Campus & Community

Stevens Team Places First in 2011-2012 National FAA Design Competition for Universities

Stevens Engineering Management Seniors take top honors in area of Airport Environmental Interactions

Hoboken, N.J. – A team from Stevens Institute of Technology has been selected as a first-place winner for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) sixth annual Design Competition for Universities.  Stevens was one of four universities to receive top honors out of 207 submissions.

The competition seeks to engage students at U.S. colleges and universities in addressing issues facing airports while providing quality educational experiences and exposure to aviation and airport-related careers.  Students were invited to design solutions in four technical challenge areas:  airport operations and maintenance; runway safety; airport environmental interactions; and airport management and planning. 

The Stevens team, made up of undergraduates seniors, Bradford Antes, James Clague, Steven Koch, and Daniel Nuzzetti from the Engineering Management Program, were tasked with creating a solution to help with aircraft emissions from airports that are damaging to the environment and the health of local residents. The team’s proposal describes a cost efficient, environmentally friendly, alternative approach for gate electrification by utilizing natural-gas powered generators. 

“The fact that our team placed first among 207 submissions from graduate and undergraduate students nationwide, is a testament to the caliber of students we attract to our program,” said Eirik Hole, Stevens advisor and faculty member. “It’s very satisfying to see that the students are able to integrate the breadth of methods and tools they’ve learned at Stevens and take a systems approach to create an innovative design proposal to a real-world problem.”

The competition requires that students work with a faculty advisor and that they reach out to airport operators and to industry experts to obtain advice and to assess the efficacy of their proposed designs and solutions. The team from Stevens worked closely with the Port Authority at Newark Airport's Terminal B and their Office of Environmental & Energy Programs in NYC, as well as a supervisor at Stevens’ own physical plant, among others.

This competition is managed for the FAA by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium based in Hampton, Va. 

Panels of FAA, industry and academic experts selected the winning proposals. Students from winning teams equally divide prizes of $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, $1,000 for third place, and $500 for an honorable mention.  First place teams receive their awards from the FAA and present their work at the ACC/FAA/TSA Summer Series Workshop in Washington, DC, July 18 - 19, 2012. Promising designs may also receive FAA funding to take their concepts to the next stage of development. Copies of the Stevens design and other winners can be viewed here:   

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at and