South Carolina Delta Tau

The University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

Charter Date   September 8, 1978

Chapter No.   116

Advisor   Dr. Austin Downey

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

South Carolina Delta Tau

In the fall of 1977, the upper-class members of the University A.S.M.E. section. led by Frank Knight, Robert Smith n, and Oliver Barnes. set out to establish a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma at the University of South Carolina. They petitioned the National Council for a chapter, and the petition was granted in April of 1978.

Formal installation of the South Carolina Delta Tau Chapter took place on September 8, 1978, with National Vice-President Joe Gartner and National Secretary-Treasurer Hudy Hewitt. Jr., installing the officers.

South Carolina Delta Tau serves the College of Engineering by assuming a role of leadership within the College, bestowing honor on the top-ranking mechanical engineers, and performing service projects for the students of the College.


2021-2022 Kiersten Crouse - Secretary 

We had the honor of initiating numerous members in fall 2021 and spring 2022. Community service carried out by our members consists of cleaning and cooking for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House to ensure their time is spent taking care of their loved ones. One member, Savannah Huffman, helped her local Girl Scout troop in Charleston, South Carolina by assisting with the annual sales. We had some members partake in upkeep and planting in the sustainable Carolina Garden on campus. Many of our members are involved in undergraduate research on campus as well as internships to gain outside experiences. At an engineering research fair facilitated by our very own community service officer, Davis Hewitt, our members shared how they got involved and their experiences along the way to provide advice to undergraduate mechanical engineers. In addition, we hold an open discussion at the end of each meeting to share any research lab openings or simply share someone’s research project or involvements. We stress networking within the organization as well as outside the organization. We had several mechanical engineering research professors present their projects for potential hires or graduate students. Members were able to ask questions about Master’s and Doctoral programs. These projects ranged from composite materials, structural health monitoring, machine learning, two-phase transport behaviors at nanoscale, and more. We also heard from industry speakers such as REI automation which is the leader of customized automated industrial equipment and machines. Not long after this presentation, our members began working on a drone competition where they would build a drone from scratch and compete against other engineering teams. To help our Delta Tau members grow professionally, we held an interview workshop led by Kiersten Crouse which covered the STAR method, different interview questions such as behavioral, situational, technical, and various questions to ask interviewers, how to prepare for an interview, and how to appropriately follow-up afterwards. This was a new workshop which many members appreciated because it was right around interview season, and it helped prepare them ahead of time. Finally, the chapter sent several members to represent Pi Tau Sigma at the College of Engineering’s Diversity Gala, which was the first time it was held and promotes greater diversity within the engineering field. This provided a fantastic opportunity for our members to interact with different professionals in the engineering industry and listen to inspiring speeches from industry leaders. 

2020-2021 Kiersten Crouse - Secretary

Several new members were initiated into the Delta Tau chapter this past fall and spring semesters. The new members were initiated via Zoom calls due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place for in-person organization meetings on campus. The Community service activities are especially important in creating a presence in the environment around us. Giving back to the community that gave many students a second home on campus is very meaningful. Students in our Delta Tau chapter participated in local food drives as well as service days cleaning up and planting new gardens. Harvest Hope is a local food drive which provides meals all across South Carolina. The food is distributed to food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. Our member, J.D. Woods, helped sort and package the donations into boxes for transportation. The service day opportunity was spent cleaning up a local garden on campus. The garden was overcome with weeds and needed to be reorganized with new plants. Our member, Davis Hewett, helped pull weeds and place new plants into the garden outside one of the campus dormitories. Another member, Max Ten Hulzen, helped build a public bench fully surrounding a community tree. On another note, we had a speaker from Shaw Industries present to the organization on a Zoom meeting. Members were able to ask questions about potential job opportunities, the transition period from undergrad to industry, and what recruiters may be looking for in new hires. One of our graduate students spoke on a Zoom meeting with all members describing his graduate experience so far at the McNair Center on campus. Members were able to ask questions about Master’s programs, McNair Center involvement in undergrad and post-grad, and applying to graduate schools. Our graduate student, Chase Murray, is also our veteran officer who provides guidance to all members. During the upcoming semesters in 2021-2022 we hope to visit the Rosewood Elementary School to teach a science lesson on pushes and pulls. We have been trying to execute this event over the past several semesters, but COVID-19 has remained a devastating issue. We are hoping to volunteer at the school in the near future when permitted.

2019-2020 Chase Murray - President 

Pi Tau Sigma- Delta Tau chapter initiated several students during both the fall 2019 and spring 2020 seasons. Although the spring semester was cut short, we were still able to initiate students remotely over video chat. Our new initiates have a clear passion and desire to expand their knowledge in the engineering field. We were able to hear from several successful companies about internship opportunities as well as pursuable careers following graduation from UofSC. Presentations from International Paper, Pure Power Technologies, and Shaw Industries allowed our members to kickstart their networking skills. A UofSC graduate student, who was a member at his respective undergraduate university, shared his career endeavors with Atlas Copco. Delta Tau chapter strives to give back to the community especially the future generation of engineers. We participated in our department’s E-Week Open House where kindergarten through 12th grade students were immersed in different hands-on activities related to the engineering field. Our organization ran the “Segway Rides” exhibit allowing participants to learn the mechanism behind it as well as ride the Segway. Several events we had planned for the rest of the year were cut short due to COVID-19. We hoped to volunteer at Rosewood Elementary School teaching a science class on pushes and pulls for second graders. We also wanted to close out the year with a game night and a picnic with the option to participate in our on-campus obstacle course.  

2018-2019 William McMakin - President

During both the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters, Pi Tau Sigma initiated several new students with a passion for engineering and the drive to for academic success. With their input, our chapter strengthened our efforts in connecting our students to a broad range of internship opportunities both within the state of South Carolina, as well as around the nation. At our bi weekly meetings, current members gave testimonials about their past internship experiences at companies such as Whiting Turner, Toyota, and The Walt Disney Company. Guest speakers from industries such as Shaw gave presentations about how to apply technical skills learned at USC to future professional jobs. SC Delta Tau emphasizes not only service to the community as part of the initiation proceedings but also as members and throughout one’s life. In the Fall 2018 semester, members and pledges were able to participate in the USC Middle School Day. During this activity, Pi Tau Sigma alum Matt Testa’s hydraulic digger was brought out so a group of local middle school students could operate it and learn about principles of fluid mechanics. The volunteers helped demonstrate and aid students in the operation. In the way of chapter activities apart from volunteer work, this school year the chapter organized annual trivia nights. The three winning teams are awarded cash prizes for their knowledge in STEM and mechanical engineering-based trivia questions.