Morton Student Paper Contest



The Walter B. Morton student paper contest was established in memory of the past Chief Electrical Engineer of the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company headquartered in Allentown, PA. The funds for this contest were donated by Mr. C.S. Brangan of Bra-Bon Electric Company (Philadelphia), who was a close personal friend of Mr. Morton. The funds provided the prizes and awards for the contest for the twenty-year period 1959-1978. The contest is being continued by the IEEE Lehigh Valley Section with the same goals and purposes as the original contest.

Paper submission deadline and method will be determined by the Student Activity Coordinator and the Student Activities Committee, and announced on the Morton Contest website.  The 2022 IEEE Walter B Morton student paper contest was held on April 22, 2022 and was a virtual event.  Papers were presented from Lafayette College, Wilkes University (2) and Lehigh University.  The Morton Student Paper Contest History page has been updated with the winning paper information.


  1. Purpose: It is the purpose of this contest to foster effective communication, both oral and written, between students and their peers. It is further the intent of the contest to encourage independent study by the student(s). The Walter B. Morton Student Paper Contest will be referred to in these rules as the “Section Contest”.


  1. Eligibility: Any undergraduate student who is an IEEE student member, in good standing, at Lafayette College, Lehigh University, University of Scranton, and Wilkes University, and has been selected to represent their Student Branch, as described in Rule 3, is eligible to compete in this “Section Contest”. All authors and co-authors shall be undergraduate students and IEEE student members. All authors/coauthors shall be a member of one of the four specified Student Branches.


  1. Logistics: Annually each Student Branch will have an opportunity to select a maximum of three papers to represent its Branch and submit them to the “Section Contest”. The “Section Contest” shall be held approximately in the last two weeks of April. Each branch may select a maximum of three papers in about the middle of March. Date selection of the “Section Contest”, shall be the responsibility of the Student Activities Committee, which is consisted of the Student Branch Counselors and the Student Activity Coordinator. The next year’s date shall be publicly announced the first Monday of October. The paper submission deadline shall be at least 24 calendar days prior to the “Section Contest” and will be electronically submitted to There shall be a maximum of three authors per paper.


  1. Venue: For in-person contests, the location of the “Section Contest” shall be changed every year on a rotational basis, according to the clockwise geographic rotational sequence Wilkes, Scranton, Lafayette, and Lehigh. The Student Activities Committee will be the co-host on behalf of the Section and shall conduct the “Section Contest”.


  1. Paper Format: The body of the paper shall not exceed fifteen (15) pages and the total number of pages, including appendices, shall not exceed twenty (20). The font size of the text shall be no smaller than 12-point. The title page shall have the title and author name(s) only, no school references.   A separate flyleaf page which the Contest Coordinator will remove prior to being sent to the judges, shall include the title, author name(s), email address(es), IEEE membership number(s), school and Branch Counselor’s name.  No information shall be present anywhere in the paper or presentation that links the students to their school.  Papers that grossly violate the guidelines shall be disqualified by the Student Activity Coordinator.  Examples of gross violations are: too many pages; unreadable text; information included in the paper or presentation linking students to their school, etc.


  1. Presentation Format: The oral presentation cannot exceed fifteen minutes and five minutes more for questions from the audience. The paper shall be presented by only one of the authors. Videos may be used in the oral presentation as a visual aid (in the same manner graphs or charts are used).


  1. Prize: First prize in the “Section Contest” will be the Walter B. Morton Award of $550, second prize will be an award of $350, and third prize will be $150. All authors will receive a certificate. Entries who do not place will receive an honorable mention certificate. The First prize winner’s name and paper title will be published on the Lehigh Valley Sections webpage.


  1. Judge: Each year an odd number of judges shall be selected by the Student Activity Coordinator for this contest. Judges selected shall be members of IEEE. The Student Activity Coordinator shall not act as a judge. The papers shall be forwarded to the judges after elimination of the flyleaf page. It shall be the duty of the judges to consider the degree of the individual student’s contribution to the paper.


  1. Judging Process: The Chair of the Section Award Committee and the Student Activity Coordinator shall observe the judging process and certify the result. Upon completion of the contest, the oral and written scores shall be combined; the Student Activity Coordinator shall normalize each judge’s final scores by allotting one point for first place, two points for second place, etc. The winner of the contest can be determined by summation of these normalized points for each contestant. In the event of a tie for first, second or third place, the winner shall be decided based on the most number of judges’ votes that were cast for first, second, third, fourth, etc. until the tie is broken. If a tie still persists, an independent vote of the odd number of judges shall be used. It is also the right of the contest to allow a tie to remain and the award to be shared.


  1. Plaque: The Walter B. Morton plaque shall be presented to the winning school at the first Branch meeting of the school year following the contest by the Student Activities Committee coordinator and shall remain in that school’s possession. Contest winner’s name, school and year shall be engraved on the plaque before being presented, which shall also be the responsibility of the Student Activity Coordinator.


  1. Public Relations: It shall be the responsibility of the Student Activities Committee to publicize and promote the “Section Contest” by means of social media, emails, personal contacts, or any other means available.


  1. Valid Section Contest: A minimum total number of two papers must be entered to create a valid “Section Contest”. In the event the minimum requirements are not satisfied, the contest shall be postponed one year. The minimum number of papers must originate from different schools.


  1. Fiduciary Responsibility: In order to limit the financial burden of the contest for in-person venues, the number of people at the lunch shall be limited to: Judges, Student Activity Coordinator, Local Department Head; Lehigh Valley Section Chair; Branch Counselors; Student Branch Presidents/Chairs; each with a maximum of the student authors allowable under the rules as defined above. Once the contest entry closes and the papers validated, invitations will be sent to the appropriate individuals.