MindSET K-12, New Dean, & Student Engineers Blog (June 2017)

Rutgers University recently profiled the New Jersey Beta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi’s work with the K-12 MindSET program. At the most recent session, concepts of energy, momentum, and optimizations were taught through the water bottle flip challenge. Fourth and fifth grade students from Woodbridge township participated in the activity.

The program has been active for the past two years. “I’m hoping this helps them learn the engineering process—the scientific approach to a problem-by applying it to a fun activity,” said Jonathan Albar (NJ B 2018), MindSET chair and mechanical engineering junior. Click here to read the full article for more information.


Justin Schwartz, Ph.D. (IL A ’85), has been named the new Dean of the College of Engineering at Penn State University. He will begin his new position on August 15. Currently, Dr. Schwartz is professor and department head of materials science and engineering at North Carolina State University.

Read the news announcement for more bio details on Dr. Schwartz who recently co-founded Lupine Materials and Technology, Inc., an optical fiber sensors and magnetic materials company of which he serves as CEO. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in nuclear engineering.


Two recent engineering graduates from Rowan University (NJ) have started a blog, “Engineering Exposed,” to share their education, work experience, and other engineering passions. They are James Henry, NJ E 2017, and Bobby J. Samuel, NJ E 2017.

Henry graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and now works at Ellenby Technologies as a design engineer. While at Rowan, he was a member of the first ever Design/Build/Fly team, helping to design and build a fuselage for an RC aircraft capable of flying a 32 oz. Gatorade bottle. Samuel also graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and will work at NAVAIR. He has volunteered to help restore a decommissioned aircraft at the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society.


Alumni Events, Outstanding Student, & New Ph.D. Program (May 2017)

There are several alumni gatherings of Tau Beta Pi members scheduled to take place in May & June. 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 42 active TBP Alumni Chapters.

Seattle, Washington – Tuesday, May 23 (collegiate chapter initiation)
Huntsville, Alabama – Friday, June 2 (recognition dinner)
Tampa, Florida – Saturday, June 3 (networking dinner)
Seattle, Washington – Sunday, June 4 (wine tasting & networking)
Grand Rapids, Michigan – Thursday, June 8 (engineering talks)


Trey E. McGinnis III, TN D 2017, was named the 2017 Brother Philip Morgan Electrical Engineering Design Award recipient and Outstanding School of Engineering Graduate at the Presidential Recognition on May 12, 2017, at Christian Brothers University (TN). He is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

McGinnis served as TN Delta Chapter president and chair of IEEE student chapter. He won 3rd Place in paper competition at the IEEE SoutheastCon 2017. In addition, he was selected as one of the 2016-17 Lasallian Fellows. Trey is in the middle of the picture above receiving his award plaque.


The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the department of energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are teaming together to promote advanced research and provide innovative solutions to global challenges in energy, engineering and computation through a new doctoral program in data science and engineering.

According to the news article, the program is “the brainchild” of ORNL computational sciences and engineering division director Shaun S. Gleason, Ph.D. (TN A ’89), UT business analytics associate professor Russell Zaretzki, and Bredesen Center Director Lee Riedinger. Enrollment plans are to admit 10 to 15 graduate students per year, growing to a goal of approximately 100 students.


Sylvia Acevedo, Jobs, & City Engineer

Sylvia E. Acevedo, NM A ’79, is the Interim CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA and was recently profiled with a video on CNBC to encourage young girls to consider STEM careers. Acevedo earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University and received a master’s degree in engineering from Stanford University.

In addition, Acevedo was honored on May 1 at the State Capitol by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with the 2017 Latino Spirit Award in health and science. Read the article for more information about her “longtime advocacy for underserved communities, including girls’ and women’s causes.” She has been a presidential commissioner for the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics since 2011.


Here is a list of current job opportunities:

1. Plant Engineer with Minnkota Power in Center, North Dakota
2. Cognitive Systems Engineer at Charles River Analytics in Cambridge, Massachusetts
3. Manufacturing Engineer II at Abbott in Atlanta, Georgia
4. Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at the International University of Grand-Bassam in Ivory Coast
5. Student Intern/ Co-Op at Siemens in Knoxville, Tennessee
6. Chief of Engineering and Construction with City of Baltimore Dept. of Public Works in Maryland
7. Capture Manager/ Sr. Outside Sale Manager I at Jacobs in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
8. Engineer for HV Battery Controller Design & Analysis at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan


The City of Pocatello, Idaho, has named Jeffrey L. Mansfield, P.E. (ID B ’06), as the new public works director/city engineer. He will begin his new position immediately from his current position as senior engineer for the City. He will oversee the operation of the water, water pollution control, sanitation, streets, engineering, and science/ environmental departments.

According to an article from the Idaho State Journal, Mansfield served for 23 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a civil engineer/ flight superintendent. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Idaho State University and is working towards a master’s degree in civil engineering at Colorado State University.


Clemson Honors, Design Project, & Roller Coaster Competition

At a recent ceremony, several of the “best and brightest” students in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences at Clemson University were honored. Several are Tau Beta Pi members, including: (Click here to see the full list of awards.)

Ben H. Shumpert (SC A 2016) – Moorman Award (computer engineering)
Joey R. Wilson III (SC A 2016) – Davis Leadership Award (bioengineering)
Aaron S. Gordon (SC A 2016) – Earle Award (civil engineering)
Amanda D. Farthing (SC A 2017) – Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award (industrial engineering)
Hannah McNulty (SC A 2017) – TBP Scholarship for SC Alpha (environmental engineering and Earth sciences)


Tyler E. Gester, AL B 2017, is a member of a team of University of Alabama engineering students that adapted a toy car for a young boy with femur-fibula-ulna syndrome. The activity was part of their senior design project and allowed the boy to be mobile and independent.

