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Tandon’s Institute of Transportation Engineers student chapter is going places

NYU-ITE Student Chapter members

This year, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) named Tandon as having the best student chapter in the world. The chapter, which won Northeast regional honors last year, distinguished itself in a crowded field by the depth and breadth of its programming, its membership growth, its diversity, and its outreach efforts, among other factors. It also garnered the inaugural (and fittingly named) Momentum Award, for the chapter on the steepest upward trajectory.

The ITE is an international membership association of professionals who work to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and help build smart and livable communities. The organization’s mission sounds much like that of Tandon’s own transportation engineering programs and its C2SMART (Connected Cities with Smart Transportation) Center, and, indeed, for the last few years the bonds between the school and the ITE have only grown stronger.

group of students wearing construction vests in front of Dibner building

Current co-presidents Bruno Cunha and Mateo Leon are both rising seniors who joined the ITE soon after they arrived at Tandon; they thus see marked parallels between their own development as aspiring professionals and the chapter’s growth. “As individuals and as ITE members, we have had such a strong base of support,” they said. “We’ve learned from seeing former president Jingqin Gao’s example and have benefitted from being advised by Professor Jack Bringardner. Additionally, Professor Magued Iskander, who chairs the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, has always cheered us on, whether we needed space for activities, funding, or any other help. Of course, having C2SMART, which is the school’s Tier 1 USDOT University Transportation Center, is a real advantage for us, because the research being conducted here is so important for the future of transportation systems.”

They admit that the COVID-19 crisis made leading the chapter a more difficult proposition, with many field trips and the eagerly awaited annual Traffic Bowl competition canceled or postponed for the time being. There was still plenty to focus on, however, including strengthening ties with ITE student chapters at schools like Cooper Union and NJIT. “The world of transportation engineering is a tightknit one,” they explained, “so we’re forging bonds that will probably follow us into our professional lives.”   

The group — which has grown to some 300 members, not only from the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, but from Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Technology Management and Innovation — has also hosted game nights, where they introduce members to the fun and excitement of Cities: Skyline, a simulation game that challenges players to design effective subway lines and other vital urban infrastructure.

“I’m very proud that despite the trials presented by the current pandemic, our ITE chapter stayed active and relevant,” Bringardner said. “Our students are continually working to forge connections, develop their professional skills, and support one another’s progress. COVID-19 did not slow them down, as these recent honors prove, and neither will the challenges inherent in building the transportation systems of the future."

Current E-board

  • Co-President: Bruno Cunha
  • Co-President: Mateo Leon
  • Vice President: Suzana Duran
  • Secretary: Siva Sooryaa
  • Public Relations: Logan Wagner
  • Programming Coordinator: Martin Buce

Incoming E-board

  • Co-President: Martin Buce
  • Co-President: Logan Wagner
  • Treasurer: Suzana Duran
  • Secretary: Siva Sooryaa
  • Public Relations:  Nick Hudanich