InTrans / Jul 11, 2023

InTrans students see success at MOVITE Spring Conference

Raghupathi Kandiboina (center, left images), Maroa Mumtarin (center, top right and lower left), and Minsoo Oh (center, bottom left) pose with MOVITE President Amanda Brauer (left) and Vice President Kendra Miller (right) showing off their and Iowa State students’ awards at MOVITE’s Spring Conference

Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation (InTrans) students earned numerous awards at the recent Missouri Valley District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (MOVITE) Spring Conference held in Cedar Rapids last month.

Iowa State earned the Student Chapter Momentum Award and placed second in the Traffic Bowl, a team competition akin to “Jeopardy” where the clues are drawn from transportation engineering sources. Iowa State graduate students also placed first in the Design Challenge, where they worked on real-world solutions to a design prompt from moderators.

Additionally, InTrans students won the top two spots in both the Thomas J. Seburn Student Paper Award and Jan Kibbe Student Scholarship. InTrans students also earned recognition in the Poster Competition.

“The TSA had been inactive in 2020 and ‘21 due to COVID. We had a kick-starting event this past fall with fun, interesting, and useful activities that encouraged the association’s members to actively participate, including in MOVITE,” said Raghupathi Kandiboina, who is president of the Transportation Student Association (TSA) at Iowa State. “What we achieved in this conference is due to the collective efforts of our student officers and effective participation of our members.”

That success and teamwork is evident in its many group awards. InTrans graduate students Maria Rojas, Frances Agbenya, Abdallah Alhamdan, and Camilla Junaid worked together to earn first place in the Design Challenge, which this year focused on the problem of pedestrian-related crashes in a commercial district. The Iowa State students on the second place Traffic Bowl team were Aparna Joshi, Ashutosh Dumka, and Alhamdan.

In fact, the Student Chapter Momentum Award recognizes a TSA chapter in the region that has had the greatest momentum or most improvement in the past year. The Iowa State TSA was recognized specifically for its significant improvements in its activities and thereby encouraging new students to take membership and grab the opportunities such as technical tours, networking events, etc., over the past year.

Iowa State’s Traffic Bowl team members Aparna Joshi, Abdallah Alhamdan, and Ashutosh Dumka (from left to right) took 2nd Place in the competition

InTrans students were so successful that they also earned individual awards.

InTrans doctoral student Minsoo Oh won the Thomas J. Seburn Student Paper Award, and Kandiboina, who is also a doctoral student, earned second in the competition. The student paper award recognizes students for outstanding accomplishment in their efforts to conduct and report on independent and original research.

Kandiboina and InTrans doctoral student Maroa Mumtarin earned the two Jan Kibbe Student Scholarships awarded. The scholarship is awarded to exceptional students who are pursuing transportation engineering and encouraging their continuation into the profession upon graduation.

Mumtarin additionally placed second in the Poster Competition, and Joshi earned a participation award for her poster.

In all, about a dozen students attended the MOVITE Spring Conference and associated Student Leadership Summit on June 21 and 22 in Cedar Rapids. They also attended Technical and Skill Development sessions. The trip was sponsored by the TSA and funded by a combination of the TSA and Tom Maze Fund, which provided accommodation, transportation, registration, and food for 10 selected participants.

Kandiboina and Mumtarin also served as members of the planning committee for the Student Leadership Summit and as moderators for specific sessions during the MOVITE conference. In addition to the students, InTrans staff also served as guest speakers on professional sessions as part of the conference.

Iowa State’s TSA students heading to this year’s MOVITE Spring Conference in Cedar Rapids last month