Mobility Network logo

Students present research on climate-resilient transportation at competitive symposium

Event banner with title and sponsor logos
September 28, 2022

The University of Toronto Transportation Alumni Network (UTTAN) hosted their fourth annual U of T student research competition symposium on September 20, 2022, on the timely theme "Reimagining transportation systems for a changing climate."

There is no doubt that Canada’s climate is changing, it has changed already and it will continue to do so. Movement of goods and people will need to adapt.

Transportation systems have many roles to play in reducing GHGs and adapting to extreme weather events, all while maintaining their daily function to efficiently move people and goods.

A continued reliance on automobiles, electric or not, will have negative impacts.

The decisions we make in the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of our transportation system need to reimagine mobility for a changing climate.

Excerpted from 2022 New Frontiers in Transportation competition brief.

The competition

The symposium was held in person and featured three competing student teams, one of which participated via Zoom. All teams presented their research projects and responded to questions from a panel of judges on the spot.

The student competition symposium was the final stage of a process that began with virtual information events in late May and early July. Proposals were due July 18, and from those, teams were chosen and assigned volunteer mentors from the transportation profession.

Teams of students or recent graduates representing at least two different academic disciplines worked over two months to study and develop a transportation solution to transform current policy or practice. Mentors worked with each team.

Volunteer judges Jesse Coleman of the City of Toronto, David Forsey of IBI Group, and Aubrey Iwaniw of Metrolinx tallied final scores for each team, based on their written submission (60%) and live symposium presentation (40%), and announced prize winners.

Competition judges (L-R) David Forsey, Audrey Iwaniw, and Jesse Coleman question presenters about their research projects. September 20, 2022.

Prize winning teams

First place of $650 per student: “Laurentian Hyperloop Corridor”

Team graphic for 2022 New Frontiers in Transportation student research competition with names and photos of three team members.
Gold trophy with number 1

Team members

  • Zyra Joseph (2021 graduate, Honors BA, Double Major in Environmental Studies & Human Geography with a focus in Planning)
  • Rick Schutte (MArch)
  • Zi Xiao (John) Shen (MArch)

Mentors for this team were Keith Cochrane, Head of Driver Operations and Cities at Uber Canada, and Michele Colley, Advisor, Project Planning at Metrolinx.

Second place of $475 per student: “Active Transportation in a Changing Climate”

Team graphic for 2022 New Frontiers in Transportation student research competition with names and photos of two team members.
Silver trophy with number 2.

Team members

  • Lisa Guseva (BASc, Civil Engineering)
  • Subaita Refaaf (MScPl)

Mentors for this team were Trevor Jenkins, Project Manager Sustainable Mobility Planning, City of Hamilton, and Michelle Kearns, Associate at Access Planning.

Third place of $375 per student: “Geographic/Economic Inequality in Accessing Climate-Resilient Modes of Transportation”

Team graphic for 2022 New Frontiers in Transportation student research competition with names of two team members.
Bronze trophy with number 3

Team members

  • Sophia Ilahi (2022 graduate, BA double-major in General History and Socio-Cultural Anthropology)
  • Holly Fang Hao Liu (2021 Honors BA, Specialist in Architectural Studies & Minor in Human Geography)

The team was mentored by Merisha Arulthas, Advisor, Transit Integration at Metrolinx, and Balthazar Crane, Transportation Planner, Project Planning at Metrolinx.


This competition was made possible by the generous support of sponsors Dr. Mazen I.S. Hassounah, HDR, IBI Group, CIMA+, TraffMobility and StreetLight.

Interested in sponsoring future UTTAN activities? Please contact Justin Matthews, Sponsorship Officer of the University of Toronto Transportation Alumni Committee at

Watch the symposium video recording

The 2022 UTTAN New Frontiers in Transportation Student Competition was recorded and posted on Mobility Network's YouTube channel with timings.

More about the competition

Join the U of T Transportation Alumni Network

U of T grad in any field? Working in transportation?


crossmenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram