There are two student organizations specific to the mechanical engineering program. Students are encouraged to get involved with these organizations while at UE.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineering was founded in 1880 as an educational and technical society. Today it is the largest and most prestigious Mechanical Engineering society in the world with over 115,000 members. As a member of the student section of ASME at the University of Evansville, mechanical engineering students can participate in a wide variety of activities and services of this national organization. Upon graduation, student members are eligible to upgrade their membership status to associate member and gain additional benefits. The local student organization participates in a variety of social and technical activities, including:
- Local section meetings
- Industrial tours
- Joint meetings with the local ASME parent section
- Regional and national ASME meetings
- Networking with guest speakers from business and industry
- Development of leadership skills as an officer in the local Section
- Scholarship opportunities for upperclassmen
- Participation in the competition for the Allied Signal Award
The Allied Signal Contest is a regional competition of student ASME sections. The University of Evansville is in Region VI which includes all of Indiana, as well as major portions of Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Kentucky. Each student section is graded for the quality of their activities in the areas of membership development, meetings, trips, publications, social and special events, participation in the Regional Student Conference, as well as in the student honors and awards program of the Society. The ASME Student Section at UE has won or placed second in the Allied Signal Competition 9 of the last 10 years. To achieve and maintain this distinction, the local Section actively promotes student member participation in a wide variety of activities.
Pi Tau Sigma is the national honorary fraternity for mechanical engineers. The fraternity was founded at the University of Illinois in 1915, and the UE Phi Rho chapter was founded in 1986. The primary purpose of Pi Tau Sigma is to recognize those mechanical engineering students whose academic achievements, character, and attitude place them at the head of their class. Membership in Pi Tau Sigma is by invitation based on election by the active members of the chapter. To be eligible for consideration, a junior must rank in the upper 25% of the class and a senior must rank in the upper 35% of the class. Initiation into the UE chapter, with a one-time payment of national dues, makes one a lifetime member of Pi Tau Sigma. Pi Tau Sigma activities emphasize scholarship and service. Members have served as underclass tutors and often serve as guides and laboratory assistants for special events such as Engineering Open House. Pi Tau Sigma often co-sponsors activities such as tours and speakers with ASME.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) was founded in 1905. SAE is a non-profit educational and scientific organization dedicated to advancing mobility technology to better serve humanity. Nearly 70,000 engineers and scientists, who are SAE members, develop technical information on all forms of self-propelled vehicles including automobiles, trucks and buses, off-highway equipment, aircraft, aerospace vehicles, marine, rail, and transit systems.
Mechanical engineering students at UE have been primarily involved in the SAE Mini-Baja competition. The Mini-Baja is a small ATV racer which uses an 8 HP Briggs & Stratton engine. Students design and build a chassis of their choice, but the engine cannot be modified. The competition consists of static and dynamic categories. The static events focus on how well the vehicle was engineered, while the dynamic events determine which vehicle performs best on various off-road courses. The Mini-Baja is an annual competition sponsored by SAE for engineering students. Approximately 70 engineering schools across North America compete in this activity.
The Society of Women Engineers is a national organization with student sections on each engineering campus. The section is an interdisciplinary organization with membership cutting across all the engineering disciplines and is also open to men who are interested in the mission and activities of the group. The mission of SWE is to encourage women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, to expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and to demonstrate the value of diversity.