Michigan Tech students win cash prize

A trio of Civil Engineering students won first place for a design for greater airport safety.
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 10:25 AM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - A group of three Michigan Tech students worked the entire 2019 to 2020 academic year on a project to help prevent runway incursions, or cases where the plane isn’t where it’s supposed to be.

Their solution was to take a common strategy used in cities and apply it to the runway.

“This team developed a pavement marking strategy that was taken from marking bus-ways to prevent people from parking in bus-way lanes,” explained Audra Morse, the head of the Civil Engineering Department, “like mirror curbs in big cities, so they applied that technique to create a visible... markings for pilots so they would know ‘Do not enter in this area'.”

Their design earned the team a first-place win in Michigan Tech’s Enterprise program. The prize included $3000 in cash to be split among the three of them. The team was thrilled to learn of their win in early June, especially since their work could be used outside the classroom.

“One of the cool aspects of this competition is that the students will be invited to a national meeting to present their work,” Morse said. “Because the students had done such a fantastic job incorporating airport, if you will, standards into the design it has a real possibility of being implemented.”

Professor Morse is just as excited as her students about the win and will encourage them to enter the competition next academic year.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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