Kevin Wenzel, current president of Pi Tau Sigma, the student honorary society for mechanical engineers, said that the message they like to give prospective members is that although they are an honorary group, they also like to have fun. "We're small, and that allows the members to develop good 'family'-type relationships. We're a more personal organization."
This semester the society has 70 members. Mechanical engineering students qualify for membership based on their grade point average: seniors must be in the top one-third of their class, and juniors must be in the top one-fourth. After their initiation, students become life-time members.
Wenzel said that the group has a broad base of activities that include social events, activities that benefit the ME department, and activities that benefit Pi Tau Sigma members. For example, the society worked jointly with ASME to get a copy machine installed in the ME building lobby study area for the convenience of students. They also sponsor an annual graduate school forum for undergrads who are considering that option.
At monthly general meetings, the society tries to bring in industry speakers to talk about their companies and to share advice. This year, a representative of Warner Electric Co. in Rockford, Ill., spoke about patents, and ME Professor Jay K. Martin talked about "Your Life as a Mechanical Engineer." The group also holds monthly social nights and recently sponsored a game night at Union South. ME Department Chair Kenneth W. Ragland is the faculty sponsor.
Wenzel said that perhaps the most important function of Pi Tau Sigma
is that "it serves as a feedback conduit or intermediary between the
faculty and the undergraduate student body."
ME Newsletter is a periodic publication of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Correspondence should be sent to the address below.
Editor: Gail Gawenda
Designer: Lynda Litzkow
MAY 1997 Contents