ITE/WTS/ITS Autonomous Vehicle Luncheon

The Illinois Section of ITE was proud to co-host a luncheon panel event with ITS Midwest and WTS Greater Chicago Chapter on June 27th.  The panel, moderated by Ann Schlenker of Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Transportation Research, focused on the opportunities and barriers for the future deployment of autonomous vehicles, particularly in Illinois.  The panel included:

  • Rep. Michael Zalewski: Illinois State Representative from the 23rd District

  • Jerry Quandt: Executive Director from the Illinois Autonomous Vehicles Association

  • Aimee Lee: Senior Manager of Strategic Planning from the Illinois Tollway

  • Terry Heffron: ITS Unit Manager from IDOT’s ITS Program Office

Our speakers discussed priorities, leadership opportunities, and the challenges ahead in terms of AV deployment.  Representative Zalewski, who has sponsored two AV bills in the Illinois assembly, provided key insights as to how the Illinois legislature is working to tackle this constantly changing topic.  Jerry, who has led ILAVA for its 18-month existence, described his organization's role in facilitating the conversations between the private vehicle manufacturing industry, the public sector (DOTs), and the legislative arm of government.  Aimee and Terry both dove into what their agencies are doing to prepare, and what other agencies can look for as AV technologies and policies move forward.

In the years ahead, there are many questions which still need to be answered:

  1. What will the vehicle ownership model look like when AV technology becomes more mainstream?

  2. What kind of disruption will AV technology have on freight and mass transit?

  3. What role does government play as things move forward? How much do states take on versus the federal government?

  4. Will AV technologies deploy in an equitable fashion?

Thank you so much to our moderator, Ann, our panel, and our 100+ attendees for making this event such a success!

Future City Regional Finals 2019: Powering Our Future

The Future City Competition Regional Finals took place in Chicago on Saturday, January 19th at Whitney Young Magnet High School. The competition is the culmination of months spent by junior high school teams and their engineering mentors to create a city of the future. Students submit a working project plan, present their solutions via a virtual city design (using SimCity), write an essay describing the unique attributes of their city and their solution to the year’s challenge (Powering Our Future); build a scale model, and give a presentation to judges. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC.

For the past five years, the Illinois Section of ITE has participated as a special award judge at the Future Cities Competition. This year, 23 different professional organizations sponsored and gave 27 special awards at the competition. Bryce Wegner, the current Section Director of Operations, and Andrew Freeman represented the Illinois Section of ITE this year as special award judges. Bryce and Andrew were tasked with reviewing each team's city and awarding the Excellence in Transportation Safety and Operations Award. This award was given to the team that had the most innovative future city design that demonstrated a safe and efficient surface transportation system that considered growth and preservation of the environment.

Illinois ITE members at Future City Regional Finals

Illinois ITE members at Future City Regional Finals

This year, Bryce and Andrew determined that the winning city deserving of this award was Siksha, presented by students from Montini Catholic School from McHenry, Illinois. Judges were impressed with Siksha's emphasis on multiple forms of transportation systems, such as an underground maglev train for regional travel, a series of intertwined canals for clean and efficient local traffic, and an abundance of bridges and paths to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. Student presenters explained how each part of their transportation would compliment each other to provide a safe and efficient transportation network.

Siksha from Montini Catholic School

Siksha from Montini Catholic School

The Illinois Section of ITE was happy to not only sponsor the Future City Competition in Chicago again this year, but to participate as judges. We look forward to participating in this event again next year!

Annual Banquet 2019

Fifty-one Illinois ITE members and guests were able to attend this year’s Annual Banquet on January 25th at Union League Club in downtown Chicago. The banquet each year is a commemorative event for the section to honor student awards, section awards, and to install the new board.

We were honored to have the 2018 Midwestern District Director & International Board of Direction, John Davis, provide an update on the Midwestern District of ITE and to install the new Section Board.

2019 Board swearing in - Led by John Davis

2019 Board swearing in - Led by John Davis

2019 IL-ITE Section Board

2019 IL-ITE Section Board

Ryan Jacox of TranSmart/EJM was awarded the Outgoing President Award for his contributions to the Illinois Section. The Outstanding Member Award went to Jenna Brose of AECOM for her efforts in establishing IL-ITE as a 501(c)3 organization this year.. Randy Laninga, a former President of the Illinois Section, was honored with the Past Presidents’ Award for his contributions to the transportation engineering profession in Illinois. We also recognized Patrick Jordan for his contribution to ILITE as the ongoingITEms Editor.

Outgoing President's Award -  Ryan Jacox

Outgoing President's Award - Ryan Jacox

Outstanding Member Award -  Jenna Brose

Outstanding Member Award - Jenna Brose

Past President's Award -  Randy Laninga

Past President's Award - Randy Laninga

This year’s Undergraduate Scholarship was presented to Cassandra Reineke of Illinois Institute of Technology. This year’s Graduate Scholarship was presented to Ali Shamshiripour of the University of Illinois at Chicago. This year’s Student Paper Award was presented to Amir Bahador Parsa of The University of Illinois at Chicago for “Real-time Accident Detection: Coping with Imbalanced Data.” Congraulations to Cassandra, Ali, and Amir for their outstanding work in 2018!

Undergraduate Scholarship -  Cassandra Reineke

Undergraduate Scholarship - Cassandra Reineke

Graduate Scholarship -  Ali Shamshiripour

Graduate Scholarship - Ali Shamshiripour

Student Paper -  Amir Bahador Parsa

Student Paper - Amir Bahador Parsa

The 2019 Board is as follows:

President Brian Roberts
Vice President Josh Harris
Secretary Jenna Brose
Treasurer Thomas Szabo
Technical Director Kelly Dunne
Activities Director Curtis Cornwell
Student Affairs Director Anmol Shrivastava
Public Affairs Director Monica Shei
Operations Director Bryce Wegner
Immediate Past President Ryan Jacox

A special thanks to the Illinois ITE 2019 Sponsors!

Platinum: AECOM, Jacobs, Civiltech
Gold: HDR. Christopher B. Burke Engineering, TranSmart/EJM, TranSystems Corporation
Silver: Baxter & Woodman, Dama Consultants, Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc.
Bronze: CBB, Stantec, Willet Hoffman and Associates

Photos: Monica Shei

Illinois ITE Section 2019 Sponsorship Program

The Illinois Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ILITE) is excited to once again offer an opportunity to sponsor the section for 2019. Through our sponsorship program we offer unique opportunities which will benefit your organization and help further ITE's goals for 2019. We're reaching out to you to ask that your organization partner with Illinois ITE in advancing these goals.

 In 2018, ILITE completed another successful year with the section sponsorship program, and expanded to many new corporate partners! Corporate sponsorship continues to be paramount in ensuring that meaningful programs and the scholarship program can continue. ILITE prides itself on its ability to provide scholarships to students pursuing studies in the transportation field, and with the help of our corporate sponsors, our student scholarships continue to thrive.

ITE has long striven to be an organization which promotes leadership, networking, and education.  Each year, our officers and committee volunteers spend countless hours to unite members of your organization with engineers and other transportation professionals in the spirit of these objectives.

Furthermore, by the end of this year, ILITE will have provided for its network of transportation professionals:

  • 4 technical luncheons

  • 4 discussion-based webinars

  • 3 social events

  • Annual golf outing (joint event with WTS

  • Annual banquet

  • Student Day career fair and networking event

The sponsorship summary and form detailing benefits associated with the different levels of financial support can be found in the link above.  To ensure you receive all listed benefits for 2019, we request that you send in your completed form by Friday, December 28, 2018. Additionally, in the event that levels of sponsorship fill up, we will determine order by date of response with completed form.

We hope that you will consider joining the ILITE team in 2019.  If you have any questions, please contact the ILITE Sponsorship Chair, Katelyn Bleach, at 312-612-7287 or