UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) came home victorious after winning first place in the Mid-Colonial District regional ITE Collegiate Traffic Bowl, which took place April 23-25 in Baltimore.
“The Traffic Bowl is a transportation-themed, 'Jeopardy'-style trivia competition where different universities' ITE student chapters compete against each other,” said civil engineering graduate student and team member Owen Hitchcock. “Questions asked in the game are typically terms, processes or acronyms from publications used in the industry, such as the Highway Safety Manual or the Traffic Engineering Handbook.”
Since its introduction in 2009, a total of 102 student chapters have participated in the competition. The 2017 Mid-Colonial District regional competition included Morgan State University, Penn State, the University of Delaware and Villanova University.
As first place winners, the Penn State team will advance to the Collegiate Traffic Bowl Grand Championship, which will be held at the Institute’s International Annual Meeting and Exhibit on July 31 in Toronto, Ontario.
“It was satisfying when we won because of all the effort we put into preparing for the competition,” said Hitchcock. “It was a double elimination style tournament, and in the championship game we made a comeback win on the last two questions.”
Hitchcock said the national competition would be challenging because the teams that make it there represent the best teams from across the U.S. and Canada.
“We believe the competition will be more intense, and the questions asked will be more difficult,” said Hitchcock. “We just need to continue practicing like we did for the regional competition. I think we have an excellent chance at first place.”
Other team members included Danielle Berman, senior in civil engineering, Ali Dastagirzada, senior in civil engineering, and Bachir Hamadeh, graduate student in civil engineering.
ITE is an international membership association of transportation professionals who work to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and help build smart and livable communities. Through its products and services, ITE promotes professional development and career advancement for its members, supports and encourages education, identifies necessary research, develops technical resources including standards and recommended practices, develops public awareness programs and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information.