MIT Pi Kappa

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139

Charter Date   May 29, 1947

Chapter No.   35

Advisor   Dr. Maria Yang

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

MIT Pi Kappa

With the wholehearted cooperation of the Mechanical Engineering Department, outstanding students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology petitioned the National Council of Pi Tau Sigma for a chapter early in 1947. After approval by the Council, the M.LT. Pi Kappa Chapter was formally installed on May 29, 1947, by National Secretary L. J. Bradford with Edward Mikol (Oregon State Omega) assisting.

In addition to the traditional activities, M.LT. Pi Kappa has been active in establishing and carrying out a system of course evaluations for all courses taught by our department. One term, the chapter joined in a campaign to obtain a Mechanical Engineering Commons Room. Another major activity is the exhibits for Open House and as a committee to allocate projects so that service organizations do not overlap in their activity.


2021-2022, Laura Schwendeman, Vice President

This past year MIT Pi Kappa hosted a mix of social, professional, and academic events that were aimed at strengthening the bonds within MIT’s mechanical engineering community. MIT Pi Kappa also hosted events for preparing members for their professional lives post-graduation. We hosted multiple social events to provide students with the chance to meet outside an academic context and to make interdepartmental connections with peers in the Mechanical Engineering department. We hosted banquets, tea socials, and craft sessions with some engineering themes. We also provided many opportunities for students to meet with MIT Mechanical Engineering faculty members in a less formal context than that of the lecture room or a research group meeting. Professors like Ritu Raman gave invaluable advice on their journeys from working in a lab basement as an undergraduate to becoming a professor and building their own lab space from the ground up. We also supported the whole of MIT’s mechanical engineering community by hosting an event for students to learn more about their professional options in Graduate School. We also hosted an event that gave high school seniors the chance to learn more about the options and opportunities in the field of Mechanical Engineering through informal conversations with MIT Pi Kappa Members. Furthermore, MIT Pi Kappa hosted and supported a series of professional events geared towards skills and information helpful in industry. MIT Pi Kappa organized multiple design tool workshops and company information sessions highlighting skills like CAM and Parametric Modeling. Additionally, MIT Pi Kappa set up events that helped students navigate professional interviews and salary negotiations. In the future, MIT Pi Kappa hopes to extend its knowledge and activities to a wider community while continuing to strengthen its presence and its ability to foster connection within MIT’s Mechanical Engineering department. We hope to host more events to bring the importance of professionalism and mechanical engineering to the whole of the MIT community and to the greater Boston area. In the coming year, MIT Pi Kappa hopes to connect with more organizations to strengthen the field of mechanical engineering and to give back to the institutions that have allowed MIT Pi Kappa’s members to study and grow as engineers and professionals.

2019-2020, Miki Hansen, President

This year, our chapter focused on creating a better sense of community within our chapter and within MIT’s Mechanical Engineering department. We hosted many interactive social events -like cookie decorating, for members to get to know each other better. We engaged with faculty and administrators to collaborate on events and to reinstate a previously dormant student advisory board in which officers from MechE societies/clubs could provide feedback to the department about the transition to online learning, peer mentorship, and academic advising, among other things. We also hosted two faculty chats where students engaged in conversations with Professor Maria Yang and Professor Alex Slocum about their career path and research. We founded a mentorship program in which members are matched to underclassmen to provide advice about what classes, career development, and student life. We organized a “Courseroading” event open to all of MechE students where members helped answer people’s questions about what classes to take and when. We also hosted several professional development events focusing on topics such as CAD, visual communication, and grad school programs. In the same vein of professional development, we worked on creating a database of interview questions based on members’ personal experiences for others to reference when preparing for interviews. Over the summer, we are planning a project competition for students to challenge themselves to flex and learn more design and analysis skills through a personal or group project.