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Motivations for Including Sustainability in a National Airport Design Competition

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Hands-on Activities and Student Learning in Aerospace Engineering - II - Student Papers

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Yue Gu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Yue “Carl” Gu is a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at Purdue University. He has a M.S. in Aviation Management at Purdue University and a B.S. in Aviation Management from Louisiana Tech University. His research areas are general aviation safety and airport sustainability, primarily focused on airport operational sustainability. He received the Ross Fellowship from Purdue University and 2018 – 2019 ACRP Graduate Research Award. He interned at Monroe Regional Airport in Louisiana and interned as an aircraft mechanic at Hainan Airlines in Taiyuan, China.

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Mary E. Johnson Ph.D. Purdue Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16

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Mary E. Johnson earned her BS, MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington. After 5 years in aerospace manufacturing, Dr. Johnson joined the Automation & Robotics Research Institute in Fort Worth and was program manager for applied research programs. Fourteen years later, she was an Industrial Engineering assistant professor at Texas A&M - Commerce before joining the Aviation Technology department at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2007 as an Associate Professor. She is a Co-PI on the FAA Center of Excellence for general aviation research known as PEGASAS and leads engineering efforts in the Air Transport Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Her research interests are aviation sustainability, data driven process improvement, and engine emissions.

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Student Paper

Airport Sustainability as a business strategy with both short-term and long-term benefits. More and more airports are trying to integrate sustainability into their long-range planning and day-to-day operations. Airports that commit to enhance sustainability progress need to track and measure the performance made toward achieving their sustainable goals. However, it is a challenge to convert sustainability concepts into the quantitative measuring tools, and to select appropriate performance metrics.

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs is an annual national competition for university-level students. This competition is sponsored by ACRP, a program of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The competition has four challenge categories, which are airport environmental interactions, runway safety/runway incursions/runway excursions, airport operations and maintenance, and airport management and planning. Each of the four challenges categories could potentially have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. The past winning proposals are available in online archives on the competition’s official website.

Student teams at U.S. colleges and universities may participate in the competition either as an academic course or as an out-of-class project, with a faculty advisor. Each student team submits a design package that proposes an innovative design to solve a real-world problem airport facing and a self-assessment of the educational experience of participating in the competition. The design package submitted must meet strict competition requirements and be up to 40 pages in length. A recent study found that from 2007 to 2017, sustainability was mentioned in twelve of the first place design packages.

This study aims to address the following research questions: 1. What are the metrics were used in measuring sustainability in the 2013 – 2017 1st place winning proposals of ACRP airport design competition? 2. What are the motivations for the 2013 – 2017 1st place winning teams to include sustainability into their designs?

To answer the research question 1, the 1st place winning proposals from 2013 – 2017 that mentioned sustainability are explored to identify the sustainability metrics were used. To answer the research question 2, the insights provided by the winning teams are analyzed. The outcomes of this study are expected to be a set of measurement metrics for sustainability and a list of motivations for including sustainability into the designs. The metrics identified may be helpful to the students and faculty interested in competing in future competitions and wanting to include sustainability metrics. Faculty may use the sustainability metrics and team motivations to inform course design in engineering and technology programs. A winning team member and faculty advisor share their reflections on team self-assessment during the design package preparation.

Gu, Y., & Johnson, M. E. (2019, June), Motivations for Including Sustainability in a National Airport Design Competition Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33123

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