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Competition Details



  • Expose and broaden women engineering students’ perspective and interest in engineering, especially in railroad engineering
  • Challenge women engineering students in critical engineering skills
  • Expose women engineering students to the exciting and rewarding career paths available in railway engineering

 Participant eligibility

  • Female engineering students enrolled at any Penn State campus
  • First Year or Sophomore standing - a maximum of 59 earned credits


The competition is divided into three rounds as follows:

Round 1. Online Quiz Competition

Deadline extended to February 11, 2020

  • The Quiz Bowl should take less than an hour to complete.
  • Participation format: a team of two students
  • Content: participants take online engineering knowledge quiz during the span of one week of time. The topics of the questions can involve all aspects of engineering and its impact on society, economics, politics, etc.
  • Target number of winning teams: 20 (40 students)

Round 2. Design competition

Target date February–April 11, 2020

  • Eligibility: winners of Round 1 teams
  • Content: an engineering design problem related to multi-modal transportation. Details of this round will be announced later.
  • Submission: online submission
  • Mentorship: students can either select their own mentor, or be assisted by a mentor from our volunteer mentor committee
  • Judging committee: Penn State Altoona engineering faculty and engineering students, invited judges from Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) or other companies
  • Target number of winning teams: 8 (16 students)

Round 3. Onsite hands-on problem-solving competition

Fall 2020 - date and time TBA

  • Participation format: Team of two students
  • Eligibility: the winning teams from Round 2
  • Location: Penn State Altoona
  • Date: Registration on the afternoon of Saturday. Competition ends on Sunday.
  • Content: Students will have a timed design/engineering problem competition to work on (related to Round 2 problem). Students will present their solutions to the judging committee at the end of the competition.
  • Accommodation: Covered for competition team members and one mentor per team
  • Judging committee: PSU Altoona RTE faculty and students, invited engineering faculty from other campuses, NS invited judge
  • Target number of winning teams: four; first prize (1), second prize (1), third prize (2)
  • The First-Place team will receive $3000 in scholarship money ($1500 per student).
  • The Second-Place team will receive $2000 in scholarship money ($1000 per student).
  • The Third-Place team will receive $1500 in scholarship money ($750 per student).
  • All other participants will receive a certificate and a small prize.