TAMUite places first at district Traffic Bowl, advances to international competition

A team of civil engineering students placed first in the Traffic Bowl Jan. 29.A team of four Zachry Department of Civil Engineering students representing the Texas A&M University Student Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) placed first in the district-level competition for the ITE Collegiate Traffic Bowl Jan. 29 at the winter meeting of the Texas District Institute of Transportation Engineers in Frisco, Texas.The Traffic Bowl tested the students' knowledge of traffic-related subjects such as traffic control devices, highway design, and other topics in a Jeopardy!-style format. In winning the competition, the Aggies beat out teams representing the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas at Austin."This competition is an outstanding opportunity for our students to demonstrate their abilities and expertise gained through their transportation education," said Dr. Gene Hawkins, the chapter's adviser and associate professor of civil engineering. "I'm extremely proud of their performance and look forward to seeing them compete at the international level."The students answered questions in a Jeopardy!-style contest.By winning the Texas District, the Texas A&M team will compete against up to nine other district champions at the international ITE Collegiate Traffic Bowl competition, which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, in conjunction with the ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit this August."I enjoyed the competition," said team member Philip Dunham. "It gave us an insight into what professionals in the field feel is important for students to know."The Texas A&M ITE Student Chapter team included doctoral student Ben Sperry and master's students Kristopher Ball (chapter president), Philip Dunham and Andrew Persyn.The Zachry Department of Civil Engineering was named in 2005 in honor of the generous and longstanding support of the Zachry Foundation of San Antonio. The department is one of the largest civil engineering programs in the world and consistently ranks among the top departments in the United States. The undergraduate program is ranked eighth and the graduate program eighth among public institutions in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.Written by Cassidy Thomas