Mechanical engineering honor society takes root

Just days after receiving its charter and Student Association approval, the NIU chapter of the Pi Tau Sigma honor society for mechanical engineers was already hosting its first event.

The Beta Lambda chapter presented a career talk by a UTC Aerospace engineer on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The chapter made its first industrial site visit the following week.

“We want to give students opportunities for networking and professional development,” junior Lauren Anderson said. “Site visits especially help; you can see everything you’re learning put to use in the real world.”

Pi Tau Sigma is an international honor society for mechanical engineers with 179 collegiate chapters worldwide. Its core values are integrity of character, service to the mechanical engineering profession and to the community, and professional leadership.

Senior Kayla Ruppe said the NIU chapter is intended to provide students the opportunities and recognition offered by belonging to an honors fraternity. There was already an NIU honors fraternity in electrical engineering, but this is the first for the mechanical engineering department.

Membership in the fraternity is by invitation only, but Ruppe and Anderson said the local chapter wants to be a resource for all NIU engineering and technology students. Its speaker events are open to all, and members are expected to serve as mentors if called upon.

“We want to be there for all the students in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology,” Ruppe said. “If you need someone to talk to, to bounce ideas off of, to help you figure out if you’re in the right major, we’re here for you. This can be a hard major, and it helps to talk to someone who’s been through it.”

The Beta Lambda chapter will be officially recognized by Pi Tau Sigma at a national convention in February 2018.

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