Apply Now for the 2021 Outstanding Student of the Year Award!

Apply Now for the 2021 Outstanding Student of the Year Award!

Each year, the C2SMART Center acknowledges one student from any of its member institutions as a Student of the Year as chosen by the Center’s executive leadership committee. The chosen student will be acknowledged and awarded:

  • Cash prize of $1,000 and a certificate from USDOT
  • The cost of attendance for the 2022 100th Annual TRB Meeting in January 2022
  • Free registrations to the Council of University Transportation Centers Banquet (virtual)
C2SMART’s 2020 Outstanding Student of the Year

Dan McCabe, a master’s student in the Transportation Engineering at University of Washington, was selected as C2SMART’s 2020 Outstanding Student of the Year. Dan’s thesis, titled “Optimization Model for Battery-Electric Charging Infrastructure” develops a mathematical programming model to identify optimal sites for battery-electric bus charging stations. The model balances real-world detail with computational efficiency and relies primarily on standardized, readily available data in the general transit feed specification (GTFS) format to enable its easy application to different bus networks. A case study developed in collaboration with King County Metro Transit illustrates the model’s usefulness for an upcoming electric bus fleet conversion in South King County, WA and quantifies its impact with a detailed simulation.

As a researcher, Dan has demonstrated leadership by developing an original idea (originating in a NSF GRFP proposal) into a funded research project with the guidance of his advisor, Professor Jeff Ban. Dan is interested in using methods from operations research to guide better decision-making for transportation systems. In his career, he hopes his work will help harness new technologies’ potential to improve the efficiency, sustainability, and equity of transportation systems.


Selection will be based upon accomplishments in three areas: Technical Merit and Research Capability, Academic Performance, and Leadership. The following minimum requirements must also be met:

  • Eligible candidates must be an enrolled member of a C2SMART Consortium University.
  • Eligible candidates must have received financial support from the Center for at least one semester prior to receiving the award.
  • Eligible candidates must have completed at least 12 hours of graduate course work at the time the selection is made, with a grade of B or higher, and have a graduate GPA in excess of 3.25 (out of 4.00).
  • Eligible candidates must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Eligible candidates must be available to attend the CUTC banquet on January 8, 2022 (virtual).

To apply, students must complete the application form providing detailed answers to each of the specified questions. The responses should not exceed the provided length of the form (maximum of 2 pages). The student should also include the following attachments to the application:

  • Academic transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)
  • Resume and biographical sketch
  • Nomination letter from at least one faculty member
  • Copy of paper(s) written by the nominee (if applicable), including a short description of the student’s contribution to the paper

Application Process

Once complete, the application form and attachments should be submitted electronically returned as a single PDF with the student’s last name followed by institution (e.g. Name_NYU.pdf) via email to their institution’s Center-affiliated director by the prescribed deadline of Monday, October 18, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted, and there are no exceptions to this rule. The award winner will be notified by the Center in November 2021.

The Center-affiliated directors for each of the participating institutions are:

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