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Student of the Year Awards

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) invests in the future of transportation through its University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program.  The Congressionally-mandated program has been in place since 1987 and is intended to advance transportation expertise and U.S. technology in the varied disciplines within the field of transportation through: 

  • Research
  • Education and workforce development
  • Technology transfer activities

Student education and participation in UTC funded research projects is key to achieving the goals of the Program and developing a strong, diverse workforce of transportation professionals to create and lead the Nation’s transportation future. 

Each year the USDOT sponsors an annual awards banquet in collaboration with the Council of University Transportation Centers, to recognize and honor eligible students supported by the UTC Program for their achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field.  These outstanding Students of the Year (SOY) are selected based on their accomplishments in such areas as technical merit and research, academic performance, professionalism, and leadership.

Each SOY receives a $1,000 award, a certificate of achievement from the USDOT, and their travel expenses to attend the award ceremony and the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. In addition, each student is featured in a program booklet that includes their bio, area of study and a summary of their thesis. 

Highlights from January 2022 UTC-SOY awards event can be found at: 

Information about past events including the program booklet can be found at: 

Last updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2021