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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

IUPUI Awarded Tau Beta Pi Charter for National Engineering Honor Society

January 23, 2015

IUPUI Tau Beta Pi Chapter Vice President, Jeremy Mihajlovich (left) and President, Leandro Moretti (right)

IUPUI Tau Beta Pi Chapter Vice President, Jeremy Mihajlovich (left) and President, Leandro Moretti (right)

In November, IUPUI was awarded a charter to establish a Tau Beta Pi collegiate chapter during the 109th annual convention of the engineering honor society in Spokane, WA, in November. The university’s chapter will be known as Indiana Zeta.

“We are thrilled to receive the Tau Beta Pi charter,” said David Russomanno, Ph.D., dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. “It is a testament to our outstanding engineering student leaders, our School and IUPUI. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our students whose scholarship will be recognized by induction into the Indiana Zeta chapter.”

Tau Beta Pi is the only engineering honor society that represents the entire engineering profession. The nation's second-oldest honor society was founded at Lehigh University in 1885 “to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor upon their Alma Mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as students in engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges.”

There are now collegiate chapters at 249 colleges and universities across the U.S., and approximately 554,000 in initiated members.

The new Indiana Zeta chapter has been highly anticipated at IUPUI. A trial chapter was established nearly five years ago. Two years ago, a petition for a full chapter was submitted to the organization. A site visit by a committee from Tau Beta Pi took place in the fall of 2013 and based on their recommendations for changes in documentation, a new petition was submitted in June 2013.

At this fall’s national convention, IUPUI made a presentation to hundreds of delegates and they voted to award the charter to IUPUI. Engineering students Leandro Moretti, president of the chapter, and Jeremy Mihajlovich, vice president, participated in an induction ceremony during the convention. The process will be completed once initiation of members takes place in the spring.

The full chapter will be unique in that it will boast 60 charter members at its inception. Ken Yoshida, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the chapter’s faculty advisor, explained that what makes this chapter stand out is its members’ commitment to community service.

“During the site visit, the Tau Beta Pi committee was impressed with the service orientation of our chapter, indicating that our members are more active than many others nationwide,” said Yoshida. “Our mission is to promote engineering and IUPUI, and we try to do that as much as possible.”

IUPUI sponsors STEM activities with local high schools and chapter members strongly support these events. They also plant trees in nearby neighborhoods and run marathons to raise funds for charity.

“We serve as ambassadors to the community,” Yoshida continued. “We reach out to educate others about the importance of engineering.”

One way they do that is through an “Engineering Week,” which will kick-off ironically on 3.14.15 or PI! Yoshida also believes that the Indiana Zeta chapter brings even more recognition to the School of Engineering and Technology and will draw more high school students to IUPUI.

“The chapter is good for the prestige of IUPUI and will attract high achieving engineering students,” added Moretti, who knows first-hand how appealing IUPUI’s engineering program can be – he comes from Tuscany and is a senior in the biomedical engineering program.

Mihajlovich, a senior in the biomedical engineering program who hails from Granger, IN, believes the chapter offers some unique benefits for the campus.

“While it is a great honor to be recognized for your hard work, it’s not just about being in a group of smart people but a group of people with exemplary character. Our members really care about the community. The chapter brings together students from multiple engineering disciplines to participate in service events as well as social activities,” said Mihajlovich.

Moretti has plans to recruit those engineering students eligible for the chapter yet this year and next spring before he graduates and moves on to a doctorate program.

“Leaving something behind is one of my goals,” he said. “I’ve received so much support here at IUPUI that I’d like to give back. I think the Indiana Zeta chapter is the most impactful way of doing that.”