CEE’s Angelina Caggiano Wins the 2024 Traffic Control Device Student Challenge
M.S. and Ph.D. candidate Angelina Caggiano of the UMass Amherst Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department has followed up her earlier accomplishments with “GlowSafely” – a pioneering device that empowers drivers to pick out and avoid bicyclists and pedestrians at strategic locations after dark – by winning the 2024 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge, a prestigious contest run by the American Traffic Safety Services Association, in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board.
Caggiano was the team leader for the first-place project in the contest – held in Washington DC, this January – and the award includes a $1,500 prize.
Caggiano, who specializes in Transportation Engineering, had previously teamed with three other College of Engineering students to take second place and an $8,000 prize with their GlowSafely device in the UMass Amherst Tech Challenge, sponsored by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship.
Caggiano’s Tech Challenge teammates were Andy Giaya, a B.S. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as graduate students Efthymia Kostopoulou and Holly Russell, who both study Transportation Engineering.
The TCD Student Challenge featured seven teams, made up primarily of engineering students from universities across the U.S., and was titled “Innovations to Improve the Nighttime Visibility of Traffic Control Devices.”
The GlowSafely device is a low-cost safety alternative that lights the path for vulnerable road users. By using motion-sensor technology and LED lights, GlowSafely enables drivers to be more aware of bicyclists and pedestrians in nighttime crosswalks and bike lanes.
Caggiano won first place for her project, officially named “Ascending Passive Detection to Light the Way of Vulnerable Road Users (GlowSafely),” during the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.
Caggiano, who earned her B.S. degree from the UMass CEE department in 2018, currently researches intelligent transportation systems, traffic safety, public transit systems, urban mobility, and equity. She conducts real-world and laboratory-based research in traffic operations and safety related to vulnerable road users.
Caggiano is also the president of the UMass Amherst student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, an international membership association of transportation professionals who work to improve mobility and safety for all transportation-system users and to help build smart and livable communities.
Among her other working positions and internships, Caggiano was also a highway engineering intern for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation during the summer of 2021 and is presently a highway safety intern, working remotely with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., in Raleigh, North Carolina. (January 2024)