Professor Laura Forlano’s team named finalists for $1 million Nayar Prize

Illinois Institute of Technology just announced three finalists for its first Nayar Prize, a $1 million award to develop breakthrough projects that produce meaningful results with a societal impact.

The Nayar Family Foundation created the prize for students, faculty, and staff at Illinois Tech to recognize their extraordinary problem-solving capabilities and help “move the needle” toward significant innovations to impact society, the economy, and our environment.

The team of Marshall Brown (architecture), Lili Du (transportation engineering), Laura Forlano (design), Jack Guthman (architecture), and Ron Henderson (landscape architecture) includes thought leaders in urban design, transportation engineering, smart cities, and planning law. As cities around the world consider opportunities for driverless cars, the Driverless City Project will investigate the elements that will make change possible. It will develop social scenarios, technical solutions, infrastructure prototypes, and model urban codes to transform streets into twenty-first century human infrastructure. These elements will be developed into smart driving control systems, design guidelines for transportation agencies, municipal codes, and infrastructure prototypes.

The three finalists will each be granted $100,000 to spend within a year to show significant progress toward a solution for the problem they investigating. In year two, the team that shows the most promise will receive an additional $200,000 to continue its work over the next two years. Finally, if that team continues to meet the metrics and benchmarks established by the steering committee, it will be awarded $500,000.

The Nayar Prize is funded by distinguished Illinois Tech alumnus Madhavan Nayar and the Nayar Family Foundation. Madhavan Nayar is the founder of a company that is a pioneer in information integrity software.

See the list of finalists

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Laura Forlano