Florida Sigma Omicron
Gainesville, FL 32611
Charter Date May 25, 1968
Chapter No. 88
Advisor Dr. Hitomi Greenslet
Twenty-five honor students, under the leadership of the Mechanical Engineering Department Chairman, Dr. Robert B. Gaither and Professor Joel S. Gilbert, petitioned Pi Tau Sigma for membership on January 31, 1968. Florida Sigma Omicron was installed on May, 1968, by a team of National Officers, headed by Mr. E. K. Springer, the National President.
Sigma Omicron Chapter participates in the annual Engineers' Fair, maintains the reading room in the Mechanical Engineering Building, and sponsors social functions jointly with ASME. In addition the chapter is currently updating old, and initiating new experiments for the undergraduate thermodynamics laboratories.
2018 - 2019
The Florida Sigma Omicron chapter of Pi Tau Sigma takes great pride in performing service events and activities. Throughout the year we hold 4-5 service events to better the UF campus, students, Gainesville area, and more. Along with service, we also help out the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Florida, by teaching their section of our Intro to Engineering class.
Each year the Florida Sigma Omicron chapter engages in many service events. In the past year we had three main highlight events. The first was our Gatortrax event. At Gatortrax, elementary students are brought to UF on a Saturday morning and we teach them a mechanical engineering principle. This past year we taught they about conservation of energy; using marbles rolling down a foam track. These events are made fun and interactive and get children engaged in science in math. Our two other main events were trash cleanup days. The first was in Fall 2018 we attended a Campus Beautification Day at UF. During this event we got down and dirty and picked up countless bags of trash on UF’s campus. We raided a large forested section of UF and picked up trash for hours. At the end, the change was unbelievable. The third main event was similar to the second. This time, however, we partook in the Keep Alachua County Beautiful Day. For this event we were assigned a street in Gainesville and picked up trash along that road. Similar to UF’s cleanup day we picked up multiple bags of trash over hours. After being thanked by local neighbors, we gathered the trash, admired the difference in appearance, and took the bags to the local dump.
One of the main ways Florida Sigma Omicron serves the department and profession is by leading the Intro to Engineering class at UF. This class is available to freshman who are unsure what profession of engineering they want to study. Each week they go around to the different majors and receive a presentation about that respective major. When they come to the mechanical department we send a representative from PTS to teach that day. The PTS member goes over the Powerpoint for the students, talks about classes, design teams, and other student involvement. Then we take the students on a small tour and walk them through our Rapid Prototyping Lab (3D printing) and our Design and Manufacturing lab. The Design and Manufacturing lab really spurs students’ interest as they see all the heavy machinery they will be able to work on. With PTS officers teaching the class it saves the mechanical department at UF a lot of hassle.
The aforementioned events and services Florida Sigma Omicron performed just highlight some of our service events throughout the year. Each year we are always in effort to find new ways to serve the Gainesville and University of Florida community!
This year brought new and old faces out in Florida Sigma Omicron. During our year’s activities we had many members that initiated in previous semesters continue their involvement by attending our tour of E-one, our famous Gators’ Dockside Trivia night and other events. One of our graduate members even decided to become an officer after being initiated the previous year as an undergraduate. We pride ourselves in hosting events that keep non-officer members active after initiation. On the topic of initiating we initiated twelve members this year, seven in the fall and five in the spring. During the spring we initiated graduate students for the first time. Three masters’ students became members, two of which are now officers. One of our new members from the fall, Nick, was voted social chair. In Nick’s speech he said ‘I didn’t plan on joining this club I figured I’d just check it out and get free food. But, I really enjoyed the people and now want to make the club better’ He is now the next year’s president. We believe our involved initiation requirements list gets us members like Nick.
This year we stepped outside of comfort zone by hosting and partaking in many new events. We organized a student speaker panel with speakers from the society of women engineers and the society of automotive engineers for an international manufacturing conference with 65 guests in Gainesville. We hosted an ANSYS training event free to all students that over 50 people attended. Our social chair organized a student speaker panel to talk to underclassmen in their orientation class of 150 about mechanical engineering applied to the fields of healthcare, security, energy, and food. On top of these three events we participated in the Out Of the Darkness walk for the first time where we raised $280 of support. This is a walk to promote mental well health and prevent suicide that hundreds of students attend. It is a topic dear to our officers so it was nice to be open about struggles of mental health through our club activities. For fun four of us volunteered at a monkey sanctuary to do non-engineering work.
Apart from our new activities and our participation of members we did our normal events such as our yearly undergraduate research symposium that had 8 different posters on topics in mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE). We taught Introduction to Engineering starting in the summer weekly and sometimes twice weekly. This is where we teach 20 underclassmen students about mechanical and aerospace engineering as well as the benefits to student involvement. We also did our annual clean-up of the MAE student lounge and conference room with over 7 members cleaning. Lastly in show of appreciation for all our members do we won four awards at our annual department banquet. Two awards for outstanding TA to our former president and social chair. As well as outstanding leadership to our President and outstanding senior to our Vice President.