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 IllinoisITE+sponsorship@gmail.com.


Girl Scouts 7th Annual STEMapalooza

Illinois ITE attended the 7th Annual STEMapalooza Expo hosted by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. This event occurred on Saturday, March 24 from 10:00 am to 2:00 PM at the Friendship Center in Country Club Hills. The goal of STEMapalooza is to inspire girls to explore the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) by providing hands-on activities for the 400 girls who attend. ILITE has collaborated with Girl Scouts for the past few years and hopes to continue inspiring young girls to pursue STEM subjects.


Illinois ITE provided laptops with the traffic control game “Gridlock Buster” available to play. Gridlock Buster is an online traffic control game developed by the University of Minnesota and applies concepts vital to traffic engineering. The game incorporates the concept of delay and queue in a fun and easily understandable way. Players must control the traffic signals to ensure maximum capacity through the intersection. Illinois ITE was able to explain the role of traffic engineers to both the Girl Scouts and the attending parents. Illinois ITE would like to thank the organizers of this fun event and looks forward to future collaborations with the Girl Scouts of Great Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

Thank you to ITE board members Josh Harris and Monica Shei and ITE member Bryce Wegner for volunteering for this event!

Feel free to play Gridlock Buster here: http://www.its.umn.edu/GridlockBuster/