This week, the team brought the car to the young boy’s school for his first ride. Read the article from the Tuscaloosa News for more information on the re-configured controls that allow the car to be driven with a joystick and buttons instead of a pedals and a steering wheel.


On Thursday, April 13, the Iowa Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi hosted the 17th Annual Tau Beta Pi Roller Coaster Engineering Competition. This year’s Rube-Goldberg Challenge was “to score a goal.” Four of the six awards went to Urbandale High School Physics Teams.

Watch videos of the winning teams in a news article from the Urbandale Community School District.


DFA Joint-Project, Women Engineers, & Stony Brook Networking

Design for America (DFA) and the New York Rho Chapter of Tau Beta Pi put on a recent Arduino workshop at NYU Tandon MakerSpace. The goal of DFA projects is to fuse collaboration, leadership, and creativity.

See more images @design4america, like the one above, of members from the NY Rho Chapter, at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, at the event.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) profiled “determined women break(ing) through as engineers” in a recent article. Becca Q. Keller, WI D 2017, is an industrial engineering student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and spoke about not being fazed by the “all-male environment.”

The article also spoke with professional engineers and those in academia, including Kristina M. Ropella, Ph.D. (WI B ’85), the Engineering Dean at Marquette University. “If we are going to serve the world, we need to look like the world we serve,” Dr. Ropella said.


On March 29, the New York Omicron Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, at Stony Brook University, co-hosted a networking event with West Apartments RAs. The “Build Your Network!” event offered an opportunity to meet other TBP members, to participate in Recyclemania, and to engineer structures made from plastic bottles. See the image below from the event, which included some sweet treats. More details can be found on the chapter’s Facebook page.


TBP Alumni Chapter Installations, Pi Day Video #2, & USA Science & Engineering Festival

In the month of April, there will be two Tau Beta Pi Alumni Chapter installations. On April 19, in Freehold, New Jersey, the Central Jersey Alumni Chapter will be installed during a dinner event. In addition, TBP Executive Councillor J.P. Blackford, DC G ’95, will be on hand and the award-winning all girls FIRST Robotics team will present their current project to attendees.

In Austin, Texas, on April 29, the Central Texas Alumni Chapter will be installed during a lunch event. TBP Executive Director Curtis Gomulinksi, MI E ’01, will be on hand to officially install the chapter and to provide updates on the Association. Visit the TBP alumni web page for more details and information on upcoming alumni gatherings, including those in Alabama, West Virginia, and Louisiana.


Below is the second Tau Beta Pi Day 2017 compilation video. A big thank you to all of our members (alumni & collegiate) for participating in and promoting this event. We hope you had as much fun as we did promoting the Association, STEM, and Pi(e).

Click here for the first compilation video.


Tau Beta Pi has committed to being a Titanium sponsor and booth participant at the 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, April 6-8. This is the fifth Festival and the largest celebration of STEM in the United States. The Expo event is free and open to the public.

The Association has proudly participated in the previous four Festivals. Make plans to join us for a fun and challenging hands-on activity at our booth. You can also learn about Tau Beta Pi and meet local collegiate members, Headquarters staff, and Executive Councillors.


Alumnus promotes STEM, Alumni Events, & Engineering Women (March 2017)

An article from the Jackson Hole News & Guide (WY) highlighted a program that brought ten Jackson engineers to local elementary schools during Engineers Week 2017 to “open their eyes to the world of engineering.” This is the second year that Brian T. Lenz, P.E (WY A ’99), has participated in this program. This year he was at Journeys School working with third graders and last year he visited an after-school program at the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum.

Lenz is an engineer for the town of Jackson, WY, and spoke to the students about engineers. “We make roads, toys, sewer systems — you name it. Our goal in coming to the schools is to get you guys interested in engineering early on. Lots of you know you want to be a fireman or a doctor. But hopefully after all of this you’ll say, ‘I want to be an engineer when I grow up.'” Read the article for more on his visit.


There are several alumni gatherings of Tau Beta Pi members scheduled to take place in March. You can find the calendar with a list of all events here. You should also check out the full list of known Tau Beta Pi Day activities and take part in the celebration. A reminder that these events are open to all Tau Bates (alumni and student) from any chapter, unless otherwise stated. Find details below on upcoming events. Click here for a list of contacts for all 42 active TBP Alumni Chapters.

Moscow, Idaho – Saturday, March 4 (alumni panel and meal)
Rexburg, Idaho – Saturday, March 4 (new chapter installation)
Chattanooga, Tennessee – Saturday, March 11 (Aquarium tour)
Bellevue, Washington – Sunday, March 12 (networking & interview workshops)
Urbana, Illinois – Sunday, March 12 (Pi Mile Run fundraiser)
San Jose, California, Sunday, March 12 (Tau Talks & Alumni panel)
Kentwood, Michigan, Sunday, March 12 (Pie social)
Beavercreek, Ohio – Tuesday, March 14 (Pizza Pi social)
Eagan, Minnesota – Tuesday, March 14 (networking social)
Westminster, Colorado – Tuesday, March 14 (alumni social)


Paula B. Wells, Ph.D. (NE A ’57), is one of several female engineers profiled in an article from the Omaha World-Herald (NE). According to the article, Dr. Wells was the first woman to graduate with an engineering degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After starting a family and having three children, she decided to start her own firm. Today, her firm is The Wells Resource LLC, which has six employees and provides structural, civil and environmental engineering services.

The article concluded by speaking with current engineering student and electrical engineering intern at Morrissey Engineering, Marissa Gigantelli, NE A 2017. She suggested that women consider careers in engineering. “There’s a high demand for engineers now,” she said. “At a career fair, there were more job opportunities than people applying for them.”


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