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Embry-Riddle Establishes Chapter of Engineering Honor Society
Daytona Beach Campus Awarded Tau Beta Pi Charter at Annual Convention
Daytona Beach, Fla., October 21, 2010
Mary Van Buren
Daytona Beach Campus
Work: (386) 226-6525
At its October 2010 annual convention hosted by Lehigh University, Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, voted to accept Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's petition to establish a chapter of Tau Beta Pi at the Daytona Beach Campus.
The chapter, to be known as Florida Iota, is the ninth collegiate chapter of Tau Beta Pi to be formed in Florida since 1961. The others are at the University of Florida, University of Miami, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida A&M/Florida State University, and Florida International University.
There are 236 collegiate chapters nationwide, and over 517,000 members have been initiated since Tau Beta Pi was founded in 1885 at Lehigh University.
“Tau Beta Pi is a large academic organization, so having a chapter at our campus brings increased nationwide visibility to the University and the College of Engineering,” said Dr. Howard Curtis, Embry-Riddle Aerospace Engineering professor and one of the main advocates of the new chapter. “Dr. Richard Heist, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, and Dr. Maj Mirmirani, Dean of the College of Engineering, are both Tau Beta Pi alumni and have been strong supporters of the effort to bring Tau Beta Pi to Embry-Riddle.”
Tau Beta Pi is the only engineering honor society representing the entire engineering profession. The purpose of the society is to promote integrity and excellence in engineering and to recognize those who have conferred honor on their university by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as engineering students or by their attainments as engineering alumni.
To be scholastically eligible for membership in Tau Beta Pi, a junior must be in the upper eighth of all engineering juniors and a senior must be in the upper fifth of all engineering seniors.
To be eligible to petition for a Tau Beta Pi charter an institution must have at least three ABET-accredited undergraduate engineering curricula. Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus has seven such programs: Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Mechanical Engineering, and Software Engineering.
To obtain a Tau Beta Pi chapter, Embry-Riddle first had to organize a local engineering honor society and select its members according to Tau Beta Pi criteria. Thus, in the spring of 2006 the Tau Beta Rho (“Rho” stands for “Riddle”) Engineering Honor Society was formed on the Daytona Beach Campus with Dr. Curtis as its chief advisor.
For three years Tau Beta Rho governed itself like a Tau Beta Pi chapter. In June 2009 Tau Beta Rho officers filed a preliminary petition for chapter status with Tau Beta Pi Headquarters. That was followed in September 2009 by a campus inspection visit by officers of the Tau Beta Pi Association. As a result of that visit, Tau Beta Rho was given the go-ahead to submit a final petition during the summer of 2010. That petition was accepted by the 400 delegates at the October 2010 convention.
Aerospace Engineering student and Tau Beta Rho President Evan Phillips prepared the final petition and presented Tau Beta Rho’s case before the Petitions Committee and the entire convention. Dr. Curtis, who is an alumnus of the Purdue University chapter of Tau Beta Pi, accompanied Phillips to the convention.
The Florida Iota Chapter of Tau Beta Pi will be installed and its Charter Members will be initiated on campus on March 12, 2011.
For more information on Tau Beta Pi, visit www.tbp.org.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.