IRF Student Essay Competition

The IRF Student Essay Competition is an annual contest held to recognize promising road research. This competition is open to all students attending an IRF Member university in good standing, as well as IRF Fellows currently enrolled as full time students. At the judges' discretion, a maximum of three winning essays will receive a US $500 cash award. Additionally, the winning essays will be published in the IRF Examiner, a freely available periodical journal featuring peer-reviewed technical papers by leading industry professionals. The categories and related topics for the competition are developed based on input from IRF Members regarding their research needs. Participants may choose any topic within any category for their essays, or professors may wish to limit the topics based on their particular curriculum.

Judging Criteria & Awards

Essays will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the road industry according to the criteria and point system outlined below.

  • Comprehension: How well does the essay reflect a thorough understanding of the topic?
  • Organization: Does the essay follow a logical and easily understood progression?
  • Creativity: Were diverse resources and ideas used to develop the topic?
  • Applicability: Can the proposed solution(s) be applied feasibly?
  • Conclusions: Do the conclusions follow logically from the argument? Are the conclusions compelling?

5 Points – Essay met the criteria very well 4 Points – Essay mostly met the criteria 3 Points – Essay adequately met the criteria 2 Points – Essay only met the criteria a few times 1 Point –   Essay never met the criteria

Submission Specifications

All essays should be submitted in English using Times New Roman (size 12) font with double spacing. Essays must be a minimum of 1,500 words and a maximum of 2,000 words. Essays that do not follow the above-mentioned specifications WILL NOT be considered.

2015 Winners

Mathew Volovski Funding for Highway Asset Construction and Maintenance: Sustainable Alternatives to the Traditional Gas Tax

Bradley Winkelbauer The Killer Tree Problem

Davis Chacon-Hurtado Integrated Traffic-Ticketing Management System

Previous Winners

Innovative Finance

Yijing Lu University of Maryland, College Park Implementing Marginal-Cost Vehicle Mileage Fees on the Maryland Statewide Road Network

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Chenfeng Xiong University of Maryland College Park Professor: Lei Zhang On En-Route Diversion Behavior: Emerging Data Collection Techniques & Modeling Method

Sustainable Roads

Daniel Mogrovejo Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Professor: Dr Gerardo Flintsch Effect of Air Temperature and Vehicle Speed on Tire / Pavement Noise Measured with On-Board Sound Intensity

More Information

Dr. Les Mills

+1 703 535 1001

International Road Federation
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Alexandria, VA 22314