Michigan Pi Rho

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Charter Date   October 22, 1948

Chapter No.   42

Advisor   Dr. Bogdan Epureanu

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

Michigan Pi Rho

The Michigan Pi Rho Chapter was formally installed on October 22, 1948, by National President B. H. Jennings and National Secretary-Treasurer D. S. Clark, upon approval of a petition sponsored by National Vice-President F. L. Schwartz.

Michigan Pi Rho remains one of the most active honor societies on campus. Each term we do a service project. Recently we cooperated with the Disabled Student Services in evaluating the availability of the buildings in the community to the handicapped. We have also made braille maps of campus for blind students. In addition we sponsor an engineering contest each term for the student body, We finish each term with a banquet for our new members.


ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORTS

 

2020-2021 Ryan Shanahan, President

This year, Michigan Pi Rho were able to hold their usual ten chapter meetings per semester in a mostly virtual format, with some socially distanced in-person meetings interspersed. Through the initiation process, initiates were able to meet and build relationships with other initiates, leadership, and active members through shared activities such as online game sessions, corporate info sessions, and volunteer events.

Due to COVID-19, our volunteering activities this year were somewhat limited. However, Michigan Pi Rho members were still able to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. Members led classroom activities virtually at a local elementary school with the K-Grams organisation, volunteered at the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Symposium, and engaged with the department as they interviewed new lecturer candidates. We look forward to participating in additional volunteering events, especially cleaning the arboretum and at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum in the coming year.

This year we resumed our annual apparel fundraiser to raise money for chapter activities. In collaboration with ASME and the Mechanical Engineering Department, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and quarter-zips were sold to mechanical engineering students. This sale was held totally online via a virtual mini-store, and orders were shipped directly to students. This way, students that were not on campus had the opportunity to participate.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic Michigan Pi Rho was unable to host many annual events that would provide an opportunity for students to engage with faculty and staff outside of a classroom setting. We look forward to hosting our Halloween Bash and Floats and Faculty again in the coming year.

PTS also provides tutoring to mechanical engineering undergraduate students in popular core classes. Historically, this tutoring was held in the ME Learning Center on campus. However this year all tutoring was held via Zoom, in keeping with university guidelines. Initiates are required to offer at least two hours of tutoring, and the Academic Chairs will often join them in assisting our peers.

2019-2020 John Burke, President, and Kelsey Philipps, Vice President

Each year the Michigan Pi Rho chapter strives to be active in the campus and local Ann Arbor community. This year we initiated 25 new members, which was a large step up from last year’s 12 new members. Our weekly meetings that involved both initiates and actives focused on including various professional and academic development along with bonding activities between members. We had fun meetings like playing whirlyball, trivia, and scavenger hunts. We also had meetings focused on professional self-improvement with mechanical engineering professors who had both experience in industry and academia giving advice on post-undergraduate paths. Furthermore, we held meetings with older active members giving internship and professional advice in a panel format. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis many of these activities were suspended in the winter semester. However, we’re looking forward to making up many of these activities in the fall. This year we had several corporate sponsors and speakers ranging from Boeing, Bosch, Schlumberger, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Apple. 

PTS was involved in many department and community events in the Michigan mechanical engineering community. Among these events were the Halloween bash, career week, highschool tours, and much more. In October, we worked with ASME to organize the Halloween bash that shows holiday spirit through events like a door-decorating contest (for offices and classrooms) and a Trick-Or-Treating day where professors and organizations (like PTS) have candy in their offices that students can come and collect! The Floats and Faculty event, where mechanical engineering faculty and staff volunteered to serve root beer floats to students was this year canceled due to COVID-19. We are looking forward to having this event next year.

We have also continued to expand on the professional development requirements that were implemented several semesters ago. Most students join PTS for the professional development experience along with opportunities to meet more people within the discipline. We believe that expanding in this professional development area has led us to an increase in membership for the year and helps retain active members. We will continue to improve in this area in hopes of increasing our membership count and providing excellent opportunities for our members.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were unable to organize department-wide apparel sales for all of mechanical engineering. This would have been the 3rd time our organization has done that. Since we introduced apparel sales it has been a huge success. Everyone in the department enjoys the opportunity to buy apparel that represents their Michigan Mechanical Engineering pride. Unfortunately, this was also a big source of revenue in the 2nd semester for us, so we missed out on that opportunity. 

With the exception of COVID-19 ending the semester activities early, the Michigan Pi Rho chapter had a great year and we are excited to have added more initiates to our organization. We are looking forward to returning to normal in the fall with a new leadership board!

 

2018-2019 David Mark President 

Each year, the Michigan Pi Rho chapter strives to be active in the campus and local Ann Arbor community. This year we initiated 12 new members. Our weekly meetings that included both initiates and actives focused on varying speakers and events that focus on professional development and bonding activities for attendees. We had fun meetings like playing whirlyball, trivia, and scavenger hunts and meetings focused on professional self-improvement where we had professors talk about mechanical engineering paths after school and actives talk about their career experience in a panel format. This year we also brought eight corporate speakers to campus from a diverse group of companies such as Schlumberger, Bosch and Raytheon.

Our devotion to keeping PTS involved in the Michigan mechanical engineering community on campus has led us to get involved with several key service events this year. Two of the main events we did with the mechanical engineering department were Halloween Bash and Floats with the Faculty. In October, we worked with ASME to organize Halloween Bash that shows holiday spirit through events like a door-decorating contest (for offices and classrooms) and a Trick-Or-Treating day where professors and organizations (like PTS) have candy in their offices that students can come and collect! We also organized a Floats with the Faculty event, where mechanical engineering faculty and staff volunteered to serve root beer floats to students, allowing students to bond with their professors outside of the classroom.

One of the most exciting changes that were made this year was the expansion of peer tutoring. In the past our chapter has offered tutoring for students at least one day a week. Our members are available to help with homework, exam prep, or general engineering questions. This year, with support from the department, we were able to increase the tutoring to be offered at least three times a week.

This was the second year that PTS organized department-wide apparel sales for all of mechanical engineering. Similar to the first year, it was a huge success – everyone loved the opportunity to buy apparel to represent their Michigan mechanical engineering pride and PTS was able to make money and promote ourselves as a society that’s bringing cool opportunities to the community.

After the introduction of a professional development initiation requirement last year, the Executive Board expanded this requirement. The board found that the going to more professional events was a key factor in many new initiates joining the organization and we wanted to help support the careers of our members.

The Pi Rho chapter has also been involved in various service events. We’ve taught elementary schoolers about mechanical engineering through the Detroit partnership, helped clean up a local children’s science museum, and removed invasive species at the university arboretum.

The Michigan Pi Rho chapter has had a great year and we are excited to continuously improve upon our chapter with new leadership and ideas for this coming year!

 

2017-2018 Jackie Schmiedeler President

Each year, the Michigan Pi Rho chapter strives to be active in the campus and local Ann Arbor community. This year we initiated 29 new members. Our weekly meetings that included both initiates and actives focused on varying speakers and events that focus on professional development and bonding activities for attendees. We had fun meetings like playing whirlyball, trivia, and scavenger hunts and meetings focused on professional self-improvement where we had professors talk about mechanical engineering paths after school and actives talk about their career experience in a panel format. This year we also brought eight corporate speakers to campus from a diverse group of companies such as Schlumberger, Bosch and Whirlpool.

Our devotion to keeping PTS involved in the Michigan mechanical engineering community on campus has led us to get involved with several key service events this year. Two of the main events we did with the mechanical engineering department were Halloween Bash and Pancake Breakfast. In October, we worked with ASME to organize Halloween Bash that shows holiday spirit through events like a door-decorating contest (for offices and classrooms) and a Trick-Or-Treating day where professors and organizations (like PTS) have candy in their offices that students can come and collect! We also organized a Pancake Breakfast, where mechanical engineering faculty and staff volunteered to cook students pancakes, allowing students to bond with their professors outside of the classroom.

Two PTS members were part of a really exciting project last year where they constructed a giant solvable/movable Rubix Cube that has attracted a lot of attention to Michigan and is now a staple of the Mechanical Engineering community. One new thing that PTS has done this year is host “office hours” for the Cube where they allow anyone to come up and use the cube to try and solve it or play with it in general.

This year was the first time that PTS organized department-wide apparel sales for all of mechanical engineering. It was a huge success – everyone loved the opportunity to buy apparel to represent their Michigan mechanical engineering pride and PTS was able to make money and promote ourselves as a society that’s bringing cool opportunities to the community.

Another new development this year was the creation of a professional development requirement. This led to the improvement of our academic tutoring help in the community. We now offer resume critiques and interview/internship career advice at our weekly tutoring sessions. This has been a really good development in how PTS helps the mechanical engineering community as a whole.

The Pi Rho chapter has also been involved in various service events. We’ve taught middle schoolers about the physics of a zipline, helped clean up a local childrens’ science museum, and removed invasive species at the university arboretum.