SUNY-Stony Brook Alpha Xi

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794

Charter Date   April 29, 1994

Chapter No.   159

Advisor  Dr. Dimitris Assanis 

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

SUNY-Stony Brook Alpha Xi

Stony Brook University, also known as, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, first petitioned the National Council of Pi Tau Sigma in the Spring of 1994 for acceptance as a new chapter under the leadership of the department chair, Professor James (Jim) Tasi, Upon acceptance, the SUNY-Stony Brook Alpha Xi chapter was formed and initiated its first twenty-three highly qualified and capable mechanical engineers, with Professor Thomas Irvine as the first faculty advisor, on April 29, 1994. Since that first initiation, the Alpha Xi chapter has continued to initiate new members at least once per year.  Stony Brook’s Alpha Xi chapter only accepts the most outstanding mechanical engineering students based on their academic achievements and performance. The Alpha Xi chapter aims to uphold the ideals of Pi Tau Sigma of encouraging superior scholarship and developing effective leadership and civic responsibilities in mechanical engineering students.


2022-2023 Angelo Joseph Vita, Chapter President

Having set ambitious goals for our chapter at the end of last year, this past year has seen our chapter grow in status, in on campus engagement, and in membership. After having a successful transition back to in person events last year, our main goal for this past year was to ensure mechanical engineering students knew about Pi Tau Sigma and the benefits of joining. We accomplished this goal in many ways that will be outlined below. 

One of the best ways we found to help us connect with students was through event hosting. We held a total of eight events this past academic year and interacted with hundreds of mechanical engineering and stem students across those events. We also further developed our relationship with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers student organization on campus to ensure that mechanical engineering students in ASME are aware of the Pi Tau Sigma as an honor society. We collaborated on two robot building workshops with ASME where we were able to connect one-on-one with underclassmen mec students, as well as during an internship panel where PTS eboard members shared their internship experiences with mec students. Both of these events helped our chapter make connections with the mec student body and were impactful during our recruitment. Moreover, we also continued to collaborate with Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, with the Tau Talks lecture series. We had two Tau Talks this past year with two individuals from industry. These events help give students context into what working in industry is like and are always accompanied by great conversations and networking. In addition, we held a PE/FE information session that explained what the PE and FE exams are, when to take them and what the career benefits of having a professional license are. We also held a MATLAB workshop event that went over tips and tricks to use in MATLAB. We also reached students by attending the College of Engineering and Applied Science involvement fair where we presented our society and events to students of the CEAS college. Additionally, we also had the Assistant to the Chair for the Department of Mechanical Engineering send out additional reminders to help reach a wider range of eligible MEC students.

Hosting all of these events throughout the year, and leveraging our relationships with our faculty advisors allowed our chapter to become more well known among the mechanical engineering student body. This translated into a higher interest level when we held inductions. We inducted a total of 11 students across both the fall and spring semester which brought our total membership to 23 members at the end of the Spring 2023 semester. We also set a goal to make our inductions more interesting and exciting by using candles, table cloths, and a dimly lit room to add to the ambiance. We are excited for the future of Pi Tau Sigma at Stony Brook and are looking forward to seeing where the next semester takes us. 

Fall 2022 Induction:

Fall Induction

From left to right: Joe, Mark, Bonnie, Lindsay, Hailee, AJ

Spring 2023 Induction:

Spring induction

From left to right: Professor Assanis, Joe, Chris, Mike, Juwon, Afrasyab, Liam, Jinkyu, Keirnan, AJ

Make-up induction 1

From top left to right: Mike, AJ, Joe, Jason

Make-up induction 2

From top left to right: Joe, AJ, Mike, Alvin

2021-2022 Angelo Joseph Vita, Chapter President

This past academic year has been very exciting for our chapter as it was the first time we were fully back in person as an organization. We set ambitious goals to induct new members, hold many events and collaborate with other organizations. One thing that was very exciting was being able to hold in person inductions for the first time in two years. Being in person allows for a different level of connection between the inductees and the eboard and allows for everyone to meet new people and network after the induction was completed. Zoom served as a great alternative during the height of the pandemic, but we all felt that it lacked the social aspect that made inductions special. 

Throughout the year, it was our goal to make students aware of the Pi Tau Sigma name and to get Mechanical Engineering students interested. One way we accomplished this goal was by attending the College of Engineering and Applied Science activity fair. At this fair, we set up a table and poster and were able to spread the word about Pi Tau Sigma. By attending this fair, we were able to introduce Pi Tau Sigma to underclassmen and give them something that they can strive to work towards joining. 

