Texas Kappa

University of Texas
Austin, TX 78713

Charter Date   April 18, 1931

Chapter No.   11

Advisor   Dr. Michael Cullinan 

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

Texas Kappa

Under the sponsorship of Professor H.E. Degler, then chairman of the department, leading mechanical engineering students petitioned for a chapter in Pi Tau Sigma. The formal installation of Texas Kappa Chapter was held April 18, 1931, with National Secretary J. V. Manenis and Professor Degler officiating.

Texas Kappa Chapter has cooperated with the Mechanical Engineering Department in its various functions. Each year the chapter presents to the highest ranking sophomore in the Mechanical Engineering Department an engineering handbook. Texas Kappa aids students in selection of an area of specialization by conducting block course discussions.

The chapter's activities include social events for the Mechanical Engineering students. The chapter also cooperates with the student section of A.S.M.E. in carrying out various projects.


ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORTS

2020-2021 Carl Muniz President

The Texas Kappa chapter of Pi Tau Sigma struggled but survived from the online school forum. COVID pushed our chapter back from the goals we have set last year, meaning we are back in the revival stage. Even though our numbers may have shrunk, I am excited about the dedicated members that stayed and know they will help the growth of the Kappa Chapter. Fortunately, we kept most of our officer core so we can execute our goals more fluid. We have goals to increase the number of members in Pi Tau Sigma and to have a presence on campus once more.

Membership

With COVID, recruiting new members was extremely difficult. We inducted 11 new members: 10 in the fall and 1 in the spring. In the beginning of spring initiations, we had around 10 recruits wanting to join. However, Texas experienced a winter storm which shut down a week of school and it was extremely difficult getting people to come back. I am pleased that our returning membership remained constant all year and we actually saw an increase in participation as the year went on. Pictures of our Fall and Spring initiations are included in the Appendix.

Service

Our main service project this semester was to bring back the Foster Engines. The Foster Engines consist of about a dozen engines that were created by Dr. Don Foster during his career as a mechanical engineering student and professor. A few years ago, those engines were donated to our chapter to educate people. We asked Dr. Philip Schmidt to present some of the foster engineers via a zoom meeting. We are excited about school being back in-person to take full advantage of the Foster Engines and use them as a tool to continue to educate and help out our community as much as possible. We also plan to team up with other organizations to help the community as much as possible.

Social

Every year, the Student Engineering Council hosts E-Week during national engineers week. This year, E-Week was held from February 26th through March 6th. Our chapter decided to not join E-Week due to recent officer changes and transitions. Although this would have been an amazing opportunity for our members, we felt that we were not prepared enough for us to be successful in it. However, to make sure our members were still able to connect with other engineering students we reached out to other organizations to see if we can help participate with them. Through reaching out to other organizations, our chapter was able to integrate within the student engineering community. Hopefully, these relationships give our chapter more opportunities to do joint group service events.

Professional Development

At our general meetings, we invited faculty to share their research with us. Each faculty member specialized in a different area of mechanical engineering, giving our members more exposure to our profession and research opportunities. We continue to encourage our members to engage in lecture series and seminars.

Appendix A: Initiation Pictures

Fall 2020 Initiates
Fall 2020 Initiates
​​​​​
Spring 2021 Initiates
Spring 2021 Initiates 

2019-2020 Jinwoo Kim President

The Texas Kappa chapter of Pi Tau Sigma has shown significant growth this year. Last year, our goal was to revive the Kappa chapter. We achieved our goal and this year, our new goal was to rebuild. The number of members had grown and Pi Tau Sigma has started to have a presence on campus once more.

