Nevada Reno Beta Nu

University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

Charter Date   February 24, 2018

Chapter No.   181

Advisor   Dr. Daichi Fujioka

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

Nevada Reno Beta Nu

In the Fall of 2017, a newly appointed faculty Dr. Daichi Fujioka proposed to establish a Pi Tau Sigma Chapter at University of Nevada, Reno to enhance the ME department’s student activity quality.  A mechanical engineering senior Samuel Frost expressed an interest in leading the initiation procedure and prepared the petition documents.  The new chapter petition was submitted to the society secretary Dr. Alex Moutsoglou at early Spring of 2018.

The University of Nevada, Reno petition for a new chapter was approved and was designated the Nevada Reno Beta Nu chapter.  Nevada Reno Beta Nu was officially chartered on February 24, 2018, at the Pi Tau Sigma National Convention. Gunner Scott, a qualifying ME Senior, accompanied Dr. Fujioka to the 2018 Pi Tau Sigma Annual Convention at Miami University to be formally inducted into the Society.  The remaining eligible students listed on the charter were inducted into the Society at the first initiation ceremony held at the UNR Campus on April 20, 2018.  In the meeting, Zachary Dugan was officially elected to be the first president of Nevada Reno Beta Nu chapter.


2022-2023 Kaitlin Leong - President

The Nevada Reno Beta Nu Chapter had another great year. Even though our organization is still recovering from our devastating decrease in member participation after the COVID-19 pandemic, we were still able to host several events for members to participate in and initiated five new members into our chapter. Officers have worked hard to not only keep our chapter standing strong, but also provide members with professional development, academic development, networking opportunities, campus involvement, and most importantly, a community.

Our focus this year was to improve member participation and encourage campus involvement. Our chapter offered numerous volunteer opportunities where students were able to contribute to our campus and communities in the surrounding areas . Some of the events included tours of the Tesla Gigafactory, canned food donations, tours of the engineering research labs on campus, concrete canoe events, steel bridge events, graduate school fair, and energy solution seminars. Tours at the Tesla Gigafactory allowed members to converse with current engineers, interns, HR, and hiring managers. These tours gave students the opportunities to network in ways that they may not have done before. Several of the events offered were hosted by the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE). Therefore, not only did members network in the industry environment, but they were able to network in the academic environment as well. 

Additionally, FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam review sessions were offered to all members, which allowed students to achieve the passing score they desired. The officer tasked with creating these review sessions, also provided attendees with resources and study guides, which offered individual study opportunities. Lastly, social gatherings were hosted, in which coffee and donuts were provided and students had the opportunity to mingle with each other. These gatherings allowed members to gain knowledge, friendships, and community within the organization. This has proven to be beneficial and much needed relaxation from the school environment. In the upcoming academic year, we hope to increase our member participation, continue to offer volunteer opportunities to members, gain several new members, and have another wonderful year.

2021-2022 Daniel Rodgers - President

The Nevada Reno Beta Nu chapter had a great year with the chapter initiating 10 new members during the academic year. The new members increased the chapter’s presence on campus and in the local community. The new members also increase the chapter’s ability to diversify chapter activities.

The chapter hosted numerous activities during the year including bi-weekly sessions reviewing individual subject areas that are on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam, bi-weekly game nights, and participated in the Pi Tau Sigma Technical Challenge. The bi-weekly FE Exam review sessions were very useful for students who participated and increased both networking and chapter presence on the campus. The bi-weekly game nights increased networking opportunities for students and chapter unity. The chapter’s participation in the Pi Tau Sigma Technical Challenge helped develop engineering skills with participating members increasing their knowledge of the design and prototyping process, the use of software including SolidWorks and Fusion360, and technical writing skills. Unfortunately, our chapter was not able to secure immediate funds for travel and lodging to the national Pi Tau Sigma Convention in Chicago, forcing our chapter to pull out of the competition within days of the competition.

To fulfill the chapter’s volunteering hour requirements, chapter members have contributed their time to various causes and events including the Pack provisions program, where members help organize and transport food items to individuals needing assistance obtaining food. Other causes that chapter members have contributed to include helping students at a local high school design and assemble a trebuchet for a pumpkin-throwing competition. Members also helped another local high school judge the final projects for their STEM program and give valuable feedback so the STEM students will be prepared for their senior capstone projects at a university. There are some exceptions where chapter members can earn volunteer hours through non-service-based activities including attendance to the FE Exam review sessions and helping the club with tabling events held by the UNR Department of Mechanical Engineering.

