Illinois (Chicago)

Regional Coordinator: Don Wittmer, P.E.

Join Us on Jan. 20, 2018 for Award-Winning Future City Competition Theme 2018: The Age-Friendly City at UIC – Student Center East

CHICAGO–The Future City Competition for the State of Illinois is ready for its Sat., Jan. 20, 2018 event to be held at the UIC-Student Center East located at 750 South Halsted, Chicago, Ill. 60607.  We have over 200 students and educators participating in this year’s competition. Over 125 judges will be evaluating the student teams. Five finalists will be determined at the end of the competition.  We have over 25 Special Awards designated in specific areas. All awards will be presented on the day of the event. The 1st place winning team will compete in the National Competition in February 2018 in Washington, D.C. during National Engineers Week.


Competition Day Schedule:

7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.        School’s arrive, register and set up

8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.        Early review and walk-through of all teams by judges

8:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.        All schools come to stage for instructions

8:30 a.m.                          Special Awards judging begins with the teams

8:40 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.        Round 1- First half of competing Schools will be judged

9:25 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.        Round 1-Second half of competing Schools will be judged

10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.    Break

10:25 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.    Round 2-First half of competing Schools will be judged again

11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.    Round 2-Second half of competing Schools will be judged again

12:00 p.m.                        Top 5 Finalist schools announced

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.      Lunch  

12:25 p.m. - 2:05 p.m.      Top 5 schools present to the General audience and judging

2:05 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.        School Recognition, Raffle Prizes, and Special Awards

2:50 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.        Announce the Winning Teams


This regional event is open to the public! All are welcome-free admission. Parking is available south of Harrison Street.


The regional event has competed every year since the inception of the STEM program. This is the 26th annual international competition and the middle school students are asked to envision an urban environment that keeps growing community of older adults active, engaged and independent.


This year’s theme is The Age-Friendly City. Future City is asking middle school students to respond to and address the challenges in designing innovative solutions that can serve an urban area’s older population. Students are tasked with identifying age-related issues in their city planning and engineering a framework that enables seniors to remain active and independent.  


In anticipation of this new reality, the World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined a plan to help cities respond to the particular needs of older adults. . By 2050, older adults will outnumber children under the age of 14.  The organization’s approach recognizes that, as people age, they inevitably experience physical and cognitive change and risk isolation and loneliness. Planning for an older demographic means conceptualizing accessible and safe transportation options, barrier-free access to buildings and infrastructure, appropriate social welfare programs and open access to health care support and services.


Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a virtual city design (using SimCity™ software); a 1,500 word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. Teams from 41 US regions present their ideas at Regional Competitions in January. US regional winners then face off at the Finals in Washington, DC in February, where they are joined by a growing roster of international teams, including those from Canada, Egypt and China.


In the US, over 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part in the Future City® Competition.

Major funding in the National Finals comes from Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, EA, ExxonMobil, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, NCEE, Northrop Grumman Foundation, Raytheon, Shell Oil Company, TE, and UL.


A special thank you to our Illinois Regional Future City Competition Sponsors:



American Institute of Architects Chicago

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

American Nuclear Society

American Public Works Association

American Society of Civil Engineers- Illinois Section

American Society of Civil Engineers- Environmental Engineering & Water Resources Group

American Society of Civil Engineers- Geotechnical Group-Illinois Section

American Society of Civil Engineers-Structural Group- Illinois Section

American Society of Civil Engineers-Transportation Group- Illinois Section

American Society of Civil Engineers-Younger Member Group-Illinois Section

American Society of Civil Engineers- Urban Planning & Development Group

American Society of Mechanical Engineers- Chicago


Associated Steel Erectors

Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings

Chicago Engineers Foundation of the Union League Club of Chicago

Chicago Wolves


Construction Specification Institute

Golden Square



Illinois Association of County Engineers-Illinois


JJ Nate Real Estate and Management


Society of Marketing Professionals

Society of American Military Engineers'

Society of Automotive Engineers-Chicago

Society of Fire Protection Engineers-Chicago

Society of Women Engineers


Structural Engineers Association of Illinois

WTS- Chicago


About DiscoverE


DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit


Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including mentors and regional coordinators. For information about Future City or to volunteer, visit


Future City® State of Illinois


The State of Illinois Future City Competition® is celebrating its 26rd year as a regional group in the national competition. The regional competition is comprised of teams, schools, and professionals from Illinois and nearby Missouri. In addition to the actual competition, Annual Chicago Engineers Benefit Dinner showcases the top local teams and award winners. For more information, visit our website here or go to


For more information contact:

Future City® Regional Coordinator

Don Wittmer, P.E., HNTB


Future City® Regional Committee

Matthew Miller, P.E., HNTB


Future City® Grant Manager, Press, Communications and Media

Deborah J. Hodges, M.A. Golden Square

312 675-6080