The IEEE Chicago Section once again sponsored an award for Future Cities this year. Future Cities is the competition for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders where students design their version of a future city with simulation software, build scale models, write essays, and give oral presentations. 19 teams from sixteen schools competed in the Chicago Regional. The weather and roads were both treacherous the day of the competition. It was held on Saturday, January 19th when the Chicago area was somewhat parallelized by an icy storm. 18 of the 19 teams made it in that day for the event. A testament to how determined these students are and how important Future City is to them.

In addition to the main event judging, 27 special awards were provided by 23 different professional societies from the Chicago area and 1 national organization. That’s two more special awards and one more professional society than last year. Our Chicago Section sponsored an award for the “Best Electrical/Electronic Solution for Improving the Quality of City Life”. Our award considers innovative thinking in five categories pertaining to the use of electricity. Serving as judges for the IEEE were Norman Phoenix (lead judge), and Gary Oswald.

The IEEE award was given to the student team from St. Paul of the Cross with their city called “Hilo Pa”. Individual plaques and a $25 Amazon Gift Card were given to the three presenting students along with a large plaque for the school to display. St. Paul of the Cross also won the special awards for “Most Innovative Design for Delivery of Municipal Services” and “Most Innovative Structures”. They were the first place winner in the overall competition and also took Best City Essay in the main competition. When you’re good, you’re good! St. Paul of the Cross will represent the Chicago Region at the International Competition in Washington D.C. during National Engineers Week.

The Chicago Regional Future City Competition gives the judges 1 PDH toward their Professional Engineering License continuing education requirement. That is one more good reason for volunteering to help out next year.


By Norm Phoenix