Members of the TxDOT Challenge team from the College of Technology include Andrew Thomas, Jennifer Bui, Team Advisor: Professor Liang-Chieh (Victor) Cheng, and Justin Holmes.
The first-ever TxDOT College Challenge competition encouraged college students to develop innovative transportation solutions for Texas. Students attending colleges and universities across Texas were encouraged to enter the 2014 TxDOT College Challenge. An interdisciplinary team of juniors and seniors majoring in supply chain and logistics Technology, organizational leadership and supervision, and computer information systems created an outreach campaign called “Both Hands on the Steering Wheel” to discourage texting and driving. Student teams submitted entries that reflected collaboration among engineering, science, marketing, finance or other fields. In the first round, entries included written proposals and five-minute videos that explained innovative concepts.
At the final round, the students presented a shorter version of the video for their project and answered questions from policy-makers, researchers, and practitioners. The original five-minute video is viewable on YouTube: TxDOT SCLT "It Can Wait".
The Texas Good Roads and Transportation Association sponsored the competition with TxDOT and donated $5,000 for cash prizes. Membership in TGR/TA is comprised of Texas transportation stakeholders, including business people, community leaders, chamber of commerce members, professionals, and transportation experts – Texans who understand that good roads lead to a stronger economy and safer roads.
TxDOT announced winners during the final session of the ninth Annual Texas Transportation Forum in San Antonio, January 6-8, 2014, where the audience voted to help select the champion. First place winner, Rice University students, developed an expandable bike rack to increase the number of bicyclists who can ride public transportation. Austin College in Sherman was awarded second prize for GPS: Directions to the Future: A Method to Improve Texas Traffic in the Long Run. The University of Houston students were the third prizewinners.
“TxDOT encourages students to consider careers in transportation, and this contest was a great place for them to start thinking about the transportation challenges we face,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III. “Their ideas were carefully considered as we continue to find ways to offer Texans safe and reliable transportation solutions.”