The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine mentioned Michigan Tech in a press release announcing the winners of the 2021-2022 TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs.
A four-member team from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering at Michigan Technological University placed third in the Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions Including Aprons, Ramps, and Taxiways category with its design titled, Thermal Detection System for Mitigating Runway Incursions at Non-Towered Airports.
The team included undergraduate students Clark Fadoir, Mary Ollis, Greg Porcaro, and Drew Vega.
Dr. Audra Morse served as faculty advisor to the Built World Enterprise at Michigan Tech.
The team describes the process for developing their hypothesis:
The team utilized Design Thinking to develop an effective solution. First, the team communicated and empathized with aviation professionals to learn challenges and concerns they are experiencing. Next, the team used the feedback from professionals to define the problem of runway incursions at non-towered airports. The team then created two prototypes to decrease runway incursions and used a decision matrix to evaluate and eventually choose the most effective solution. The design was then sent out to professionals to provide feedback and suggestions.