ATSSA & TRB announce winners of 2024 TCD Student Challenge
University of Massachusetts Amherst team places first
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Jan. 10, 2024) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB), announces winners of the 2024 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge.
Seven teams, made up primarily of engineering students from universities across the U.S., competed in the TCD Student Challenge, which was titled, “Innovations to Improve the Nighttime Visibility of Traffic Control Devices.”
The two-member team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst won the contest, receiving first place for their project entitled, “Ascending Passive Detection to Light the way of Vulnerable Road Users (GlowSafely).” The team consists of team leader Angelina Caggiano (pictured below) and teammate Andy Gia.
A team from Auburn University placed second with its project entitled, “Projecting Safety: Ultra-Short Throw Devices for Nighttime Traffic Control.” The team consists of team leader Fangjian Yang and teammates Ernest Nsong Asiedu, Tonghui Li and Alex Zhao. A team from Auburn University that included Yang and Li also received a second-place award in the 2023 TCD Student Challenge.
The Auburn University team included, from left, Zijie Zhao, Tonghui Li, Fangjian Yang, and Ernest Nsong Asiedu.
A team from the Universityof Connecticut placed third with its project entitled, “Enhancing Nighttime Visibility for Human Drivers and CAVs through Innovative Traffic Control Devices: Integrating LED-Lit E-Paper Displays and Lidar Sensors.” The team consists of team leader Manmohan Joshi and teammates Haimanti Bala, Syed Islam, Oluwaseun Olufowobi, Prakash Ranjan and Saki Rezwana.
The University of Connecticut team included, from left, Haimanti Bala, Syed Islam, Saki Rezwana, Manmohan Joshi, Prakash Ranjan and Oluwaseun Olufowobi (not pictured).
“This contest provides students with a tremendous opportunity to put their academic skills to work on a real-world issue that can help save lives on public roadways,” said ATSSA Director of Innovations & Technical Services Eric Perry. “It’s always fascinating to see the brilliant solutions teams of students develop to address the Traffic Control Device Student Challenge.”
The TCD Student Challenge is open to high school, junior college, college and university students or teams of students who have an interest in transportation and an understanding of traffic control devices. Students in relevant fields such as transportation, human factors and technology-related curricula are particularly encouraged to participate.
Entries are judged on the ability of the idea to address the problem, applicability of the idea and its transferability to various environments and roadways, and feasibility of implementation.
“We congratulate the students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst on winning this year’s challenge and thank each of the winning teams for taking the time to research the issue and develop their entries. Each team that participated in this year’s challenge provided some thought-provoking solutions,” Perry said.
The three winning teams were chosen during the TRB Annual Meeting that started Sunday and runs through Thursday in Washington, D.C. Each winning team receives a cash prize ($1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place) and the opportunity to present its submissions to members of the roadway safety infrastructure industry at ATSSA’s 54th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in San Diego, Feb. 2-6.
The following four teams also competed in the 2024 challenge.
Michigan State University – team leader Sakar Pahari and teammates Vahid Bahrami, Gagan Gupta, Sunday Imosemi and Sagar Keshari – “Enhancing Conspicuity of Pedestrian Crossing Signs Using Interconnected Dynamic Feedback Signs.”
University of Arizona – team leader Saquib Mohammed Haroon and teammate Sushmita Bhandari – “Innovative Solutions for Enhancing Nighttime Traffic Visibility: Transitioning from Static to Dynamic Signs.”
University of Florida – Renan Favero – “Smart Crosswalk.”
Wilmington University – Joseph Parampathu – “Utilizing Facial Attenuation in Traffic Control Devices.”
Photo caption (TCD 2024-First Place-UMass Amherst) – Students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst placed first in the 2024 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge. Angelina Caggiano represented the team. Winners were chosen on Monday during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, which runs through Thursday in Washington, D.C.