Michigan-Dearborn Alpha Pi

University of Michigan - Dearborn
Dearborn, MI 48128

Charter Date   October 25, 1996

Chapter No.   161

Advisor   Dr. Eric Ratts

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

Michigan-Dearborn Alpha Pi

On January 29, 1996, the mechanical engineering students at the University of Michigan - Dearborn, with the guidance of Dr. Eric B. Ratts (Bradley Tau Omega ‘85), petitioned for membership in Pi Tau Sigma. Michigan-Dearborn Alpha Pi Chapter was installed on October 25, 1996, by Dr. Edwin Griggs (Tennessee Sigma Nu) President of Pi Tau Sigma, and Dr. Farokh Mistree (Georgia Tech Nu), Secretary-Treasurer of Pi Tau Sigma. The charter class of Michigan-Dearborn Alpha Pi consisted of 37 students.  In addition, Dr. C.L. Chow, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, was also initiated as an honorary member into Pi Tau Sigma.

In order to promote professionalism in mechanical engineering, the members have sponsored such activities as the annual pizza-party gathering between mechanical engineering faculty and students, tutoring of core curriculum courses, and philanthropic activities.



2021-2022, Yara Elayyan, President

For the Fall 2021 semester, two students were initiated into the Alpha Pi Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma at the University of Michigan - Dearborn. Before the start of the Fall semester, the officers met to discuss and get a head start on each one’s responsibilities. Three officers attended the Go Blue Bash at UM-Dearborn to talk about the organization and what we do before the first day of classes. They talked to many Mechanical Engineering undergraduate and graduate students and let them know to look out for invitations if they qualified to join. Once the semester kicked off, the process to bring new initiates in began. The officers decided to hold weekly study days in the University library and invited Pi Tau Sigma members, as well as inviting all undergraduate mechanical engineering students. A game night was held in the Fall 2021 semester where members were able to problem solve together and socialize. A big event that was held towards the end of the semester was the Research Symposium. This symposium was held virtually and three faculty members presented their research to undergraduate and graduate students. Students were able to understand more of what these professors do outside of teaching and hopefully gained an interest in their research topics. Officers and members of Pi Tau Sigma took a tour at the Henry Ford Museum as well. This was a very fun experience outside of campus.

In the Winter 2022 semester, four students were initiated. The planning and preparations were very similar. An officer meeting was held weekly to make sure everything was staying on track with initiation. More events were held this semester. The study days in the University library continued on a weekly basis. There was also another Research Symposium since it is popular amongst students. An older event was brought back to life, Day in the Life of an Engineer. This is where different engineers were brought in virtually to discuss what they do and what field they are in. Following each engineer’s presentation was a Q&A where many students asked a variety of questions. This event was very informative and actually where there was the most attendance and participation from attendees. A tour of the Henry Ford Museum was again taken, but this time with Tau Beta Pi - Michigan Iota. A collaboration is always enjoyable. The officers of Pi Tau Sigma set up another game night this semester with guests. During the Winter 2022 semester, the National Convention took place in Chicago, IL. We had four members attend and they got to experience a Pi Tau Sigma convention for the first time. They were able to connect with chapters from all over the country. Hopefully, this will open our Alpha Pi chapter to more collaborations in the future. It was exciting to see more members this year participating in our events and that 6 total students were initiated. The chapter is looking forward to bringing in many more members next year.

Fall 2021 Initiation
Winter 2022 Initiation

2020-2021  Lilia Bykerk, President

For the Fall 2020 semester, four students were successfully initiated into this chapter. To kickoff the semester, the officers held a meeting a week before the semester started to plan the semester’s events and to start the initiation process. In addition to the initiation events, this chapter partnered with the general engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi to offer free tutoring sessions to students who were struggling in fundamental engineering courses such as thermodynamics, statics, and physics 1 and 2. Halfway through the semester, a study night was held for all engineering students to promote student connections and provide a time for like-minded students to get together and improve their classroom knowledge. All events were conducted virtually due to university policy concerning COVID-19.

For the Winter 2021 semester, seven students were successfully initiated. Similar to the Fall 2020 semester the officers met a week before the semester started to plan the semester’s events and start the initiation process. Chapter activities outside of the initiation process included two professional events and one social event. In addition, this chapter continued to assist Tau Beta Pi with the tutoring sessions which a couple of the initiates participated in as well. The first professional event hosted was an informational and recruiting event for university competition teams. Formula SAE and Michigan Aeronautics and Space Association (MASA) participated in this event. It was held the first month of the semester and was open to all engineering students. The goal of this event was to provide students, especially incoming freshmen or transfer students, an opportunity to meet fellow engineering students and to provide the chance of getting hands-on experiences. The second professional event was a research symposium where three faculty members, including the chair, of the Mechanical Engineering department presented their research. This event was open to all engineering students, graduate and undergraduate. This event was to help students learn more about the research going on at the university and to engage the students with the mechanical engineering faculty. This chapter also hosted a Game Night as a fun way to engage the members of the chapter. Due to the pandemic and university policy, all events were conducted virtually. 

