Expression of Interest

Deadline: Rolling

Expression of Interest: Rolling deadline through December, 2019

An Expression of Interest is not required to participate, but academic institutions are strongly encouraged to submit an expression of interest to compete prior to submitting entries.

Teams who indicate interest by the stated deadline will be invited to participate in an exclusive Question and Answer (Q&A) Session with the SC prior to the proposal due date. Expression of interest must be submitted by 11:59 PM ET on October 16, 2019 via an online form.

The following information will be requested and is required to be submitted as part of the Expression of Interest:

  1. Name of each student performing work at the core member academic institution.
  2. Major course of study for each student.
  3. Anticipated degree and date of graduation for each student.
  4. Name of academic institution(s) with which students are affiliated.
  5. Name and contact information of faculty advisor from lead institution.
  6. Name and contact information for student team lead(s).
  7. If applicable, name of each additional student/ faculty I university / industry affiliate supporting this work and the role each has played in conducting the research and related activities.
  8. If applicable, name of industry partner(s) or other organization(s) associated with the proposal with which the student(s) will perform the work or portions of work.
  9. A synopsis of the concept, limited to five (5) pages, providing a high-level overview of the proposed project and impact of the related research.

Note: Teams are encouraged to keep their synopsis as short and concise as possible. It is understood that EOIs are due early in the development process and that teams will still be in the process of fleshing out the details of their concepts.

Project Plan Proposal

Deadline: January 13, 2020

Project Plan Proposal: Due by 11:59 PM ET on 1/13/2020

Project Plan submissions must be transmitted electronically via the website submission form by 11:59 PM ET on January 13, 2020. Late submissions will result in disqualification.

Submission packages must consist of the following elements submitted in the following order (any other form of submission may be rejected):

  1. Cover Page (1 page)
    1. Title of Work
    2. United States based lead university name (and any partnering universities)
    3. Faculty Advisor name (from lead university)
    4. List of Team Members with Academic Level (graduate or undergraduate)
  2. Table of Contents with the following highlighted sections tabulated:
  3. Summary Statement - Not to exceed one (1) page. An overall summary of the innovation which includes a title of the project, a one paragraph synopsis of the problem statement, the problem solving approach, and a statement of the potential innovative impact the research concept will have on the problem.
  4. Problem Statement and Background - Not to exceed two (2) pages. The challenge being addressed and overall research approach.
  5. Project Description - The project should use information and mobile technology to facilitate an efficient, cost-effective, and hassle-free passenger experience from home to flight to final destination. These sections should demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding the challenge as well as the current conditions and state-of-the-art approaches to seeking solutions.
    1. Project Description, Section I, include the following (Not to exceed ten (10) pages)
      1. Concept – Considering the selection criteria to be used, provide a full description of the concept and the team's work including a description of both interdisciplinary and systems engineering approaches as appropriate.
      2. Problem Solving Approach – Discuss the methodology used, new systems created and procedures employed.
      3. Risk Assessment - Consider inherent risks and describe how these risks would be addressed to ensure safe and efficient operations and execution.
      4. Impact Statement - Address commercial potential for the solution(s) presented and expected benefits compared to costs to implement.
    2. Project Description, Section II, include the following:
      1. Demonstration Materials – No page limit or limit to number of materials. Tools, applications, (hand-held) device(s), additional drawings, mockups, etc. as appropriate to display and provide evidence of a thorough design process to enable actual demonstration of the concept.
      2. Appendices - No page limit. Specific reference citations are to be provided in the Appendix. Appendices are to be used for references only. Judges are not obligated to review this section.
      3. Optional - Video/images/animations. Teams may choose to include a brief video to augment the project plan proposal by including animation, graphics, or other creative ways of showcasing unique aspects of your proposed concept. Judges are not obligated to review this section.
  6. Letter(s)
    1. University Nomination Letter – No page limit, limited to one letter, a formal nomination from one advisor, indicating that the university supports the proposed project plan. Provide an assessment from the advisor's point of view of the submitted entry, research, results, materials and related reports prepared by the students.
    2. Additional Supporting Letters – No page limit or limit to number of letters. These optional additional letters may be from subject matter experts, industry partners, etc. The supporting letters may address (but are not limited to) the following:
      1. Technical Merit of the Concept
      2. Originality
      3. Impact
      4. Practicality
  7. Additional Materials - No page limit or limit to number of materials. A copy of paper(s) and related materials describing the innovative concept written by the student(s) may be included in a separate section for consideration. Judges are not obligated to review this section.

NIA will acknowledge receipt of submissions, may request supplemental information including supporting documents, more detailed contact information, and statements of authenticity to guarantee the originality of the work.

General Project Plan Proposal Formatting Instructions

Teams are responsible for the formatting and appearance of their project plan proposals. Figures and tables must be placed in the file and therefore must be in digital format. We recommend that you use image file formats that provide acceptable resolution without being huge (for example, please don't use a 1-MB TIFF file when a 250-K GIF file will do).

