Coming Out of the Crisis: A Look Past the Pandemic

Read Essay Anthology

The pandemic isn’t quite behind us, but every day the contours of the new normal take shape. The pace of transformation in every mode of transportation, already undergoing massive changes, has only increased during the time of COVID.

As the nation gets moving again, the time is now to implement new policies, innovations, and best practices to prepare for a better future.

In honor of our Centennial and in recognition of the transformative times we live in, Eno launched the Martin Wachs Memorial Essay Contest to challenge transportation professionals and students to share their ideas. We asked them to convince us that their idea was the best way forward toward our vision of a transportation system that fosters economic vitality, advances social equity, and improves the quality of life for all.

The essays submitted focused on a diverse array of topics such as equity in aviation and cutting carbon emissions in our freight system. Professional and students from across the country shared ideas big and small and our judging panels read them all. Together, they selected the winning 11 Centennial Scholars featured in this anthology whose essays present a diverse and compelling compendium of ideas for the new normal.

Explore Winning Student Essays

Each student essay page below features the full-text essay, a short explainer video, and more info on the author. Enjoy!

Explore Winning Professional Essays

Each professional essay page below features the full-text essay, a short explainer video, and more info on the author. Enjoy!

Special Thanks

Thank you to Linda O’Bryant for sponsoring the Essay Contest Prizes and giving all those who submitted a chance at this wonderful opportunity!

Thank you to our judging panels for their hard work reading over 100 submissions and deciding on winners in a tough competition!

This Essay Contest is dedicated to the memory of Martin Wachs, a transportation luminary who shared his knowledge and wisdom generously with so many over the years.

Honoring Martin Wachs

The transportation world lost one of its most distinguished and impactful voices this year with the passing of Martin Wachs. Martin was a transportation engineering and planning professor/practitioner mostly in the University of California system in Los Angeles and at Berkeley, as well as the RAND Corporation. His impact on transportation and urban planning scholarship is difficult to overstate.

Martin was a close colleague of ours at Eno. In 2017, he was the first-ever recipient of the Eno Thought Leader Award which we, appropriately, presented to him at our Leadership Awards Dinner. The award acknowledges individuals that have a demonstrated body of rigorous, timely, and impactful work. Everyone who knew him agreed there was no one better suited for the award.

Over the years, Martin contributed to many Eno articles, reports, webinars, and conferences, including Eno’s Transportation Quarterly journal. His first article in 1969 came when Marty was fresh off his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and while he was on active duty as a Captain with the U.S. Army. His article that year focused on the role urban highways play in shaping patterns of growth and development. Clearly, Martin was ahead of his time and would continue to be throughout his career.

Most recently, he served on our Centennial steering committee. In his honor and in recognition of his legacy of teaching, we have dedicated this Essay Contest to his memory.