Student Chapters from University of Michigan and Purdue University Awarded at ITE Annual Meeting

MiTSO Team at the 2023 Great Lakes District Annual Meeting.

Student Chapters from University of Michigan and Purdue University Awarded at ITE Annual Meeting

The clubs will move on to compete at the international level in Portland, OR this August

MiTSO Team at the 2023 Great Lakes District Annual Meeting.
L to R: Kristen Kwan, Youwen Duan, Jacqueline Buford, Zachary Jerome, Lily Craighead, and Jisoon Lim at the 2023 Great Lakes District Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids.

ANN ARBOR—Last week, the 2023 Great Lakes District Annual Meeting convened in the vibrant downtown of Grand Rapids, MI. The conference, organized by the Great Lakes District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Intelligent Transportation Society of Michigan, offered a multitude of social events and welcomed transportation professionals to share knowledge through technical sessions. The Michigan Transportation Student Organization (MiTSO), led by President Zachary Jerome, received the Student Chapter Momentum Award. Purdue University’s Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter, led by President Rajat Verma, received the Student Chapter Award for the third time.

The Student Chapter Momentum Award, which started in 2020, aims to recognize a student chapter that has experienced the most growth in the following areas: chapter administration, application of technical knowledge, networking events, K–12 STEM outreach, new member recruitment, diversity and inclusion, training and professional development, field trips and technical tours, service projects, and leadership development. It is the first time that MiTSO has received the award. Previously, MiTSO won the 2022, 2020, and 2019 Transportation Technology Tournament, organized by the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE).

Headshot of Zachary Jerome.

“One of my main goals as MiTSO president was to increase our presence in ITE to provide more networking, educational, and professional opportunities for our members. Receiving the Student Chapter Momentum Award is a reflection of our progress.”

Zachary Jerome, Ph.D. Candidate in Next Generation Transportation Systems, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan

MiTSO was founded in 2016 to encourage all University of Michigan students to explore different professional, academic, research, and mentorship opportunities in transportation engineering and planning at the university and in industry. Jisoon Lim, a Ph.D. candidate in Civil Engineering at the University, is the President-Elect of MiTSO for 2023-2024. Every year, the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation provides funding for MiTSO students to attend a number of professional conferences including the Great Lakes District Annual Meeting and the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

The Student Chapter Award recognizes the chapter that has best achieved the objectives of the Student Chapter Charter:

  • Promote the advancement of transportation and traffic engineering by fostering the close association of students with the transportation and traffic engineering profession and ITE
  • Acquaint Chapter Members with topics of interest in transportation and traffic engineering through the medium of addresses by competent speakers, and of Chapter sponsored trips
  • Foster the development of professional spirit
  • Promote common interests among Chapter members
  • Encourage the expansion of facilities for transportation and traffic engineering study

In addition, Purdue students received 1st place in the Design competition which allows student members to tackle a topic as a project team and present their solutions to a panel of professionals during the conference.

Headshot of Zainab Saka, Graduate Research Assistant at Purdue University.

“The competition provided us with valuable insights into the use of advanced technology and creative thinking to address challenges of equity, livability, safety and congestion within a city.”

Zainab Saka, Ross Fellow and Assistant Research Scientist, Civil Engineering Department at Purdue University

The constitution of the Purdue University Student Chapter of ITE was approved on January 14, 1977, with Student President James R. Mekemson and Faculty Advisor Dr. Kumares Sinha. The chapter currently has over 40 student members at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

This story was written by Calvin Tuttle of the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT).