Nebraska Pi

University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588

Charter Date   December 10, 1938

Chapter No.   17

Advisor   Dr. Benjamin Terry

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

Nebraska Pi

In exchange of correspondence with the National Secretary, a group of high-ranking mechanical engineering seniors recognized the opportunity to promote scholarship and fellowship through an organization such as Pi Tau Sigma. Under the active leadership of Richard P. Ostwald and with the encouragement of Professor Jiles W. Haney, a petition for a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma was prepared. On December 10, 1938, National Secretary H.E. Degler formally installed the Nebraska Pi Chapter.

Activities of the Nebraska Pi Chapter have included sponsoring the annual M.E.- I.E. Banquet in cooperation with A.S.M.E. At this banquet, a mechanical engineering handbook is awarded to the outstanding senior, and the Gold Key Award is presented to an outstanding faculty member. Other activities include a pig roast for all M.E.'s and faculty, sponsoring a mousetrap-powered car race during E-Week, engineering paper sales, and a smoker held each semester to honor the top 25% of the junior class.


2018-2019 August McClenahan, President

The theme of this year was cooperation with other organizations. We had social events and speakers with other engineering student organizations. The most successful was when we brought a speaker from Burns & McDonnell to give a talk on the Hyatt Regency Skywalk Collapse of the 80s. The speaker, Bill Quatman, is the general counsel for Burns & Mac and was a lawyer for a firm defending the engineering firm back when the case was in the courts. He gave  a presentation on what went wrong and the effects of it in court. We worked together with several other student engineering organizations and a local chapter of Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers to bring him here.

We had two initiations, one in the fall and spring, initiating 12 and 11 new members respectively. Each month we held general meetings, with pizza or sandwiches to entice the hungry members. Some meetings were short and just had business to talk about while others had speakers to give a presentation.

We also sold our paper as we do each year. We well engineering paper pads with the Pi Tau Sigma logo from the Mechanical Engineering Office for $8 a pad. We make $3 of profit from each pad and we use that for food and other supplies to fund our social events. We also selected an outstanding professor and student of the year as we do each year and present the award to them at the senior banquet.

We have had a fun year and are excited to cooperate with other organizations again in this next year to bring high quality events to our members and the college of engineering.

2017-2018 Kelsey Moss, President

The Nebraska Pi chapter of Pi Tau Sigma is an active organization with goals to help members develop into great mechanical engineers. Members are juniors and seniors that exceed the expectations set by professors and faculty and are among the top mechanical engineers. The Nebraska Pi chapter has focused on holding events and giving opportunities for members to network, grow professionally, and learn more about the mechanical engineering profession. Upholding the ideals of Pi Tau Sigma begins with the officers and trickles down to all members involved.

The chapter was inactive during the 2016 to 2017 year, and so a large rebuilding is occurring. The 2017 to 2018 year was an excellent example of the goals for the group’s growth. The officer team aims to continue building the presence of Pi Tau Sigma on campus and making it a memorable and important organization for all members. The activities and opportunities that have been held in the past and that will be hosted in the future demonstrate the group’s desire to develop its members. The group fosters high ideals in the engineering profession by providing opportunities to network with top mechanical engineering students. The mechanical engineering department in Nebraska is growing, so there are many students who sit in the same classes yet do not know one another. This chapter has provided a way for students to make connections that may help during school with studying, or down the road as a full-time engineer.

Another objective of this chapter is to stimulate and support departmental activities, so Pi Tau Sigma partners with the mechanical engineering department in various events. An example of that was helping with new faculty interviews this past year. The department needed students to step up and help, so the chapter reached out to its members and got them involved. The next objective is to promote professional welfare, which is accomplished through employer visits, graduate school presentations, connections to faculty research, and resume or cover letter reviews. The officer team reached out to their contacts and faculty’s contacts to request various full time engineers to speak to the group regarding engineering in the work place and what different roles look like. Many mechanical engineering faculty members have also spoken at events and in panels, where students can gain insight into their research and recommendations for things to look for in a graduate school program. The final main objective this chapter aims to uphold is to develop leadership and citizenship of its members. This is achieved through volunteering events and partnering with other engineering organizations. The chapter volunteered at The Big Event, a UNL-wide volunteering event which helped citizens of Lincoln.

This chapter is growing and learning the best ways to engage members, so there have been many trials to test what works best for this organization. Many steps are being taken to uphold the objectives of Pi Tau Sigma and encourage engineers to live and work ethically.