Furthermore, our main events this past year were our Tau Talks. Tau Talks are a lecture series in which we have professors from Stony Brook as well as professionals from the field come and give a talk about a topic they are interested in. This topic could be their area of research, or something they are passionate about. We held a total of four talks this year, two in the fall and two in the spring. Our first Tau Talk was hosted by our Pi Tau Sigma Advisor, Professor Dimitris Assanis and was on the future of fuel consumption and the path toward renewable energy. The next talk was given by Professor Shanshan Yao on the engineering of nanomaterials and structures for sensors and actuators. In the spring, our first Tau Talk was given by Thomas Mcloughlin, a recent civil engineering graduate who now works in demolition engineering. Our final Tau Talk of the semester was given by Professor Steve Nitodas and was on the role of engineers in industry and how to build a successful career. Similar to the induction, being able to hold these events in person rather than over zoom allowed for more interaction and a more engaging presentation. Students really enjoy these talks as they are introduced to new ideas that they may not be exposed to in the classroom. Also, it gives students a chance to connect with professors on topics that they are passionate about and could lead to research opportunities. 

All in all, this past academic year was extremely productive for our chapter of Pi Tau Sigma at Stony Brook and we hope to set ambitious goals for the future of this organization. 


Fall 2021 Induction. From left to right: Professor Assanis, Joseph, Adam, Michael, AJ, Erin, Alex, Eric, Kumpu, Christopher


Spring 2022 Induction. From left to right: Joseph, Erin, James, Nabil, Soroush, William, AJ, Michael

2020-2021 Alex R. K. Brown, Chapter President

After a rough 2019-2020 academic year, the Stony Brook Alpha Xi Chapter came back stronger than ever.  God opened doors for us in facilitating strong relationships with the Tau Beta Pi Omicron Chapter at Stony Brook that helped us bring back much life into our Alpha Xi chapter.  We were able to secure a full executive board by the end of the Fall 2020 semester that included Jose Arango as the Vice President, Angelo Vita as the Treasurer, and Clifford Gerlak as the Secretary.  The newly formed executive board was able to get us back into compliance with both Nationals and our Administration at Stony Brook.   We initiated 8 new members in the fall as well as initiated our faculty advisor, Dr. Dimitris Assanis.  In the Spring semester we initiated a handful of new members, held some events for our members, and collaborated with Tau Beta Pi to host two lecture events aptly named Tau Talks!  Both lectures were given by members of our esteemed Mechanical Engineering department here at Stony Brook.  The turnout was great for both events.  We elected our incoming executive board for academic year 2021-2022 which included Angelo Vita as President, Michael Persch as Vice President, Erin Floody as Treasurer, and Michael Dobo as Secretary.  There are still some challenges that need to be overcome as the Alpha Xi continues to grow into a vibrant chapter of Pi Tau Sigma.  The new executive board is up for the challenge.  We were looking to see how God brought us out of the mess our chapter was in and I must say that He exceedingly and abundantly surpassed our expectations!

2019-2020 Alex R. K. Brown, Chapter President

Our 2019-2020 school year was an extremely tough one with the departure of our faculty advisor, Dr. Benjamin Lawler, to another school and the coronavirus pandemic.  We struggled to find a new advisor in fall semester and were not able to perform an initiation.  Without our strong faculty advisor to help guide us through planning events and initiation, we quickly realized that our chapter e-board wasn't taking enough responsibility for building up and maintaining the values and traditions of Pi Tau Sigma at Stony Brook University.  Our outgoing president, Gerard Miles, rallied up our e-board to get behind him on the task of organizing and creating a system that would enable us and future e-boards to function smoothly and efficiently as we worked to uphold the ideals of Pi Tau Sigma.  At the end of the fall semester we had developed a plan to reignite Alpha Xi in the spring of 2020, we only needed a great faculty advisor to aid us in our mission.  God blessed us mechanical engineering students here at Stony Brook University with a new professor, Dr. Dimitris Assanis, who both exemplified the very ideals of our Society and was passionate about cultivating excellence and leadership on our campus.  He agreed to become our faculty advisor and immediately came alongside us in rebuilding our chapter the right way.  Graduate member, Jason Loprete, also gave us help, pledging to lead workshops in MATLAB, Arduino, and mechanical design, all of which he had considerable expertise and success in many of his projects.  Alpha Xi once again had life and our members were excited for the future, but then we were subjected to covid-19.  The changes in schooling demanded much from our e-board and members and we failed to implement our spring semester plan.  That is where we are now, but the future looks bright.  We are prepared to implement an online experience for both our members and new initiates this coming fall.  We cannot wait to see where God has us next year!