2020-2021 Haley Webbert - President

The Nevada Reno Beta Nu chapter successfully completed another great year. The Covid-19 pandemic proved to be a challenge; however, our club was still able to keep functioning. During the 2020-2021 academic year we were able to initiate 16 new members into our chapter. The new members more than doubled the pre-existing chapter size. The increase in membership will allow the Nevada Reno Beta Nu chapter to be more involved in campus activities for the upcoming school year.

Over the course of the academic year, several chapter activities were hosted. Weekly Fundamental Engineering exam (FE) review sessions were held throughout the fall semester via Zoom. The chapter was able to help students on campus better prepare themselves for the certification exam. The sessions also provided an avenue for existing members to better improve their communication skills by helping students review important mechanical engineering topics. Several social nights were held throughout the year. Social events allowed members to network with other students and learn more about Pi Tau Sigma.

Our Chapter participated in the First Annual Drone Competition that was hosted by the national chapter. A group of four students worked diligently throughout the Spring 2021 semester to successfully design and prototype a drone for the competition that took place in March. The constraints of the competition included designing a weight bearing drone that could fly above 5 feet for the longest amount of time. The competition provided many engineering challenges and ultimately allowed the team to learn many valuable skills that pertain to design engineering. Overall, the Nevada Reno Beta Nu Chapter took third place in the national competition.

2019-2020 Julia Schlichtmann - President

Our chapter began hosting and running the Fundamental Engineering exam (FE) review sessions this semester. These sessions were held a few times a week during both the fall and spring semesters. We received a lot of positive feedback from the senior mechanical engineering students that attended these sessions.

Our chapter spent some time this semester brainstorming project(s) ideas we can do for our university.  A project will give our members technical experience, and it will help in the recruitment process.

Before campus closed due to Covid-19 we were planning on hosting a peer advising session. This session would give underclassmen the opportunity to ask upperclassmen about future classes and how to succeed in these classes. We also planned on holding a Fusion 360 seminar. We plan to host these events next semester.

Each of our members are required to do four volunteer hours per semester. Many of our members satisfied this requirement by helping with FIRST, an after-school robotics program that many local elementary, middle, and high schools participate in. Volunteers help with running the FIRST competitions by making sure teams are at the correct rooms at the right time, helping with the check-in process, and judging the robots. Other volunteer opportunities that our members participated in include tabling events for the university and assisting the FE session leader.

2018-2019 Valerie Pober - President

One of the main priorities for the Nevada Reno Beta Nu chapter was to increase membership as a new chapter that was started in spring 2018 since many of the founding members recently graduated. Greater membership will provide the chapter more opportunities to put on events. Prior to both initiations, an information session was held as a way for students to learn more about the chapter and meet current members. In spring 2019, a game night was also held as a social event to encourage more membership. The initiation in the spring resulted in a significant increase in members with the hope of continuing to grow in the future.

Our chapter held several seminars over the course of the fall and spring semesters. The chapter organized a resume workshop with Tesla recruiters on October 16th. Another resume workshop with Lisa Frisch of Q&D Group Construction was held on October 30th. This was held in conjunction with a seminar on KG Walters Engineering Projects with Raymond Bush. In the spring semester, John Naphan was the guest speaker for a seminar on the “Engineering Opportunities in the Upstream Oil and Gas Sector” on March 5th. Finally, Joel Blumenthal was invited to speak on April 17th about what employers are looking for in engineers.

In an effort to become more involved in volunteering, Nevada Reno Beta Nu worked with the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program and the College of Engineering to coordinate volunteering opportunities. Our chapter would like to host events in the future, but with the low initial membership for this new chapter, these partnerships provided the necessary support. Current members partnered with MESA for a presentation on how to succeed in college to a group of local high school students. Members of the chapter also helped with Fall Call and Engineer’s Day for local students from the surrounding counties.

2017-2018 Zachary Dugan - President

As a new chapter, Nevada Reno Beta Nu officially inducted its first members in April. At the initiation, the future of this chapter was discussed along with possibilities for events that the chapter could organize. With the recent start of this chapter, more opportunities will be available in the upcoming semesters. Nevada Reno Beta Nu did already host a networking seminar with Tesla for Mechanical Engineering students.