Membership

We had a successful year initiating new members. We inducted 35 new members: 19 in the fall and 16 in the spring. Also, our returning members had increased from previous semesters. In our first general meeting in the spring, we had averaged around thirty-five members per general meeting in the spring, before COVID-19 canceled our plans. Pictures of our Fall and Spring initiations are included in the Appendix

Service

Our main service project this semester was to bring back the Foster Engines. The Foster Engines consist of about a dozen engines that were created by Dr. Don Foster during his career as a mechanical engineering student and professor. A few years ago, those engines were donated to our chapter to educate people. In the past, these engines were used to go out and teach elementary students about the field of engineering. This year, we teamed up with ASME under the guidance of Dr. Philip Schmidt and presented a few engines at UT Girl Day. More events were planned, however due to COVID-19, many of the events were canceled. We plan on using the Foster engines as a tool to continue to educate and help out our community as much as possible.

Social

Every year, the Student Engineering Council hosts E-Week during national engineers week. This year, E-Week was held from February 15th through February 23rd. During this week, many engineering organizations sign up to have a long competition to prove which organization is the best. Our chapter decided to join E-Week for the first time in years. This was an amazing opportunity for our members. Members were able to connect through fun competitive games and activities, and meet other engineering students from different disciplines.

While our turnout was not great, there were still many great opportunities for members who participated, such as Engineering Day of Service. On this day, all the organizations come together and go out into the community together and help out the community. Our members were assigned to volunteer with Austin Pets Alive, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving animals.

Through E-Week, our chapter was able to integrate within the student engineering community. Hopefully, these relationships give our chapter more opportunities to do joint group service events.

Professional Development

At our general meetings, we invited faculty to share their research with us. Each faculty member specialized in a different area of mechanical engineering, giving our members more exposure to our profession and research opportunities. We continue to encourage our members to engage in lecture series and seminars.

Appendix A: Initiation Pictures

Fall 2019 Initiation

Fall 2019 Initiation

Spring 2020 Initiation

Spring 2020 Initiation

 

2018-2019 Zahin Nambiar President 

Our year could best be summed up in one word: revival. At the beginning of fall 2018, Texas Kappa had a sizable member class with regular weekly socials and volunteering events. For example, members and candidates helped preserve the environment by participating in park and creek cleaning events and by planting trees in surrounding communities. Furthermore, the chapter helped a local YMCA chapter in evaluating a mock government competition. For social events, the organization hosted bowling nights and pizza lunches. There were five general meetings that semester with UT mechanical engineering professors as guest speakers, and 7 inducted candidates.

However, there were significant problems affecting the chapter, the first being that most members were not active as there were no requirements for them. Second, the leadership team consisted mostly of seniors that were either graduating or going into co-ops. Because of this reason, we only had three officers, no President, and no actives for the spring semester. While many thought the organization was going to dissolve, the leadership team was committed to reform and preservation. We realized that we needed a younger, more committed group of actives for long term viability. The first thing we did was include sophomores in the top 25% of their class that had the credits to be juniors in the application pool. This gives members more time to get involved after initiation and run for office even with internship opportunities that could cause them to have to skip a semester. In addition, sophomores are more likely to join as they are eagerly looking for opportunities for professional development and networking opportunities with upperclassmen and faculty. Another reform, a semester requirement of five hours of chapter activities, was established in order for a member to obtain stoles and cords for graduation. This would incentivize members to continue to participate. Finally, because of the focus on growing the organization, we decided to simplify the candidate requirements and make them more lenient.

The spring semester was a huge success: we inducted 23 new members (more than three times the fall number), and now have a full leadership team with a few leaders from the inactive member pool who are excited to recommit. Aside from hosting the five general meetings with guest speakers from Ethos Energy and faculty, we encouraged students to go to graduate speaker lecture series and other seminars. The chapter hosted weekly pizza lunch socials, game nights, and a pool party. For volunteering events, the chapter went to an elementary school career fair to share our experiences as engineering students, and participated in Explore UT. Moreover, the chapter reconnected with alumni and created an alumni and member network on LinkedIn. All the volunteering events that Texas Kappa participated in were not organized by the chapter. The chapter looked for volunteering events in the area and reached out with support. In the future, we hope to take a more active role in service.