September 23, 2002

Detroit: A natural for engineering student national convention

There is the International Auto Show in January. The Society of Automotive Engineers national convention in February. And now, nearly 400 of the nation's brightest engineering students will descend on the Motor City for the 97th national convention of Tau Beta Pi (TBP), the engineering honor society.

Students attending TBP's convention in 1999 felt the time had come for a Detroit convention, selecting WSU's convincing bid over others from Lubbock,Texas and Orlando, Fla. "Here was a chance to show to the rest of the country what Detroit has to offer," says Abha Tiwari, the Convention Arrangements Chair of TBP's Michigan Epsilon Chapter at Wayne State University. The Michigan Epsilon Chapter, 24 members strong and host to the convention, was awarded in 1999 the most outstanding chapter out of 221 nationwide.

These future engineers will begin descending on Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center on Wednesday, October 2 and hold their national meetings through Saturday. Tours of the city are not part of the regular convention schedule, but convention goers and their guests will be encouraged to explore around beyond the convention site. A tour of Wayne State is planned for Saturday, October 5.

"There are some who still think our small chapter in the city of Detroit can not pull off this convention," says Abha, a senior in electrical engineering at the WSU College of Engineering. "But we've been working hard to prove otherwise."

Tau Beta Pi, whose members include a number of famous engineers such as Lee Iacocca, recognizes outstanding engineers and encourages its members to be responsive to community needs. It is open to engineering majors whose grade point average falls within the top eighth of their junior class, and top fifth of their senior class, and who exhibit exemplary character.

For more information on the Tau Beta Pi convention, visit


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