  • The entire submission package (i.e., project plan proposal and all supporting documentation), should be submitted as one PDF file.
  • Proposals should be single spaced
  • Please use fonts common to Macintosh and PC platforms, i.e., Times, Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial for text; Symbol for mathematical symbols and Greek letters.
  • Font size can be either 11 or 12
  • Margins should be a standard 1” (2.54 cm) all the way around (top, bottom, left, and right)
  • File size cannot exceed 100 MB.

Submitting the Project Plan Proposal

To upload a project plan proposal (PDF file), please visit the Submissions page on the FAA Challenge website to complete the online project plan proposal submission form. Teams are encouraged to review the Project Plan Evaluation Criteria under the "Evaluation and Selection" tab on the Challenge Guidelines page to better understand how the competition will be judged.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your proposal file very carefully before submitting it. If there are any technical problems with the content of your proposal (for example, your file was corrupted), we will try to contact you immediately, so it is very important that you provide us with up-to-date contact information on the submission form. The following information will be requested and is required to be submitted as part of the Proposal Submission Form:

  1. Name of each student performing work at the core member academic institution.
  2. Name of academic institution(s) with which students are affiliated.
  3. Name and contact information of faculty advisor from lead institution.
  4. Name and contact information for student team lead(s).
  5. If applicable, name of each additional student/faculty/university/industry affiliate supporting this work and the role each has played in conducting the research and related activities.
  6. If applicable, name of industry partner(s) or other organization(s) associated with the proposal with which the student(s) will perform the work or portions of work.

Late papers will not be accepted, and the submission form will close promptly at midnight.

Blank University Nomination Letter

Technical Paper

Deadline: November 1, 2020

Technical Paper Deadline: November 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST

Technical Paper Formatting Instructions:

  • Papers will be electronically delivered as PDF files.
    • File size cannot exceed 100MB
  • Papers should be single spaced and single column.
  • Papers should have a standard 1” margin on each side.
  • Papers must use fonts common to Macintosh and PC platforms, i.e., Times, Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial for text; Symbol for mathematical symbols and Greek letters.
  • Font size should be either 11 or 12 point
    • For charts, graphs, etc., font size minimum is 10
    • Note: all charts, tables, graphs, schedules, budgets and calculations should be easy to read without magnification.
  • 15 pages minimum; 20 pages maximum
    • Judges are not obligated to look at anything beyond the 20-page limit, and submission of a Technical Paper beyond this page limit will be considered non-compliant.
    • The Cover Page, Table of Contents, and Appendices will not count toward the minimum or maximum page limits.
      • References should be included as an appendix and will not count toward the minimum or maximum page limits. Appendices are to be used for references and calculations ONLY.

Finalist teams will develop a 15-20 page technical paper that describes their concept. The paper must include the following sections:

  1. Cover Page (not included in the 15-20 page limit) which must include:
    • University name
    • Project title
    • Industry partners (if any)
    • Full names of all team members [including faculty and industry advisor(s)]
    • Major course of study for each student
    • Academic level of each student (undergraduate or graduate)
    • Graphic or Image of concept
  2. Technical Paper Quad Chart (not included in the 15-20 page limit)
  3. (Please use the Technical Paper Quad Chart Template found on the “Resources” section of the Competition Basics webpage)

    • Teams must insert the chart as an image into their proposal. Quad charts must address:
      • The title of the project with an image/graphic of the concept
      • Objective, Description of Effort, and Technical Approach
      • Key Findings/Potential Benefits (i.e., how the proposed solution impacts the passenger’s experience in a smart airport environment)
      • Schedule and Cost
  4. Executive Summary Statement (not included in the 15-20 page limit)
    • An overall summary of the innovation which includes a title of the project, a one paragraph synopsis of the problem statement, the problem-solving approach, and a statement of the potential innovative impact the research concept will have on the problem.
  5. Table of Contents (not included in the 15-20 page limit)
  6. Body of Report (limited to 15-20 page):
    • Problem Statement and Background
      • Challenge being addressed, overall approach, and research conducted
    • Project Description
      • Description of the proposed concept and how it works. The team should demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding the challenge as well as the current conditions and state-of-the-art approaches to seeking solutions. Include a description of both interdisciplinary and systems engineering approaches as appropriate.
        1. The team should describe in reasonable detail the concept lifecycle, including all design assumptions, and address development, testing, and implementation. What would it take to make the concept ready for users?
        2. The team should consider inherent risks and describe how these risks would be addressed to ensure safe and efficient operations and execution.
          • The team should address physical and cyber security, where appropriate.
        3. The team should address the impact on the passenger experience, commercial potential for the solution(s) presented and expected benefits compared to costs to implement.
        4. The team should include visual (i.e., photos/drawings) and written descriptions of any relevant parts, where appropriate, as well as explanations behind design decisions.
    • Research/Testing
      • Describe what type of data you used or collected, and how it informed your solution
      • Describe your testing process
      • Describe any challenges you faced and how you mitigated them
      • Include justification for any design changes/improvements made since the proposal
    • Conclusions/Key Findings
      • What conclusions are you able to draw about the problem and your solution? How does the proposed solution benefit the passenger experience in a smart airport environment?
    • Technical Demonstration
      • Teams are required to perform a Technical Demonstration during their Oral Presentation, and the information provided in this section will help the coordinators facilitate logistical requirements needed for your demonstration.
      • Teams must describe how their concept will be demonstrated during the Forum in May. Include detailed description of the materials used (simulated or otherwise) as well as the operation and logistics of the tech demo. Any equipment (A/V or otherwise), and any special logistics requests needed to support your tech demo must be clearly outlined in this section.
        • Note: NIA and the FAA reserve the right to deny any special requests they are unable to physically accommodate, for any reason.
    • Project Timeline
      • Provide a detailed timeline of your project, including concept design and development, testing, and implementation.
    • Budget
      • Include all costs (if any) associated with building, testing, and transportation of technical demonstration materials.
      • Estimate travel expenses incurred to participate in the Forum in Atlantic City.
        • Note: Although teams cannot receive travel reimbursement for more than the $6,000 maximum reimbursement allowed per competition guidelines (based on submission of qualifying receipts), we do want to know if you anticipate incurring additional travel costs outside of that $6,000. (Specific details on qualifying receipts will be communicated directly to each team).
      • Recognize all sponsors and/or partners
        • Quantify any sponsorships and/or in-kind contributions
  7. Appendices (not included in the 15-20 page limit)
    • Appendices should be for references only. It is important to note that the judges are not obligated to consider lengthy appendices in the evaluation process.