Both semesters, the officers worked together to send out invitations to the society to all eligible students. For the Fall 2020 semester that consisted of sending out an email to each of them and for the Winter 2021 semester the officers were able to send out an actual letter to all the eligible students. Due to the pandemic, all of our events for the initiation had to be modified as they all had to be conducted virtually. Despite this the officers were able to hold all initiation events and successfully initiated eleven new members (four for the Fall semester and seven for the Winter).

2019-2020, Michael Ustes, President

         The Alpha Pi Chapter began the Fall 2019 semester with an officer’s meeting to create an outline of important events for the semester ahead. First comes the letter building event, where members of our chapter meet to assemble the invitation letters to eligible candidates. This brief meeting allows members and officers to interact with one another in a casual setting.  Once the letters were mailed, informational meetings were held in the middle of October. Candidates were encouraged to attend this 30-minute meeting held by the chapter officers to learn more about the history of Pi Tau Sigma, the Alpha Pi Chapter, and the requirements to become a member.

            The first of two service events held in the fall was the “Meet the Deans” event. Our chapter worked with the university's College of Engineering and Computer Science to set up an open Q&A session with the college’s Dean and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. This allowed students to convey their issues and interests with student life directly to the Deans. The second service event was an engineering speaker panel affectionately named “Engineering 9 to 5: Daily Work-Life of Professional Engineers.” The purpose of this event was to present students an opportunity to learn about the daily routines of engineers in various industries.

            The roast is the event our chapter uses to determine if our candidates possess favorable qualities that will uphold the ideals of Pi Tau Sigma. The candidates were asked to meet with the chapter officers and were presented with a series of challenges and riddles in the form of a scavenger hunt. This allows the chapter to test the candidates’ academic prowess in addition to interpersonal skills such as teamwork.

            Fall initiation occurred on December 7th, where the Michigan Alpha Pi Chapter welcomed seven candidates into Pi Tau Sigma. The ceremony concluded with a banquet and the election of new officers.

            The winter semester began in a similar fashion to the fall; a meeting was held to determine the order of events and the dates they should occur on. Within the first three weeks, letters and emails were sent to eligible students asking them to attend an informational meeting in February. Towards the end of January, our Treasurer attended the Pi Tau Sigma National Convention in Rochester. This is the first time a member of the Michigan Alpha Pi chapter has attended convention in several years.

            At the beginning of March, our chapter hosted a resume workshop open to all students. Our executive board offered their opinions and experiences to all attendees in an effort to improve aesthetics and richness of content in their documents.

            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our campus converted all courses to an online format. The roast was held virtually as a result and, albeit not as exciting as in person, still allowed us to determine the character of each initiate.  Finally, the winter initiation, which had been delayed to allow for an in-person event, was held on June 20th, 2020.

2018-2019 Michael Ustes, President

The 2018-2019 academic year for the Alpha Pi Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma was a year of renewal. Having been marked “inactive” in 2017, Alpha Pi regained momentum by initiating its first undergraduate members in over a year. These initiates were able to elect critical executive board positions in order to complete important actions for the remainder of the semester.

UM Dearborn Alpha Pi Chapter successfully held spring initiation with assistance from Dr. Eric Ratts, the chapter’s advisor. Eleven candidates were initiated on Friday, April 12th. The initiation fees, signatures, and corresponding paperwork were collected and mailed to Pi Tau Sigma Headquarters. Alpha Pi also celebrated the graduation of one of its prior members this semester, and look forward to many more in the future. One of the chapter’s top priorities was to reestablish involvement with the University of Michigan – Dearborn’s Office for Student Engagement. This key goal will allow the chapter to receive funding and stay up to date with current and future campus activities, which is pivotal for Alpha Pi to arrange public events on the university campus. This task is the current work in progress since it takes quite some time for this Office to make sure everything is in order.

As part of a list of objectives to complete during the spring semester, Alpha Pi coordinated a tour of tier 1 automotive supplier Robert Bosch, LLC on Wednesday, May 1st. This tour invited our members to visit the company’s Farmington Hills location and explore the type of testing, development, and functions that Bosch performs in its Powertrain Division. The tour began with a presentation of the different departments within the facility, then proceeded with a walkthrough of the garage and lab area, as well as several test chambers for vehicles and engines of all shapes and sizes. This event gave our members real world examples and applications of the relevant topics being taught by UM Dearborn’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.