Chi Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma

Pi Tau Sigma is a Mechanical Engineering Honor Society which has as its objective:

“…to foster the high ideals of the engineering profession, to stimulate interest in coordinate departmental activities, to promote the mutual professional welfare of its members, and to develop in students of mechanical engineering the attributes necessary for effective leadership and the assumption of the responsibilities of a citizen in a democracy.”

History of Pi Tau Sigma

With the twentieth century came the realization that honor societies made a definite contribution to the department and that membership required active participation. Pi Tau Sigma came into being on March 16, 1915, at the University of Illinois. As similar organization embarked November 15, 1915, at Wisconsin and other local organizations (such as Carzeuran of Purdue) were soon to become active.

The early leaders: Professors C.R. Richards, A. C. Willard, and O. A. Leutwiler of the University of Illinois; G. L. Larson of the University of Wisconsin; G. A. Young of Purdue; and J.V. Martenis of the University of Minnesota, stand out for their early contributions.

In ten years Pi Tau Sigma grew to six chapters in the widdlewest (Illinois Alpha, Wisconsin Alpha, Purdue Beta, Minnesota Gamma, Illinois Delta, and Missouri Epsilon). In 1925 the expansion continued to the east with the Penn State Zeta Chapter being installed. Six years later the Texas Kappa Chapter, and the following year the Colorado Mu Chapter established chapters in the south and west. Also in 1932 the expansion continued southeast to Georgia Tech Nu Chapter. It was not until nine years later that the first chapter was installed on the Pacific coast (Oregon State Omega). In twenty-six years Pi Tau Sigma had become a truly national honorary mechanical engineering fraternity with a total of twenty-five chapters. During the succeeding four years nine additional chapters were installed.

Between 1947 and 1958, forty new chapters were installed. The Chapter-At-Large was established in 1954. The installations completed as of the spring of 1993 brought the total number of established chapters to one hundred and fifty-three. Two chapters have become inactive, one due to the discontinuance of the mechanical engineering program. Earlier, two established chapters in New York merged. As of March 1, 1994, 150 chapters were active.

History of Auburn Chi Chapter

In the fall of 1940, senior mechanical engineering students, from what was at the time Alabama Polytechnic Institute, contacted the National Council of Pi Tau Sigma. After obtaining the approval of the Executive Committee of the Institute, they pensioned for a chapter. Their pension was granted after was voting at the twenty-third National Convention. Formal installation was held on December 7, 1940 with National Secretary H. E. Degler officiating with the assistance of members of Georgia Tech Nu Chapter. In 1960 Alabama Polytechnic Institute changed its name to Auburn University.

The Auburn Chi Chapter has continued to promote scholarship, professionalism, and a strong educational program in Mechanical Engineering. Auburn Chi has sponsored freshmen and senior scholarship, a pre-engineering open house, tours of Mechanical Engineering facilities, and an undergraduate tutorial program.