Student Essay Competition

Sponsored by the Southwest Research Institute, the Student Essay Competition is designed to encourage student interest and future participation in the development of ITS 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.

Each year, students from all of the country respond to a variety of topics and provide their insight to the ITS industry. Students are an important part of the continued development of the ITS industry, a field of expertise that is vitally important to the future of our nation’s economic infrastructure and quality of life. 

“The student essay competition encourages students around the U.S. to take a more active interest in the application of advanced technologies to transportation by challenging them to focus their swriconcepts and ideas.  We are proud to be a part of this ITS America initiative to foster and encourage the advanced technology consultants and solution providers of tomorrow.” — Steve Dellenback, Ph.D, PMP, Southwest Research Institute

Recognition and Prizes

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners receive $1,500, $1,000, and $500 respectively.  

Additional recognition includes:

  • All winners receive a complimentary full registration to attend the ITS America Annual Meeting and Exposition.
  • The 1st place winner is invited to attend the awards ceremony at the ITS America Annual Meeting and Exposition and be assisted financially to cover trip expenses.
  • Winners have the opportunity to present their essay at the dedicated Interactive Session area in the exhibit hall.
  • Winning essays are displayed on the Student Essay Competition Web page of ITS America’s website.
  • All winners are featured in nationally-distributed press releases and ITS America social media platforms.

For additional information and questions, please contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  at 202-721-4238.


2013 Winners

First place: Daniel. J. Fagnant, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Texas at Austin

Paper title: “Environmental Implications for Autonomous Shared Vehicles Using Agent-based Model Simulation”

Second place: Sayanan Sivaraman, University of California

Paper title: “Cooperative Intelligent Vehicles: Are we there yet?”

Third place: Edward Offei, University of Wyoming

Paper title: “ITS Technology to Reduce Truck Overturn Crashes Due to High Winds at Bordeaux, Wyoming”

Photos from the 2013 Student Essay Award Ceremony

2012 Winners

First place: James Wong, EIT, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Paper title:  Facing the Barriers to Real-time Integrated Multimodal Traveler Information in American Metropolitan Areas


Second place: Kshitij Jerath,  Penn State University, Department of Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering – Larson Transportation Institute

Paper title: Cooperative Intelligent Vehicles:  Are we there yet?


Third place: Laura Black, University of Delaware, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – Center for Transportation
Paper title: Towards Social Media & Web 2.0

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