Dean of Students Honors Mechanical Engineering Honor Society and Advisor

Pi Tau Sigma receives Outstanding Academic Club award; Professor McCarthy honored with Advisor Participation award

July 12, 2005 -  Pi Tau Sigma (PTS), the UC Irvine chapter of the mechanical engineering honors society, earned three impressive awards at this year’s “Student Organizations Recognition Night,” co-sponsored by the Dean of Students and Kaplan Test Prep at The University Club.

PTS, an internationally recognized honor society, was awarded with the “Most Outstanding Academic Club,” as well as given the “Collaborative Programming Award,” and Michael McCarthy, Ph.D., professor for the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering was presented with the “Advisor Participation Award.”

PTS is designed for honor students, beginning in their junior year, who are in the top 25 percent of their class, or in the top 33 percent of their senior class.  Last year's co-president of the UC Irvine chapter, Cynthia Mescher, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student, said they induct about 10 to 15 new members per quarter, and once initiated, the students have a lifetime membership.

Selected for their exceptional contributions to the academic preparation and advancement of their members, PTS has been involved in both academic and social functions including the following: co-hosting a graduate school information night in the fall, hosting a career information night in the spring, and having a “Tau-lent” show.

Their biggest accomplishment this year was collaborating with other clubs on campus and co-hosting a large barbeque during E-week, the highly publicized annual Engineering Week organized every February and sponsored by the Engineering Student Council.        

Together with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Eta Kappa Nu, they hosted this barbeque event during E-week, attracting over 300 students to their site and audience competitions.

“We wanted to do something to bring all engineers together and be social,” said Mescher.

She said that one of the most distinctive goals she and her co-president, Chris Michail, envisioned for PTS during the year was networking with other clubs and organizations on campus.

“Our advisor, Professor McCarthy, worked with us to create an atmosphere where everyone helped contribute to the success of the club.  He stressed the importance of trust and working together with others towards a common goal,” she added.

McCarthy was given the “Advisor Participation Award” award for his outstanding contributions and time given to several student organizations on campus, especially his involvement with PTS and ASME.  The office of the Dean of Students recognized that these student organizations strengthened their presence on campus and their place in the UC Irvine community with the help of his leadership.

He has been a club advisor for PTS the last three years and an advisor for ASME for the past two years.

“The fact is, like most faculty, I felt the most important learning occurred in the classroom. Then I realized our students do huge projects outside of their classes. You can’t help but be inspired by this,” he said.

Next year, McCarthy plans to continue to advise PTS and ASME, as well as help re-institute the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) chapter at UC Irvine, which will be a service-based organization promoting, organizing, and fundraising for mechanical and aerospace engineering student competitions.