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Public Roads - Winter 2024

Date:
Winter 2024
Issue No:
Vol. 87 No. 4
Publication Number:
FHWA-HRT-24-002

The Future of Transportation is Here!

by Dr. Kelly Regal
A young woman in a library writes on a notepad with a laptop open in front of her. An architectural drawing of a bridge is overlaying the photo, with the words "The bridge to the future is in the minds of the young with a passion for innovation and technology. They will forge the paths to tomorrow. They are the driving force behind new thoughts, great movement, and big change. And with big change, will come even bigger opportunities." weaving their way across the bridge and toward the top of the young woman's pen. Image Source: FHWA composition. Images © Gorodenkoff / immimagery / AdobeStock.com.
The bridge to the future is in the minds of the young with a passion for innovation and technology. They will forge the paths to tomorrow. They are the driving force behind new thoughts, great movement, and big change. And with big change, will come even bigger opportunities.

Headshot of Dr. Kelly Regal. Image Source: FHWA.


The opening lines on the cover of this special issue of Public Roads couldn’t be more accurate and relevant for transportation today. As those lines weave their way from the minds of brilliant and innovative students from across the United States into deeper thought and future action, we open up a world of opportunity for not only the students but the Nation as a whole. The action these students will one day take will impact the world of transportation as we know it.

It is with much excitement that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Public Roads present the winners of the first-ever Student Writing Competition. For several years, engaging students to become a voice in Public Roads and the transportation community was part of a “wish list” of actions we hoped to one day take. That day has now arrived.

High school, undergraduate, and graduate students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics submitted their articles during the summer of 2023, resulting in the winning articles you are about to read. From “Intumescent Paint Protection in the Transportation Industry” to “Creating Safe and Equitable Transportation,” the winning student authors conducted detailed research, created compelling case studies, and offered meaningful problem-solution concepts valuable to transportation professionals working to solve today’s challenges with forward-thinking ideas.

Thank you to all the students who participated in this momentous event and congratulations to the winners!
 


The following articles were written by students as part of the Public Roads Student Writing Competition. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FHWA or the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the USDOT.