Northwestern Pi Theta

Northwestern University
Evanston IL 60208

Charter Date   May 14, 1943

Chapter No.   33

Advisor   Dr. Todd D. Murphey

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

Northwestern Pi Theta

Early in the spring of 1943 high ranking senior mechanical engineers under the sponsorship of Professor B. H. Jennings petitioned the National Council for a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma to be installed at the Northwestern Technological Institute. The petition was approved and the Northwestern Pi Theta Chapter was formally installed on May 14, 1943, with National Secretary-Treasurer E. S. Gray officiating.

Northwestern Pi Theta has been a significant factor in encouraging engineering education and campus activities. Due to the complications with the cooperative program the chapter operates on a dual system. The chapter also cooperates with the Founders Societies.



This academic year, Northwestern Pi Theta focused on three key activities: peer advising for mechanical engineering (ME) students, participation in Northwestern’s ME advisory board, and hosting a career roundtable. These activities helped members of Pi Theta become engaged with the ME community, including other students, faculty and professions in the Chicagoland area.

Pi Theta worked closely with the Mechanical Engineering department to host at least one peer advising session per week, starting October 20, 2017 and continuing through March 8, 2018. The advising sessions were open to all students in the ME department as well as undecided students. Advisors discussed course plans, career plans, study habits, and wellness strategies with attendees. Feedback from students who attended indicated that these sessions were very helpful in guiding them onto a good path, especially for first year students within the department. Students found the peer advising to be more helpful than faculty advising as members of Pi Theta were able to give advice from a student’s perspective, which was more honest and straightforward than that of the faculty.

Members of Pi Theta were invited to sit in on advisory board meetings to provide insight about the experience of ME students at Northwestern, to comment on strengths of the program and to indicate areas of improvement. Pi Theta pushed for improving faculty advising, specifically to make advising more accessible and transparent. Movements to a new advising system helped alleviate some of the accessibility issues with advising.

Pi Theta, along with Northwestern’s Biomedical Engineering Honor Society (BEHS), hosted a career roundtable on January 31st, 2018. Originally, both organizations planned to host events separately; however, Pi Theta and BEHS decided to combine efforts to have a single, focused event. The roundtable focused on the healthcare industry and included companies such as DaVita, Ohmx, Tempus and the research laboratory Shirley Ryan Ability Labs.  Representatives from these companies and organizations discussed the work they do and the career path that lead them to their jobs today. About 15 members of Pi Theta attended, with a total of 42 people in attendance. From feedback collected, students, especially within ME, thought the event exposed them to an industry they never really considered and found new opportunities to explore. The representatives who attended enjoyed talking with students and hoped to see many of them join their companies in the future.