BINGHAMTON, NY – A team of Binghamton University students, led by William Ziegler, associate professor of computer science in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, was recently selected as first-place award winners in the National Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Design Competition for Universities.

Up against nearly 50 colleges and universities worldwide, the Binghamton University team captured the top prize in the Airport Operations and Maintenance challenge with the submission titled, “Web-Based Smartphone Applications for Pavement Analysis: A Geographical Information System Approach.” The team was recognized for its adoption of existing technology in new and practical ways at airports.

Binghamton University also received a second place award in the Airport Operations and Maintenance challenge category for a project titled, “Runway Excursion Modeling and Analysis: A Web-Based Geographic Information System Solution,” which was developed by a second team of students.

For the past four years, Ziegler has used the competition as an educational opportunity in his technical engineering writing classes. Students work side-by-side with industry experts from the Greater Binghamton Airport and McFarland Johnson, a leader in the planning and design of major transportation and facilities projects, to develop a 70-page design proposal in just 14 weeks.

About the competition:
The design competition was created by the FAA to engage individual students or teams of students at US universities working under the guidance of a faculty mentor to address airport operations and infrastructure issues and needs. Students are presented with a number of technical challenges relating to airport operations and maintenance, runway safety, airport environmental interactions, and airport management and planning while providing important lessons in management structure, team decision-making and problem-solving.