Pi Tau Sigma

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Historical Documents

Dedication booklet for the Mechanical Engineering Building, June 22, 1931 (6.3 MB PDF | 6.5 MB TIFF)

Pi Tau Sigma Cofounder, Prof. G.L. Larson, addressing Wisconsin-Alpha Fall 1950 initiates (9 MB MP3)

Pi Tau Sigma Graphics

Wisconsin Alpha has had high-quality graphics of the Pi Tau Sigma key and crest created. These graphics are freely available for download.

The following table contains vector* graphic files of the Pi Tau Sigma insignia.  Examples of these images are provided in JPEG format for web viewing convenience.

The following graphics file formats are available for download:

AI Adobe Illustrator
EPS Encapsulated PostScript
WMF Windows Meta File

Example Images Description Files
Onscreen CrestOnscreen Key Onscreen
These are graphics that appear to have the correct colors on most computer monitors.  An example of an appropriate application for these graphics is on web pages.

PMS CrestPMS Key PMS Print
These are graphics containing color imformation suitable for high-quality print reproduction.  The Pantone Matching System Colors are
  • red: PMS 202
  • blue: PMS 632
  • gold: PMS 873 (metallic) or PMS 1255 (regular)

Greyscale CrestGreyscale Key Greyscale
These are graphics with greyscale intensities selected with optimum visual contrast for greyscale print applications.

Outline CrestOutline Key Outline
The red, blue, and gold parts of the logos are assigned the color white, thus giving an outlined appearance.




Constitution of Pi Tau Sigma National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society


In order to establish a closer bond of fellowship which will result in mutual benefit to those men and women in the study and in the profession of mechanical engineering, who by their academic or practical achievements, manifest a real interest and marked ability in their chosen work, this constitution of the National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society was established.

Article I. Title and Insignia

  1. The name of the honor society shall be "Pi Tau Sigma."
  2. The colors of the honor society shall be "murrey and azure."
  3. The flower of the honor society shall be the "white rose."
  4. The insignia of the honor society shall be as represented in Figure 1. Either a replica in the form of a key or an adaptation in the form of the Carnot cycle portion as a pin of the insignia, as chosen by the initiate, but not both, may be worn.
  5. The crest shall be as shown in Figure 2.

Article II. Object

The object of this organization shall be to encourage and recognize superior scholarship, to foster the high ideals of the engineering profession, to stimulate interest in 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 taking up the responsibilities of a citizen living in a democracy.

Article III. Membership

  1. Members in this organization, both men and women, shall consist of three classes, namely: Active, Honorary, and Graduate. Members are permanently classified upon their initiation.
  2. Active members shall be chosen from students in a mechanical engineering curriculum on a basis of sound engineering ability, scholarship, and personality and shall be selected from the junior and senior classes, or their equivalents, as defined by the administration of the college of engineering and the department of mechanical engineering.
  3. Honorary members shall be selected on the basis of successful achievements in mechanical engineering. Practicing engineers and full, associate, or assistant professors of mechanical engineering are eligible. Each chapter may elect two or more honorary members per year. Two of these shall be exempt from the payment of the national initiation fee.
  4. Graduate members shall be chosen under either of the following situations:
    1. Students who are working toward a graduate degree in mechanical engineering and who obtain written recommendations from two (2) Pi Tau Sigma faculty members. The number eligible per year under this option shall not exceed ten percent of the active membership or two (2), whichever is greater. Graduate students who attended, as undergraduates, schools having a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma and were not selected as active members should not be eligible for membership as graduate students.
    2. Students who would have been eligible had Pi Tau Sigma been established earlier in institutions now having chapters. Such members may be initiated by any other chapter at any time as a courtesy initiation, and shall be members of the chapter at the school from which they were graduated.
  5. To be considered for election to active membership a student's scholastic ranking must lie in the upper percentage of the student's respective classification in accordance with the Eligible Group column shown below. Election of active members must be done so that the maximum number or active members in each respective classification does not exceed the percentage of the entire class as shown in the Maximum column shown below.
      *Eligible Group *Maximum
    First term Juniors upper 25% 17%
    Last term Juniors upper 33% 25%
    First term Seniors upper 35% 33%
    Last term Seniors See 6 below 33%

    Note: Pi Tau Sigma is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in the Association prevents the initiation of any candidate whose scholastic index is not in the top 35% of the candidate's class. "Maximum active members" refers to the percent of the respective graduation class.

  6. A last term senior who scholastically places in the highest 35 percent of the senior's class, and who is deemed worthy, may be initiated only upon permission of the National Council. Requests for this permission, stating the circumstances, shall be signed by the chapter president and a member of the faculty who is also a member of Pi Tau Sigma, and shall be sent to the national secretary-treasurer.

Article IV. Government of the Honor Society

  1. The annual convention of the honor society shall be the governing body. The convention shall have full authority in all matters pertaining to the constitution, ritual, insignia, approval of new chapters, and policies of the honor society.
  2. Each chapter of the honor society (except the Chapter-At-Large) shall be represented at the convention by one delegate. Each of the members of the National Council shall be entitled to one vote at the convention. No chapter may be represented by proxy.
  3. All measures enacted by the convention shall require an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the delegates present with members of the National Council being considered voting delegates.
  4. A special convention may be called by submitting a petition to do so by one-half of the active chapters. Unless otherwise specified in the petition, this convention shall be held within two months from the date on which it is announced by the national secretary.
  5. The organization shall in no way enter politics, nor shall any member be obliged to support any man or woman for any office or position of honor or trust because of his connection with the honor society.

