Student Presentation Competition

Competition Overview

The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), in partnership with the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), is pleased to announce a student presentation competition pilot program during the 2024 AMPO Annual Conference, September 24-27, in Salt Lake City, UT. The competition encourages students to share research related to the planning of safe, reliable, and equitable multi-modal transportation networks accessible in urban communities. The competition is also an opportunity for students to practice their presentation skills and network with a national audience of metropolitan planning organization (MPO) directors, transportation planners, elected officials, and business partners from across the country.

Eligibility and Requirements

The competition is open to undergraduate students currently enrolled at a university within the state of Utah. Eligible students wishing to enter the competition must adhere to the following entry requirements:

  1. Submit a presentation proposal according to the instructions no later than Friday, May 31, 2024.
  2. Be able and willing to present in person at the AMPO Annual Conference, September 24-27, 2024, in Salt Lake City, UT, at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown City Creek. The exact date of the presentation will be determined after a winner is selected.
  3. A presentation must have at least one lead presenter and no more than two co-presenters.
  4. The presentation should be no more than 35 minutes. Presenters will have 15 minutes to take questions from the audience.
  5. All entries must report on original research conducted primarily by the student(s) presenting the work.


Below are general topic areas, however proposals are not restricted to this list. Because of the nature of MPO work, it would be impossible to create an all-inclusive list. If you have an idea and it does not seem to fit within the suggestions below, please still submit it.

  • Active Transportation
  • Congestion
  • Coordination with Key Partners
  • Core Regional Planning Products
  • Data Generation, Management, & Visualization
  • Destination Accessibility
  • Equity
  • Freight
  • Funding and Financing
  • Future of Transportation
  • MPO Administration & Administration & Operations
  • Performance-Based Planning and Programming
  • Public Involvement
  • Public Transportation
  • Resiliency & Environment
  • Safety
  • Tools & Software
  • Transportation Intersections: Health, Land Use, Housing, Etc.
  • Oddball – if it doesn’t fit above still submit it!

Abstract Submission Instructions

  1. Review our guidance and checklist for submitting a good proposal that addresses the 3Ps (Purpose, People, and Process).
  2. Submissions must include a title, expected length, topic area, full description (max of 1,000 words; and summary of the proposal (max 150 words).
  3. All proposals must be submitted through the AMPO Annual Conference Student Competition submission portal by Friday, May 31, 2024.

Review and Selection Process

Proposals will undergo thorough evaluation by a committee consisting of representatives from across the U.S. and Utah, including members of the AMPO Technical Committee, staff from the Wasatch Front Regional Council, and AMPO personnel. Following this comprehensive review process by our expert panel, notifications of acceptance will be dispatched to submitters by mid-July 2024.

Winner Benefits

The lead student presenter and co-presenters of the winning proposal will receive the following competition benefits:

  • Dedicated conference breakout session to present your research to approximately 125-150 MPO professionals and business partners
  • Complimentary conference registration
  • $75 gift card
  • Certificate of Excellence
  • Written recognition in the AMPO newsletter distributed to AMPO members throughout the United States
  • Complimentary AMPO student membership for one year

About AMPO

AMPO’s mission is to help communities thrive by strengthening the MPOs that plan for safe, reliable, and equitable multi-modal transportation networks that are accessible to all. MPOs vary by size, region, and needs, and AMPO strives to provide innovative approaches and curated solutions to help all MPOs. AMPO achieves our mission by providing MPO leadership and staff with critical technical assistance and training, creating a collaborative network of MPOs for peer-exchange and knowledge building, developing policy analysis and resources, and advocating at the federal level on behalf of members.

About WFRC

WFRC is the federally designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) representing the Salt Lake and Ogden urban areas. WFRC’s mission is to build consensus and enhance quality of life by developing and implementing visions and plans for a well-functioning multi-modal transportation system, livable communities, a strong economy, and a healthy environment.

About the AMPO Annual Conference

The AMPO Annual Conference is the premier event for MPOs to learn and network. It provides the opportunity to meet with over 400+ MPO directors, transportation planners, and elected officials from across the country. The conference is structured into two and one-half days of sessions, with networking events every evening. During the conference, attendees can choose from general sessions, workshops, and mobile tours. A concurrent exhibition is held onsite during the conference, allowing opportunities to visit industry partners and learn about new products and services.

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