Submitting the Technical Paper

To upload your team’s Technical Paper (.pdf only), please click the button below to complete the online Technical Paper Submission Form.

No revisions can be accepted on your Technical Paper, so please proof your file very carefully before submitting it. If there are any technical problems with the content of your submission (for example, your file was corrupted), we will try to contact you immediately, so it is very important that you provide us with up-to-date contact information on the submission form.

Presentations/Tech Demos

Deadline: November 29, 2020

Oral Presentation Deadline: November 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM EST

The oral presentation and technical demonstration is limited to 45 minutes per team, followed by a 30-minute Q&A session, however, teams do not need to use the full 45 minutes if they are not needed. Although teams may choose who speaks and who doesn’t speak during the presentation, we encourage all team members to stand together at the front of the room during the presentation to be available to answer questions, even if they are not presenting.

It is expected that the oral presentations will incorporate a simulated or otherwise functional demonstration of their solution. Teams can showcase their solutions through a variety of visual and physical modalities, including but not limited to: a modeling and simulation experience (including Virtual Reality), application software demonstration, supported by slides, charts, graphic representations, video, animations, data visualizations, etc.

Oral Presentation Files Must Include:

  • Theme
  • Project Title
  • University Name
  • Faculty Advisor’s Name

Special Notes about the Oral Presentations

Oral presentations should reflect the technical papers. If errors were discovered after the technical paper was submitted, teams should take this time to address them. Significant information discussed during the oral presentation that was not included in the technical paper will be penalized for scoring.

Submitting a Presentation File

To upload your team’s Presentation File (.pdf or .ppx only), please click the button below to complete the online Presentation File Submission Form.

No revisions can be accepted on your Presentation, so please proof your file very carefully before submitting it. If there are any technical problems with the content of your submission (for example, your file was corrupted), we will try to contact you immediately, so it is very important that you provide us with up-to-date contact information on the submission form.

Poster Session

Dates: Nov 30 & Dec 1, 2020

Poster Session Dates: November 30 and December 31, 2020

Finalists are required to present a poster describing their project. The Technical Poster Session provides teams with an opportunity to expound upon important concepts in their presentations. It also allows the judges to follow up on presentations by asking additional questions for further clarification. It also provides an opportunity for teams to share their projects with the community. Posters should be 48” x 36.”

During the poster session, each team will be provided:

  • A 10 x 8’ exhibition space
  • A 6’ table and 3-4 chairs
  • A trifold foam/cardboard poster board and thumbtacks
  • A small flat-screen television
  • A power strip

Teams should plan on bringing any additional materials they may need, e.g.: safety equipment, demo phones, cords, dongles, etc.
Teams are required to present their posters in two separate sessions.

  • The first session will be presented to high school students and held on AVSTEM Monday at the William J. Hughes Technical Center.
    • This session is not scored and is informal. The intention is to give finalist teams the opportunity to interact with and inspire aspiring engineers. This session can be viewed as an opportunity to practice for the later scored poster session.
  • The second session will be presented to FAA Employees, Tech Center Guests, and the FAA Challenge Judges on Tech Center Tuesday at the William J. Hughes Technical Center.
    • Teams will interact with many types of visitors during this session, including the judges.
    • This session will be scored. When visited by a judge, they will be evaluating your presentation and response to questions as part of your final score.

Timeline

All deadlines must be met by 11:59 p.m. ET on the date specified below. Late deliverables will not be accepted.

Date Description
RollingExpression of Interest (EOI) deadline
October 24, 2019Q&A webinar for teams who submitted an EOI
January 13, 2020Deadline to submit Project Plans
By March 1, 2020Teams notified of their selection status
November 1, 2020Technical Paper Submission Deadline
November 29, 2020Oral Presentation Submission Deadline
November 29 - December 2, 2020Tech Demonstrations and Awards Ceremony at culminating event in Atlantic City, New Jersey