Article V. The National Council

  1. The National Council shall be composed of five (5) members of the honor society and shall be elected by the national convention for a term of three (3) years. Their titles shall be: President; Vice President, Western Region; Vice President, Central Region; Vice President, Eastern Region; and Secretary-Treasurer. These officers shall be elected in a rotational sequence. The rotating order of election shall be President and Secretary-Treasurer the first year, Western vice-president the second year, and Central and Eastern vice-presidents the third year. Vacancies may be filled for an unexpired term of office.
  2. Tenure of office by each of the national officers shall be limited to two terms of three years each.
    1. Former tenure of any office shall not be construed as disqualifying an officer from election to another national office, provided the person has the necessary qualifications.
    2. Under exceptional circumstances, economic or otherwise, the terms of the national secretary-treasurer may be extended beyond the six year limit, if such extension appears to serve the best interests of Pi Tau Sigma, provided, however, that such total tenure shall in no case exceed four terms.
  3. The National Council shall have the power to grant a charter for a new chapter upon affirmative action by three-fourths of the active chapters voting within sixty (60) days of the call for a vote. (A non-response is to be interpreted as a positive vote.)

Article VI. New Chapters

  1. A group of mechanical engineering students shall be granted a charter upon the receipt of a petition addressed to the National Council of the honor society which has been signed by at least twelve eligible students of an institution whose mechanical engineering curriculum is accredited by ABET. The petition must be countersigned by at least two full professors or one professor and one assistant or associate professor of the mechanical engineering department of the institution initiating the petition. In addition the petition should include administrative support from both the departmental and college levels.
  2. A chapter which has not initiated members for two consecutive years shall be classified as inactive upon the recommendation of the National Council and three-fourths of a national convention. To reactivate, an inactive chapter would follow the same procedure as used in the installation of a new chapter.

Article VII. Government of the Chapters

  1. The officers of each chapter (except the Chapter-At-Large) shall include a president, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, and faculty advisor. At the direction of a chapter, the offices of corresponding secretary and recording secretary may be combined into a single office.
  2. The faculty advisor shall be a member of Pi Tau Sigma and will be consulted on all fiscal matters as well as matters of chapter policy.
  3. Each chapter has control of and is responsible for its individual affairs subject to this Constitution and the Bylaws of this Honor Society. No chapter may make or assume any obligation in the name of this Honor Society. Bylaws adopted by a chapter for its guidance shall not be in conflict with this Constitution or the Bylaws of this Honor Society.

Article VIII. Chapter-At-Large

  1. Eligible senior mechanical engineering students at institutions which have mechanical engineering curricula accredited by ABET and which do not have a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma may be recommended for membership in the Chapter-At-Large.
  2. Students recommended for membership in the Chapter-At-Large shall be voted upon by the sponsoring chapter at the same time as their own members are selected. Those elected shall become members of the Chapter-At-Large by being formally initiated along with the candidate of the sponsoring chapter.
  3. The name of the Chapter-At-Large is "Alpha Omega."

Article IX. Discipline

  1. Any member of the honor society may be discipline by suspension or expulsion. In order to be considered viable by the offices and members of the honor society, petitions to suspend or expel a member shall only be initiated by a member or a group of members and shall be forwarded to the honor society's secretary-treasurer. Such petitions shall contain the following:
    1. A detailed list of the reasons for presenting the petition.
    2. Signatures of a majority of the active members of a chapter (or sponsoring chapter in the case of a member-at-large).
    3. A statement that the petition has been reviewed in its entirety and that all actions taken in developing the petition have been carried out in accordance with the pertinent rules of the institution within which the chapter resides. This statement shall be signed by an appropriate officer of that institution with the administrative, academic rank of department chair or higher.
  2. Following a review of the petition by the National Council the petition shall be presented at the next annual convention. If accepted by a three-fourths vote of the delegates, the petition shall be enforced. Otherwise, the petition shall become void.
  3. A chapter may be declared inactive. (See VI-2).

Article X. Publications

  1. The National Council is authorized to edit and publish, from time to time, THE STORY OF PI TAU SIGMA.
  2. The National Council is authorized to annually edit and publish THE CONDENSER.
  3. It shall be the duty of one person in each chapter to furnish an account of the chapter activities at such times as required by the editor of THE CONDENSER.

Article XI. Amendments

Any proposed amendment to the constitution shall be passed by an affirmative vote of the delegates at the convention. The proposed amendment shall become effective by following the receipt of ratification by three-fourths of the active chapters voting within one year following the convention.

Article XII. Indemnification

No person who is now, or who later becomes, an officer or member shall be personally liable for any covenants, stipulations, promises, agreements and obligations of the honor society, and no recourse under or upon any covenants, obligations, stipulations, promises, and agreements shall be had against any past, present, or future officer or member; and any and all creditors of the honor society shall look only to the assets of the honor society for payment.

Article XIII. Dissolution

Should there be a vote or action to dissolve the honor society, all remaining assets -- after necessary expenses -- shall be distributed to one or more appropriate scholarly, professional, non-profit organizations qualifying under IRC 501 c(3) -- as determined by the National Council or a duly constituted annual meeting of the membership.