SIUE Alpha Chi
Edwardsville, IL 62026
Charter Date May 1, 2003
Chapter No. 167
At the request of mechanical engineering students, the department submitted a petition to the National Pi Tau Sigma for the SIUE Alpha Chi to be chartered. The chartering initiation ceremony was performed on May 1, 2003, in the presence of Dr. Victor Goldschmidt, the President of Pi Tau Sigma, Dr. Majid Molki, the founding faculty advisor, a number of university administrators, faculty, and students. In that ceremony, fifteen students were inducted to membership.
Since that time, our program and students have benefited from the activities of the Honor Society in various forms. Students perform fundraising, engage in teamwork, and promote the ideals of mechanical engineering on campus and among the general public. More recently, officers of SIUE Alpha Chi were able to develop, plan, and implement a teaching day with a middle school in the area to generate engineering interest among middle school students. SIUE Alpha Chi has created a close-knit group that is willing to assist each other when the members are in need of assistance.
Since the first initiation ceremony in 2003, many members have graduated and left the school. SIUE Alpha Chi continues to attract new members and creates an environment where students practice teamwork and service to the university and society.
ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORTS
2022-2023 Ashlen Knabach, Chapter President
Initiations for fall 2022 and Spring of 2023 were held on November 11th, 2022 and April 4th, 2023. The process for selecting inductees followed the nation Pi Tau Sigma Rules. Our faculty advisor provided a list of juniors, seniors and graduate students which was then narrowed down by GPA rank. Invitations were emailed by our faculty advisor. Our chapter had a total of six new initiates in the fall and three in the spring. These two initiations were the first initiation ceremonies held in person since covid and led by the president and secretary. New officers for each position were elected following the spring initiation. Our new officers consist of two fall initiates and two spring initiates. During the spring semester we held two different events. The first was a class visit at Collinsville high school. We begun by contacting local teachers who members had previously been taught by. Through these connections we set up a day to talk with their students. During this visit, four of our members talked with three different calculus classes. Our members talked about school projects, internships, life in STEM, time management, undergraduate research, and answered students’ questions. The students were very engaged and had many questions for us. Our chapter looks forward to holding more days like this in future semesters. In addition to the high school visit, Alpha Chi hosted FE exam reviews for SIUE students and practicing engineers. Planning this event is very time consuming. First, members of Alpha Chi reached out to professors to host each session. Many FE sections are hosted by the same professor each year, however other sections are taught by different professors. A total of 14 professors volunteered. About three sessions are held each week. Flyers were distributed among faculty to share with classes and hung on boards around the engineering building. Attendance was lower this semester than previous semesters. This was due to a scheduling conflict with several mechanical engineering electives. All attendance was tracked to gather information for future semesters. After our events and the new officers were elected, our old and new officers met to discuss chapter information, what did or did not work, and how our chapter can improve in future years by increasing the number of events, fundraisers, and initiates.
Figure 1: Fall Initiation. From left to right, Dr. Darabi, Ashlen, Macy, Curtis, Hunter, Zachary, Lena, Elijah, Edgar.
Figure 2: Fall Initiation. From left to right, Saiket, Hunter, Zachary, Lena, Elijah, Edgar.
Figure 3: Spring Initiation. Sierra, Austin, Katherine, Ashlen, Macy, Dr. Darabi
2021-2022--Kaitlin Lee, Chapter President
Initiations were held in Fall 2021 on November 27th, 2021, and in Spring 2022 on April 9th, 2022. The process for selecting inductees followed the national Pi Tau Sigma rules thoroughly. On November 27th, 2021, both the initiates and their families were invited to attend the Fall initiation through zoom. Officer positions for Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer were filled by newly inducted members. On April 9th, 2022, a zoom initiation was held in the Spring. All officer positions were put up for reelection. Screenshots from each of the initiations can be seen below. In Spring 2022 our chapter hosted the Mechanical Engineering FE exam review sessions. All the mechanical and civil engineering students always look forward to these sessions. This year we decided to continue to keep the sessions over zoom. The planning process for our sessions took a lot of time. We began by sending out a host of emails to see who would be interested in hosting a session. A large handful of faculty members were willing to host sessions once again, and this alleviated a little of the pressure to find faculty members who were available to volunteer. We were able to find a host for each of the sessions except for Electricity and Magnetism and, Measurements, Instrumentation, and Controls. After the faculty members were finalized, an availability survey was sent out to all hosts and a schedule was finalized. The flyer with the review session information was distributed to all School of Engineering students. Students were allowed to sign up for as many sessions as they would like free of charge. The students used a survey to sign up for their sessions. An excel document was used to keep all sign-up data organized. In the morning of each session, a reminder email with a zoom link was sent out to the faculty host and the students that signed up previously. All sessions were hosted in the evening in order to avoid any class and work conflicts that our students may face. Attendance for the sessions started off high and consistent near the beginning of the series. As the sessions progressed attendance lowered drastically, and some sessions even had no attendees. We concluded that the session attendance was directly impacted by finals and senior design project week. Students had less time to attend the sessions when they were focused on final exams. This year we asked all teachers to record their sessions. When the sessions concluded, an email was sent to all students who signed up for the sessions at the beginning of the semester, with session recording links and review materials. A total of 44 students signed up for our sessions, and we considered the turnout a success. Many students and faculty members reached out to our club members to thank them for putting together the review session series. We were happy to help our fellow students. Our newly elected officers look forward to hosting more events and continuing the review session series next academic year.
Screenshot from Fall 2021 Initiation Part 1 (seen from top to bottom: Leanne, Kaitlin, Ashlen)
Screenshot from Fall 2021 Initiation Part 2 (seen from each row: Kaitlin, Leanne, Cristiano, Dr. Darabi, Dr. Molki, Evan, Matthew, and Muna)
Screenshot from Spring 2022 Initiation (seen from each row: Dr. Darabi, Kaitlin, Muna, Ashlen, Macy, Jacob, Curtis, Isaac, Kimberly, Chandler, and Pooria)
2020-2021--Kaitlin Lee, Chapter President
An initiation was held in Fall 2020 on December 4,2020. Five members were initiated on this day. In Fall 2020 our chapter did not host any events, as a result to the challenging environment that Covid 19 created. Our largest event were the Mechanical Engineering FE exam review sessions that were held in Spring 2020. This was not our first year hosting these sessions and due to past success, we decided to continue organizing the sessions for students. This year the sessions were hosted over zoom in order to ensure the safety of all participants. I do believe that the sessions being online made it slightly easier for faculty to volunteer, because it was slightly more convenient. The planning process began with sending out emails to past faculty volunteers to see if they were willing to host sessions again this year. A large handful of faculty members were willing to host sessions once again, and this alleviated a little of the pressure to find faculty members who were available to volunteer. For those of the subjects that still needed hosts, we reached out to faculty members within the department that were familiar with each of subjects. We were able to find a host for each of the sessions except for math and statistics. These subjects were especially hard to find faculty members to host them. Faculty members were then sent a google sign up document that allowed for them to list their time and date availability for hosting their respective sessions. This was done to ensure that increase the overall convenience for our volunteers. After faculty volunteers were finalized for the sessions, a google sign up document was created for students to be able to sign up for the sessions that they would like to attend. An email was sent to the head secretary of the engineering school that contained the flyer listing the session information and a sign-up link. Students were allowed to sign up for as many sessions as they would like free of charge. As a club we also offered participants the opportunity to purchase their own personal review manuals, that would be used by the faculty in the review sessions. However, purchasing these manuals was not required of the students, faculty provided participants with all of the necessary resources for them to get the knowledge that they needed out of the sessions. Attendance for the sessions started off minimal but consistent near the beginning of the series. As the sessions progressed attendance lowered drastically, and some sessions even had zero people show up. We concluded that the session attendance was directly impacted by finals and senior design project week. Students had less time to attend the sessions when they were focused on final exams. As a result of this, we are considering organizing the review sessions earlier in the semester, so that all students who are interested are able to attend. We hope to organize more events for the students next school year.
Screenshot from Fall 2020 Initiation Ceremony including officers: Ethan, Leanne, David, Kaitlin, and advisor Dr. Molki
2019-2020 -- Leanne Montgomery, Chapter President
During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Alpha Chi chapter of Pi Tau Sigma held bi-monthly meetings. Four new members were inducted in the Fall, and one new member was inducted in the Spring initiation ceremonies. Our president also attended the national conference held at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. However, the majority of efforts for the Alpha Chi chapter this year were directed toward accomplishing a single goal: hosting a review series for students and alumni preparing to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam for Mechanical Engineering. For the Mechanical Engineering series, we decided to hold sessions on Fluid Mechanics, the Mechanics of Materials, Statics, Ethics and Professional Practice, Materials Properties and Processes, Measurements Instrumentation and Controls, Computational Tools, Dynamics Kinematics and Vibrations, Mechanical Design and Analysis, Heat Transfer, Engineering Economics, Thermodynamics, and Electricity and Magnetism. The most arduous part of the process was finding 13 faculty members with the time and expertise to hold review sessions. Once this was accomplished, campus rooms were reserved and we began posting schedules advertising the review sessions, open to SIUE students and other members of the community. Because some of the sessions covered material germane to Civil Engineering students preparing for their own FE exam, we also advertised through the CE department. We also offered to help students purchase FE exam review manuals through Amazon.com. By February our review series had a schedule, speakers, room reservations, and attendees.
