Background and History

The first (Alpha) chapter of Pi Tau Sigma, came into being at the University of Illinois on March 16, 1915 when a group of upperclassmen in mechanical engineering formed an honorary fraternity for exceptional mechanical engineering students. They believed that such an organization could foster cooperation between the students and faculty to promote worthwhile student activities.  They organized Pi Tau Sigma to:

  • Foster the high ideals of the engineering profession

  • stimulate interest in coordinating departmental activities

  • Promote the professional welfare of its members

  • Develop mechanical engineering students with the attributes necessary for effective leadership

  • Cultivate a strong notion of the responsibilities of a citizen in society

The Illinois Alpha chapter has continued to perform these functions continuously since its inception, reflected in our activities.  Through participation in scholarship programs, service programs, events within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Grainger College of Engineering, social activities, and other countless leadership, personal, and societal development opportunities, Pi Tau Sigma provides its members with the ability to become the most effective mechanical engineers they possibly can.


Agenda and Past Events

  • Developing and sponsoring a mechanical engineering tutoring program for undergraduate students
  • Fundraising for local charities
  • Developing exhibits for the Engineering Open House hosted by the University of Illinois’ Engineering Council
  • Planning a mechanical engineering forum for students and faculty to allow students to provide feedback to the department
  • Developing an after-school club at a local middle school to provide encouragement of interest in math, science, and engineering through hands-on projects
  • Educating the public about robotics through the use of easily-controlled hexapods

Initiation Requirements


  • Candidates must be pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering or Engineering Mechanics
  • Must have at least 60 hours of credit towards a bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum GPA of at least 3.50 out of 4.00 is required
  • Eligible students will receive an invitation letter to join Pi Tau Sigma
  • Graduate students are considered on an individual basis

Become a Featured Speaker

  • Pi Tau Sigma features speakers from companies, organizations, and universities in engineering disciplines. Featured speakers in the past have included professionals from both large and small corporations, as well as entrepreneurs, and representatives from non profit organizations. Topics covered by speakers have included philanthropic causes, graduate school, ethics of engineering, and specific professions.
  • If you would like to become a featured speaker, please contact the External Vice President, David Gibek (gibek2@illinois.edu).