Successful Intern Profile, HQ Power Outage, & STEM Girl Scout Badges (July 2017)

Wichita State University (KS) recently profiled Amy P. McClain, KS B 2018, for her work as an engineering intern at Burns & McDonnell. A mechanical engineering major, McClain began by taking the only open internship position in marketing and now moved into the engineering office. Most recently, she has been working with mechanical HVAC and plumbing systems for manufacturing facilities.

In addition, McClain is the KS Beta Chapter president of Tau Beta Pi. In the article, she talks about the importance of her involvement and leadership roles in organizations outside of the classroom. “Academics are extremely important since companies are wanting that degree from you,” says McClain, “but I think overall, they don’t solely look at your course work because they want to see how your soft skills and your problem solving skills carry over.”


On July 31 beginning at 6 p.m. through 6 a.m. on August 1, the University of Tennessee will be working on the power to Dougherty Engineering Building. This will impact Tau Beta Pi Headquarters’ servers, so the Association website and associated applications will be down during this time period.


Several news outlets reported on the addition of 23 new badges focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for the Girl Scouts of the USA. According to the article from the Houston Chronicle, there is a badge for kindergarten and first graders to introduce the world of robots and engineering.

Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia E. Acevedo, NM A ’79: “It’s really all about how do we capture that interest in science and technology,” Acevedo said. “The other thing is the girls are learning not just how to do a specific skill but also how to think, how to think like an inventor, how to think like a creator, how to think like a maker. Those are the types of things that we want to ignite in the girls.”



NDSEG Fellow, TBP C&B, & Alpha Lambda Delta Fellows (July 2017)

Penn State University (PSU) has profiled Belen Veras-Alba, PA B ’15, for receiving a 2017 National Defense Science and Engineering (NDSEG) Fellowship. She is a doctoral student in the PSU department of aerospace engineering. Her research “involved using computational fluid dynamics to model the interaction between low-pressure compression fans and jet engine casings where ice has been experimentally determined to accrete.”

Veras-Alba earned her bachelor’s in aerospace engineering from PSU and will have her graduate tuition covered for four years. Read the news article for more biographical information and details on NDSEG Fellowships.


The Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) of Tau Beta Pi outlines the governance and organization of the Association. Recently, TBP Executive Director Curtis Gomulinski, MI E ’01, and TBP Executive Councillor J.P. Blackford, DC G ’95, have been working on a general revision of the C&B. This process was initiated by the 2013 Convention, which recommended that a general revision to the C&B be completed. The scope of the revisions is to only restructure the documents and not to make substantive changes unless necessary to complete the restructuring.

At the 2016 TBP Convention, a draft was proposed and reviewed by the C&B committee and comments provided. The C&B documents have been updated and will be presented at this year’s Convention for approval. We are interested in receiving input from any interested members. You can read about the changes to the C&B and ask questions here. All input must be provided by Friday, August 4. Thank you!


Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society for First-Year students has announced the 2017-18 graduate fellowship recipients. A total of 26 fellowships were awarded and two fellows from this year’s class are also Tau Beta Pi members.
They are: (Read the press release.)

Jenny M. Carmichael – (OK A ’16) chemical & materials science engineering graduate from the University of Oklahoma and past corresponding secretary OK Alpha Chapter
David T. Kane – (IN Z ’17) mechanical engineering graduate from IUPUI and a technical project engineer intern at Rolls-Royce


Academic All-American of the Year, Engineering Design Position, & Hi-Def Maps (July 2017)

Recent biomedical engineering graduate of Texas A&M University Sarah E. Gibson, TX D 2017, has been named the Division I Academic All-America® of the Year by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She is a two-time first team Academic All-American, graduated with a 4.0 GPA, and was a 15-time All-American as a swimmer.

Gibson was the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and led her team to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the best showing in program history. This summer, she is a member of the U.S. National Team competing in the 2017 FINA World Championships in Hungary. Click here to read the announcement.


The Chronicle of Higher Education has a job listing for an assistant professor in engineering design/ mechanical engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. There are two full-time openings for faculty appointments in the mechanical engineering department.

Read the job listing for more information, such as the preferred specializations of human centered design, engineering education, and machine design.


Several news outlets are reporting on a new autonomous driving startup focused on making high-definition maps. Lvl5 is co-founded by Andrew M. Kouri, VA A ’14, and has a goal of creating high-definition maps of every route in the U.S. to sell directly to car companies.

Most recently, Kouri was working at Tesla as an autopilot engineer. His bachelor’s degree is in engineering science from the University of Virginia. The other two co-founders of Lvl5 formerly worked at Tesla and iRobot, respectively. For more information on the technology and business plan for the new startup, read the article from the Business Insider.


Purdue Dean, TBP Engineering Futures, & Innovation Prize for Africa (July 2017)

The Journal & Courier (IN) profiled Mung Chiang, Ph.D. (CA G ’00), the new Dean of the College of Engineering at Purdue University. Dr. Chiang began his new position on July 1, 2017. Previously, he was a professor of engineering, director of Keller Center for Innovations in Engineering Education, and founded the EDGE Lab all at Princeton University.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels referred to Dr. Chiang as “one of the genuine superstars of American engineering and higher education.” Dr. Chiang won the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, one of the highest honors given to U.S. scientists and engineers under 35, in 2013 for his research to design simpler and more powerful wireless networks. Click here to read more about Dr. Chiang and for a Q&A on his new position.


Over the July 15-16 weekend, a group of 20 Tau Beta Pi Engineering Futures (EF) facilitators met in Chicago, IL, for a day-long retreat to review information from the 2016-17 program year, explore new materials, and to make short and long-term plans for refreshing and extending the program curriculum. The image above was taken of the attendees over the weekend.

