Embry-Riddle Student Teams Take Top Honors in FAA Design Competition

Daytona Beach, Fla., June 10, 2008 – Two student teams from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University recently took first-place awards in the FAA's Design Competition for Universities for their proposals on the use of alternative fuels and GPS technology at airports.

A team of business administration students from Embry-Riddle's Sky Harbor Campus in Phoenix, Ariz., took the first-place award in the category of Airport Environmental Interactions for a proposal to use solar energy as a clean, cost- effective alternative fuel for airport ground support equipment. A second Sky Harbor team captured an honorable mention in the Runway Safety/Runway Incursions category.

"This educational experience provided an excellent opportunity for students to conduct individual as well as collaborative research to solve challenging issues of importance to all airports. The learning, teamwork, and spirit displayed by these student teams was outstanding," said Dr. Edward Gordhammer, an Embry-Riddle business administration professor and advisor to the Sky Harbor teams.

The first-place Sky Harbor student team members were Cynthia Cooke (project lead), Zeino Daryani, Roxann Favors, Tamie Fisher, Samuel Niko, Robyn Sullivan, and Sandra Torres.

The Airport Management Club at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus, led by College of Business students Joost Vlek (project lead), Richard Genge, and Andrew Wilhelm, was the top team in the category of Runway Safety/Runway Incursions. Their proposal recommends using GPS technologies in a new way to decrease runway incursions caused by ground vehicles operating around runways.

"All of us in the College of Business are very proud of the hard work and ingenuity of our students," said Dr. Seth Young, an Embry-Riddle business professor and advisor to the club. "They've made a solid contribution to the industry with a cost-effective technology proposal that should be considered for further development."

This year's competition attracted 36 proposals from 16 colleges and universities. The winning proposals were selected by panels of FAA, industry, and academic experts. The Sky Harbor teams will receive $3,000 and the Daytona Beach team $2,500, and both first-place teams will present their winning proposals at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) annual meeting in New Orleans this month.

Besides the AAAE, other partnering organizations in the competition were the Airport Consultants Council, the Airports Council International – North America, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials.

The FAA Design Competition for Universities challenges students to address airport operations and infrastructure issues by requiring them to reach out to airport operators and industry experts to advise them in their proposals and to help them assess the efficacy of their proposed designs/solutions.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. The university educates more than 34,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 130 campus centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu.