Va. Transportation Conference Makes Call for Student Papers

Mon April 07, 2008 - Southeast Edition

The Virginia Transportation Conference is now accepting entries for its fifth student paper contest.

Undergraduate and graduate students at Virginia colleges and universities are invited to submit original papers that will compete for a $1,000 prize for each winner.

Students can choose to write on a topic from one of seven transportation-related categories: mobility, safety, applied technology, structures and materials, policy, freight or passenger rail or intermodal issues

One paper from each category will be selected as a winner.

The papers will be judged by a panel of experts from the Virginia Transportation Research Council (the research arm of the Virginia Department of Transportation), the Virginia Transportation Policy Group at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the Virginia Rail Policy Institute.

Awards will be given based on the papers’ relevance, insight and significance, and quality of research and content. Winning students will be notified on Sept. 15.

Students may submit papers previously written for class projects, conferences or journals, as long as the student was the primary author and any published paper has written permission for use in the contest. The paper also must be based on work completed from a course or study requirement at the undergraduate or graduate level.

The submitted papers must be postmarked no later than June 10 and paper topics must be approved in advance by Ray Pethtel, Virginia Tech’s transportation fellow.

Interested students should send their proposed paper’s title and a one paragraph abstract describing the subject to Pethtel by e-mail at

The annual Virginia Transportation Conference has been held for more than 55 years for local, state and regional government officials and transportation industry representatives to learn about the latest transportation issues, research and initiatives.

The student papers and awards normally are presented at the conference. While the 2008 conference has been cancelled in an effort to reduce state spending, its annual student paper competition will continue.

For more information, visit