • have the opportunity to present their winning essay at the dedicated Interactive Session area in the exhibit hall on Tuesday, May 4, 2010,
  • have their winning essay displayed on the Student Essay Competition Web page of ITS America’s
  • be featured in nationally-distributed press releases.

Application Procedure

Entries must be submitted in electronic formats.  Essays must be accompanied by a cover letter from a faculty advisor or department chair.  E-mail essays to Edgar Martinez at emartinez@itsa.org by 5 p.m. (EST) on March 15, 2010.


Entries will be reviewed and the final selections made by a selection committee comprised of ITS America members and Southwest Research Institute representatives.  The winners will be notified on March 29, 2010.

ITS America and Southwest Research Institute strongly encourage the winners to be present for the awards ceremony on Monday, May 3, 2010, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

Questions should be directed to Edgar Martinez at 800-374-8472 ext. 4223 or emartinez@itsa.org.   For more information, please visit the 2010 ITS America Annual Meeting website.

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