Gerard Hillenbrand, P.E.
ASME’s Metropolitan Section opened its technical dinner meeting schedule for the 2010-2011 activities year on Thursday evening October 21, 2010 at NYU-POLY. This meeting featured our second annual “Meet and Greet” session for representatives of the ASME student sections at the eight engineering schools in the Met Section area.
Overall, about 25 students attended from five colleges in our area, and these students exhibited initiatives and skills in expanding their understanding of mechanical engineering principles.
Our guests were first welcomed by Edward G. Ecock, P.E., Metropolitan Sections Programs Chairman, who stated that one of its highest priorities is providing aid to student sections through both programs and finances.
Also described was our section’s Dr. John T. Rice Memorial student scholarship fund, the first recipient of which is a student at the city college school of engineering. This winner will be introduced to our membership at one of our technical dinner meetings later this fall. Mr. Ecock concluded his remarks by encouraging all students to freely comment on all aspects of their engineering studies, their student section experiences, and their special projects and contests sponsored by the sections they represent.
Next, Met Section Chairman Miguel Torres-Castillo once again welcomed all students and began by summarizing the procedures to be followed in applying for the section’s scholarship, including special procedures for foreign students. He also requested that student section faculty advisors introduce the attending members and also provide the names of their student section officers, as well as the special technical interests for the section’s student members.
Then Mr. Ecock introduced Burt Dicht, a member of ASME’s Headquarters staff, who summarized the status and objectives of our society. ASME is a worldwide Mechanical Engineering organization with membership in 140 countries. It has an annual budget of $85 million and is organized into 220 active sections staffed with more than 4000 volunteer workers.
Its professional activities concentrate on formulating and distributing mechanical engineering codes and procedures with great emphasis on ensuring the public safety in all its operations. ASME also provides significant help for its members in the form of educational services, a forum for job opportunities, and an extensive list of scholarships for students.
For access to these services, Mr. Dicht invited all attendees to call him for assistance. Incidentally, before joining ASME, Mr. Dicht worked in industry for several aerospace organizations including NASA where he participated in the engineering design and performance of several space shuttle missions. This varied and significant practical engineering experience is typical of the background of ASME’s professional staff.
Mr. Ecock then announced that Met Section’s April 2011 dinner meeting will be entirely devoted to student activities, their projects, concerns and suggestions.
City College of New York
He also announced that all student section members are invited to attend the Met Section’s periodic executive committee meetings, to submit articles for our section’s newsletter, and to submit proposals for financial assistance for activities, projects, field trips, and section competitions.
New York City Technical College
Mr. Ecock then introduced the student section representatives from the attending colleges. Their responses are summarized below.
- City College of N.Y.
This delegation section is planning an introductory meeting on campus to recruit new members to increase participation for field trips and future competitions.
- Columbia University
This section sent a delegation to ASME’s student leadership seminar at Harvard University on October 16, 2010. It is continuing to plan for the student competition that their school will host later this year. Student section projects include research on alternative and new energy sources.
- Cooper Union
This student section’s faculty advisor and chair person attended and described the section’s outreach program with the American Sign Language Integrated Preschool (P.S. 347 2nd Ave. and 23rd St. in N.Y. City). The section plans to design and build a play and learning room featuring light and sound techniques helping deaf and hard of hearing children. This section has applied for a grant from ASME Headquarters to fund this project and also requested assistance from Met Section. This section invited all to attend a joint meeting on November 19, 2010 where it will issue a challenge to all to join this effort. Section efforts continue preparing for participation in student competitions.
- N.Y. City Technical College
This student section sent a large delegation, which described various student projects in aerospace, robotics, and circuit board applications. Students have organized three clubs for these subjects. The section recently participated in a Robotics conference in Boston. This section is interested in inviting practicing engineers to visit their school. They actively liaison with local high schools to increase interest in engineering careers and attend local elementary school science fairs.
Mr. Ecock next introduced Salvatore Galletta, P.E., and engineer working for the N.Y. City Department of Transportation. He is a graduate of the engineering school at Columbia University and had dedicated his volunteer efforts toward educating engineers and students concerning the need to further the professional aspects of their careers in the political, ethical and social spheres.
He urged all attendees to participate more fully in these areas and also prepare to apply for Professional Engineering License as early as possible after graduation. He also invited all to attend a seminar now being planned on these subjects at Columbia University in February 2011.
Mr. Ecock reminded all sections to formulate project proposals and forward to Met Section for possible funding assistance. The meeting was concluded with raffle drawings for prizes donated by ASME Headquarters. Networking efforts continued to long after the formal program ended.
Met Section extends sincere thanks to the NYU-POLY Student section and its coordinator James Oussani, Jr. for hosting this meet and greet. Great job as usual!