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About Pi Tau Sigma

Mission Statement

The object of this organization shall be to foster the high ideals of the engineering profession, to stimulate interest in and coordinate departmental activities, to promote the mutual professional welfare of its members, and to develop in students of mechanical engineering the attributes necessary for effective leadership and the assumption of the responsibilities of a citizen in a democracy.


Pi Tau Sigma is a Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, instituted in order to establish a close bond of fellowship among its members which will result in mutual benefits to those men and women in the study of the profession of mechanical engineering. Pi Tau Sigma's core values are Integrity (serving the mechanical engineering conduct), Security (securing the mechanical engineering profession and the community), and Leadership (being foremost and fostering initiative through example in a professional manner).


With the twentieth century came the realization that honor societies made a definite contribution to the department and that membership required active participation. Pi Tau Sigma came into being on March 16, 1915, at the University of Illinois. A similar organization embarked November 15, 1915, at Wisconsin, and other local organizations (such as the Carzeuran of Purdue) were soon to become active. The early leaders, professors C. R Richards, A.C. Willard and O.A Leutwiler of the University of Illinois; G. L. Larson of the University of Wisconsin; G. A. Young of Purdue University; and J. V. Martenis of the University of Minnesota, stand out for their early contributions. 

In ten years, Pi Tau Sigma grew to six chapters in the Midwest (Illinois Alpha, Purdue Beta, Minnesota Gamma, Illinois Delta and Missouri Epsilon). In 1925, the expansion continued to the east with the Penn State Zeta Chapter being installed. Six years later the Texas Kappa Chapter, and the following year the Colorado Mu Chapter established chapters in the south and west. Also in 1932, the expansion continued southeast to Georgia Tech Nu Chapter. It was not until nine years later that the first chapter was installed on the Pacific coast (Oregon State Omega). In 26 years, Pi Tau Sigma truly became a national honor mechanical engineering fraternity with a total of twenty-five chapters. During the succeeding four years, nine additional chapters were installed. From 1947 to 1958, forty new chapters where installed. The Chapter-At-Large was established in 1954. The installations completed through the spring 1993 brought the total established chapters to 153. Two chapters have become inactive, one due to the discontinuance of the mechanical engineering program. Earlier, two established chapters in New York merged into one. Currently, 180 chapters exist worldwide.