Pi Tau Sigma National Convention 2014 held at Texas A&M University

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Pi Tau Sigma is an international Mechanical Engineering Honors Society, whose members are chosen on a basis of sound engineering ability, scholarship, personality, and probable future success in their chosen field of Mechanical Engineering. Pi Tau Sigma came into being on March 16, 1915, at the University of Illinois. This year, on the 99th anniversary of Pi Tau Sigma, the Texas A&M had the honor of hosting the National Pi Tau Sigma Convention at Texas A&M University, from Feb 21 – 23, 2014.  This convention also marked the 50th anniversary of the Texas A&M Sigma Delta chapter, which was founded in 1964.

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Esteemed Guests: From left to right, Dr. Alex Moutsoglou, Sy Browning, Dr. Mun Choi, Dr. Andreas Polycarpou, Dr. Devesh Ranjan

The event was attended by some of the top mechanical engineering students from all over the nation, who excelled in academics, as well as leadership. The attendees consisted of 210 students representing 74 universities, with a female attendance of 25 percent. Also in attendance was the esteemed Board of Directors of the Pi Tau Sigma Society.

The event began with a welcome dinner at the Hilton Grand Ballroom, sponsored by BP.  Dr. Mun Young Choi, National President of Pi Tau Sigma, made an introductory speech about the history of Pi Tau Sigma and conducted a roll call to represent each chapter in attendance. He commended Sy Browning (Convention Chair), Jordan Ellington (President, Convention Co-Chair), Dr. Devesh Ranjan (Faculty Advisor to Pi Tau Sigma), and the entire Texas A&M Pi Tau Sigma team, for their hard work in planning, organizing, and hosting the event.

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Dr. Andreas A. Polycarpou gives an inspiring welcome keynote speech at the convention dinner

Dr. Andreas A. Polycarpou, Department Head of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University made the opening keynote speech. In his speech Dr. Polycarpou felicitated the students on their success, and encouraged them to continue on the path of success, by following their heart and fuelling their passion with a desire to make a positive impact in the world, and never giving up.

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Faculty members Dr. Devesh Ranjan and Kristin Schaefer explain the benefits of a graduate education at a breakout seminar

Dinner was followed by the breakout discussions and meetings on the following topics:

  • Chapter Best Practices and History of Pi Tau Sigma
  • Benefits of a Master’s Degree for Academic and Industrial Careers
  • Convention Planning & Improvement Ideas

The breakout sessions were followed by a Friday Night Social Event at Grand Station Entertainment in College Station, where students enjoyed a night of bowling, laser tag, mini golf and pool.

The events of the following day included a preview of the Illinois UC – 2015 100th anniversary convention during breakfast. Plenary sessions were held, in which Dr. Alex Moutsoglou (National Treasurer of Pi Tau Sigma)  gave updates on the current financial standing of the organization, and the future national officers of the society were voted for.

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Company Panel Discussion

A company panel discussion on the ‘Future of the Mechanical Engineer’ followed, with participation of representatives from Halliburton, BP, and Schlumberger, and moderated by Jordan Ellington.

Lunch was held at the MSC Ballroom sponsored by Schlumberger, along with a presentation by Larry Leising (Advisor and métier at Schlumberger). After lunch, students enjoyed light activities such as Chapters Interaction Trivia Event and got their group photo taken.

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Career Fair

A career fair followed, which was a great recruiting event for the convention sponsors, as they got to meet the best mechanical engineering students in the country.

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Attendees are given Lab Tours by Professors in the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professors Aaron Ames, Tim Jacobs, Eric Petersen, Devesh Ranjan and David Staack, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, gave the students individual lab tours, and demonstrations of the research being conducted in their labs.

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Poster Design Competition

Texas A&M graduate organization, MEGSO organized a poster competition for Texas A&M Mechanical graduate students, showcasing their research. The winners were:

  • 1st Place: Poster #1, Malcolm Stein IV
  • 2nd Place: Poster #6, Thomas Finn
  • 3rd Place: Poster #2, Michael Penny
  • 4th Place: Poster #4, Vahid Tajeddini

In the evening all members enjoyed a banquet dinner at the MSC Ballroom, sponsored by Halliburton, with a key note speech by Tim Hunter (Technology Manager at Halliburton).

The students continued to enjoy a Saturday Night Social Event at the Fox and Hound Bar and Grill in College Station.   

The following morning, the event began with breakfast, and a report from Dr. Alex Moutsoglou, National Secretary and Treasurer of Pi Tau Sigma. Scholarship awards, Outstanding Chapter Awards and  Outstanding Report Awards were presented. Dr. Mun Yung Choi and Sy Browning presented the closing remarks.

The event was a grand success, which resulted in several fruitful interactions for the Pi Tau Sigma members with peers, educators and industrial representatives.