On the day of each session, a member of Pi Tau Sigma arrived in the classroom early to make sure the facilities were unlocked, all necessary technology was working, and the speaker had everything needed. The first four review sessions went well, with 7-8 students in attendance at each event. Then Spring Break came and along with it Illinois’ response to Covid-19. SIUE shut down campus and prohibited all travel and in-person activities to help slow the spread of the disease. The president of our chapter and our advisor quickly determined that the sessions could continue with some changes. We began working with faculty members to help them transition their review sessions online. Due to the fairly immediate nature of the transition and the general chaos of the shutdown, some sessions had to be rescheduled and re-advertised. Although attendance was lower, only one of our review sessions had to be canceled, and all professors were very generous with their time and materials to help students prepare for this important exam. We believe this series is of great service and has the potential to help many more students in future years.
Fall 2019 Initiates into the Alpha Chi chapter of Pi Tau Sigma
Screenshot “group photo” from the Spring 2020 online initiation, including the new member, current and newly elected officers.
2018-2019 -- Jared Cross, Chapter President
There were two initiations held through the school year, one in November 2018 and the other in April 2019. In November, we initiated 6 people. Each new member was chosen anonymously by merits in the school of engineering, as suggested by the officers then chosen by the chapter adviser. The ceremony began with welcoming everyone and then began of the ritual. Each initiate pledged to the society to uphold its values and merits. Afterward, initiates were given their membership cards and certificates, then signed their names in the chapter handbook. From there they were gathered for a picture with the chapter adviser, then enjoyed pizza and soft drinks as we socialized.
In April, we initiated 4 people. The event began with introductions and then we got right to the ritual. Everyone pledged and then received their membership cards and certificates. We took a group photo and then had pizza and soft drinks while we socialized.
This school year, we held two events with a local middle school in Bethalto, Illinois. The first visit was in December 2018. Here are some photos from that event:
For both events, we gathered several members of the chapter together to talk about engineering and technology, often with examples (in April we brought a mini drone as well as a heat sink). We answered a LOT of questions that the kids were really into. We also had mini projects that they could work on, like creating mini catapults out of crafting materials and paper airplanes, all to compare who had the best designs. The students all had a very fun time and got to learn about many different aspects of engineering and teamwork.
In the academic year of 2017-2018 we held two initiations one of which happened in December and the other in April. We recruited total amount of 8 members, where 1 of them was recruited in December the rest in April. I would like to mention that; the ongoing honor society scams affected our efforts in Fall 2017 drastically and made our colleagues think that, someone is sending false emails by using our Presidents account. However, those emails were the invitation letters sent by our President to the nominees.
Initiation ceremonies were held professionally and with respect to the bylaws of our society. While we were embracing our newest sisters and brothers, we made sure they understand the responsibility of carrying our banner. Furthermore, we held an election during the spring initiation and elected new governing body for our chapter. The transition had happened smoothly, and the new body is more than enough to carry both our chapter and society further.
In this academic year, our chapter hosted 2 high school education sessions and 1 fundraising to fund these sessions. Also, our President Mr. Erim Yanik represented our chapter during the national convention.
In Fall 2017, we visited a high school named Trinity Lutheran School. Our purpose was to introduce Mechanical Engineering as a fun and entertaining discipline while teaching the students some basics of engineering. To do that, we decided to let them construct model roller coaster. In order to achieve our goal, we decided to do a fundraising. After obtaining the required permissions we tabled on campus and hosted the event we named “Pi Tau Pizza” where the students could buy a pizza and get information about our society, who we are and what we do. With the raised funds, we bought necessary equipment spent a day at the school where we introduced Mechanical Engineering as a discipline and taught the students what kinetic and potential energy are so that they could construct their own roller coasters. The students were divided into groups and the objects were priced with certain amounts. Each group were limited with the same budget while constructing at least 1 flip and starting from a certain height. Furthermore, they were asked to stop the object provided at the end of the coaster without an external impact so that the design could be realistic. Overall, it was a very productive day for both our members and the students.
In Spring 2018, we visited another school, West Lincoln Broadwell, and spoke with the junior high about mechanical engineering and SIUE. The classes were broken down into teams again to work on a stem project in which the student needed to build a roller coaster with pipe insulation and a marble. The students were required to record the height change of the track. The students then applied the conservation of energy equation to calculate the exit speed of their roller coaster. The designs were then judged on safety, reliability, and practicality so a final design could be selected.