Maryland Tau Mu
College Park, MD 20742
Charter Date April 14, 1956
Chapter No. 61
Advisor Dr. Peter Sandborn
During the fall term 1955-1956, Dennis P. Hanley, Chairman of the Student Branch A.S.M.E., University of Maryland contacted the National Secretary expressing the interest of students and faculty in a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma.
With the encouragement of Dr. John E. Younger, Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering and the approval of Dean S. S. Steinberg (Engineering) and Dean J. H. Reid (students), twenty undergraduates students of the Glenn L. Martin Institute of Technology, College of Engineering, University of Maryland, who qualified for membership, petitioned the National Council of Pi Tau Sigma on December 14,1955.
Upon unanimous approval of the Council, the petition was submitted to all active chapters. As soon as the three-fourths majority was recorded (all were favorable) plans were completed for the installation of Maryland Tau Mu Chapter April 14, 1956. Installing officers were President M. S. Gjesdahl and Secretary-Treasurer D. S. Clark.
The Maryland Tau Mu Chapter started immediately to foster the activities on the Maryland Campus which define the objectives of the fraternity in terms of the local needs.
2018-2019 Aaron Barlev, President
Maryland Tau Mu had fantastic year of professional and social activities. The chapter continued its tradition of fostering bonds between members and encouraging networking. Signs of chapter growth were evident this year in involvement with the Mechanical Engineering Department and our large initiate class (19 in total).
Networking and Professional Advancement
Throughout the school year, Maryland Tau Mu invited representatives from the university research community to teach about a topic of their choosing. Not only are these talks informative, but they provide an opportunity for PTS members to network in a closed setting with the faculty. This year our members got an inside look at the research being conducted by several leading University of Maryland professors. To name a few: Dr. Patrick McCluskey spoke in detail about cutting-edge embedded electronics, Dr. Chandrasekhar Thamire gave the chapter an overview of his professional and academic journey, and Dr. Peter Sandborn gave the group a lesson in engineering-related finance. Maryland Tau Mu also occasionally invites representatives from companies seeking to hire Mechanical Engineers to speak to the chapter. For example, in the Fall, representatives from NAVAIR came and spoke about their roles within the company.
Maryland Tau Mu hosted some exciting social events to strengthen the bond between our members. In the Fall, a fiercely competitive Ping Pong tournament was held where a single engineer was crowned champion. The chapter also hosted a viewing of Black Panther for members who had not yet seen the film. In the Spring, Trivia Night and a casual Mario Kart tourney kept things interesting. Additionally, an inaugural joint Ice-Skating event with the University of Maryland chapter of Tau Beta Pi was successfully organized. Maryland Tau Mu also continued our tradition of holding an ice cream social every semester, which is greatly appreciated by our members.
Department Involvement and Service
The chapter held its 5th Annual Mechanical Engineering Scholarship Golf Tournament as a joint effort with the Mechanical Engineering Department. The tournament was considered a success, with a significant amount of money raised through corporate sponsorship of competing teams for Mechanical Engineering student scholarships. Maryland Tau Mu also hosted a Mechanical Engineering Award Ceremony in conjunction with the department to recognize the contributions of an outstanding faculty member, the academic success of a select few sophomore Mechanical Engineers, and the effort of two members of the Pi Tau Sigma chapter. Dr. Peter Sandborn was selected to receive the annually awarded Purple Camshaft due to his consistent and reliable support of Maryland Tau Mu. Alex Mazze and Jake Erskine were the two PTS members selected to be honored for their contributions to the University of Maryland and our PTS chapter. Additionally, the groundwork was laid to begin a transfer student mentorship program early next year between the department and PTS. In success, Maryland Tau Mu would be responsible for the assimilation and academic/social success of transfer students who come to the University of Maryland’s Mechanical Engineering Department.
2017-2018 Caesar Riveiro, Logistics Chair
The Maryland Tau Mu Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma is proud to summarize the events we hosted and were involved during the 2017-2018 school year. The event we are most proud of is the Annual Mechanical Engineering Department Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament. We also organized several initiate-centric events. Among them we had: S’mores night, Game Night, Resume Critique, Ice Cream Social, and several informative presentations. In addition to these events, we hosted new member initiations at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters.
For the Annual Mechanical Engineering Department Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament, we had to organize and plan the tournament with the help of the MechE Department. We had to contact several sponsors for the event and make sure to organize the structure of the event. Overall, we raised over $5,000 then went towards scholarships for mechanical engineering students. This event was very successful for us and showed us how dedicated our members are to this chapter.
Our faculty advisor Dr. Sandborn was of great influence for our chapter during the past year. He gave a presentation on “Technology Obsolescence” during the spring semester and also gave a presentation on “Engineering Decision Making” during the fall semester. These presentations were interesting and educational, and provided valuable insight into the engineering profession for our initiates as well as our current members. Dr. Sandborn was also able to organize a NAVAIR presentation about their company and how members of Pi Tau Sigma could join their team. Finally, Dr. Sandborn assisted in Maryland Tau Mu’s collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering Department to secure funding for renovation of conference rooms within our engineering building.
During the past year, we worked closely with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). A presentation by Stanley Black and Decker was co-sponsored by ASME and our chapter. We also share a lounge area with ASME so most of our members are also ASME members. We held most of our social events in this lounge including the Ice Cream Social, Game Night, Resume Critique, and S’mores night. These socials were required events for our initiates at the time and gave them the events points they needed for initiation. These events were also an ideal time for Tau Mu members to become familiar with one another.
With the help of our members, we restructured the active membership tracking system, and made it easier to know who is still active. In addition, we had schedule planning at least once per semester to plan out the events for initiates, as well as the duties for each board member. Finally, we hosted initiation night at the end of both semesters. We maintained all the traditions that come with initiation night, including the “fake” exam and the introduction of our secret handshake. At the end of initiation, we had food catered for all members and celebrated the new initiates. The 2017-2018 school year was a remarkable success for Maryland Tau Mu, and we are looking forward to what next year will bring.