In addition, Director of EF Katy L. Colbry, Ph.D. (MI A ’99), announced that a NSF proposal submitted by herself and Dirk J. Colbry, Ph.D. (MI A ’06), has been funded. Read the grant details here.


Aly El-Shafei, Ph.D. (MA B ’88), has won the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa for his patented innovation, SEMAJIB, a smart bearing which improves the performance of turbines generating electricity. Currently, Dr. El-Shafei is a professor of vibration engineering at Cairo University, Egypt. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Read the announcement for more details on the Innovation Prize for Africa now in its sixth year. A judge said of Dr. El-Shafei: “He’s spent his entire career studying vibrations and this felt like the fruit of his life’s work. It’s the kind of African innovation that can be exported to the rest of the world.”


Refinery Manager, Executive Director in CA, & Charles Bachman (July 2017)

The Times of Northwest Indiana profiled Don W. Porter, MI G ’85, as he is the BP Whiting Refinery manager. The Refinery in Indiana and Illinois is the largest in the Midwest and BP’s largest. According to the article, “it supplies gas to seven states and produces nearly five percent of the nation’s asphalt.”

Porter began as a chemical engineer with BP and has held many different positions. Most recently he worked in Texas City, TX, “helping the former BP refinery there recover after a massive explosion in 2005.” Porter says in the article that, “From a professional standpoint, I have always wanted to be in a role of influence where I could make things better, from whatever aspect was needed.”


Tau Beta Pi Executive Director Curt Gomulinski, MI E ’01, is on a West Coast trip to meet with the Association’s president and vice president. In addition, he has been visiting local collegiate campuses and participating in alumni events. See the two images below from his trip.

Curt and CA Eta

Curt in San Jose, CA, at San Jose State University.

Curt at CA Phi

Curt in Stockton,CA, at the University of the Pacific.


Charles W. Bachman III, MI A ’48, passed away on July 13, 2017, at the age of 92. A software engineer, Bachman, worked at General Electric and created the Integrated Data Store, or IDS. “It is widely considered the world’s first database management system.” For his work, he received the 1973 A.M. Turing Award given by the Association of Computing Machinery.

Read the obituary from The Washington Post for more biographical information on Bachman, who was also awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2012. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.


Alumni Events, NSPE President, & Speaker + Award (July 2017)

There are several alumni gatherings of Tau Beta Pi members scheduled to take place in July. You can find the calendar with a list of all events here. A reminder that these events are open to all Tau Bate (alumni and student) from any chapter, unless otherwise stated. Find details below on upcoming events. Click here for a list of contacts for all 41 active TBP Alumni Chapters.

Berkeley, California – Friday, July 14 (social dinner)
Irvine, California – Sunday, July 16 (social & meeting)
Sacramento, California – Sunday, July 16 (social event)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Monday, July 17 (dinner meeting)
Minneapolis, Minnesota – Tuesday, July 18 (social event)
New York City, New York – Thursday, July 20 (social event)
Los Angeles, California – Sunday, July 23 (social & meeting)
Stillwater, Oklahoma – Tuesday, July 25 (dinner meeting)


Tom C. Roberts, P.E. (KS G ’70), will be installed as the president of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) on July 22 during the Professional Engineers Conference in Atlanta, GA. After working at Black & Veatch as a nuclear systems engineer, Roberts was appointed assistant dean and associate professor for the College of Engineering at Kansas State University.

He spent 21 years working at KSU, his alma mater, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nuclear engineering. Read the full bio here.


On July 13, William F. Baker Jr., P.E. (MO A ’75), will deliver a keynote presentation at the Structural Engineers World Congress (SEWC) in Bangalore, India. Themed “Architecture-Structure Interaction for a Sustainable Built Environment,” the congress will focus on innovative uses of concrete in highly sustainable projects.

Baker is a structural & civil engineering partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. According to the news article, he will also be honored with the SEWC Sundaram Award for outstanding structural engineers during the congress.


Race Engineer, P.E. Licensure, & GVSU NASA’s Micro-g NExT Team (July 2017)

William M. Lee, NC A ’06, was profiled by WRAL (Sports Radio) for living his childhood dream as a race engineer at Stewart-Haas Racing for the No. 10 car driven by Danica Patrick. He began as an intern after receiving his mechanical engineering degree from North Carolina State University (NC State).

At NC State, Lee was a long-snapper on the varsity football team and maintained a 4.0 GPA. Read the article for more details on Lee’s job responsibilities before and during NASCAR races.


The Great Fall Tribune announced that Camille E.V. Johnson, MT A ’11, recently earned her professional engineering license in the state of Montana. Johnson is an engineer with TD&H Engineering. She has been with TD&H for nearly five years in the civil engineering department.

According to the article, she was also involved in the design group who won the 2016 Montana Grand Prize for the American Council of Engineering Companies for the Multiuse Athletic Field & Intermittent Storm Water Detention Pond. Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Montana State University.


Grand Valley State University (MI) profiled the student team that recently returned from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where they tested a device they built for astronauts to use during future space missions. The team was participating in NASA’s Micro-g NExT Design Challenge to design and build a device that addresses a space exploration challenge.

The GVSU team (North Stars) worked on a surface sampling device for astronauts to use to gather and contain multiple samples of surface particles. Tau Bate Jake D. Stephens, MI L 2018, is a member of the North Stars and a product design and manufacturing engineering major. “Astronauts are working with limited resources and tools while they are in space, so we didn’t want to create something complicated and detailed,” said Stephens.


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