Dr. Daiheng Ni served as one of two faculty advisors on the winning design for Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions, a category in the 2015-2016 TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. The UMass engineering students on the team submitted a design titled Airport Secure Perimeter Control System (ASPECTS). Dr. Douglas Looze from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering also served as an advisor.
The competition encourages out-of-the-box approaches to airport issues while providing quality educational experiences and exposure to aviation and airport-related careers. Student designs offered novel thinking on airport operations including accommodations for aging travelers, using drones for removing debris from runways, improving options for applying energy-saving technology, presenting an innovative approach to queuing for security checkpoint lines, and designing a software program to optimize runway allocations.
Volunteer panels of airport industry, academic practitioners, and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration selected the winning proposals. Alongside the University of Massachusetts Amherst, first place awards went to teams from the University of Rhode Island, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Stevens Institute of Technology. These teams will receive their awards and present their work at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on the morning of Aug. 11, 2016, followed by a presentation of their designs to the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) Airports Technical Workshop in Washington, D.C.
You may view a pdf of the UMass team's winning design here.