Student Groups and Opportunities

The MechSE Departments offers a rich array of enrichment options beyond its world-class academics. Some of these opportunities are listed here.

International Study

Sweden study abroad

At Illinois, 300 programs are offered each year in 50 countries around the world.  The Grainger College of Engineering has its own study abroad office called International Programs in Engineering (IPENG) and programs designed specifically for engineering students, as well as several STEM majors. Students in Grainger should review this information as they begin planning their study abroad experience. 

For more information, visit our study abroad page


MechSE Student Societies

Pi Tau Sigma is an honorary society for MechSE students, works to foster the high ideals of the engineering profession, promote the professional well-being of its members, and encourage the development of leadership skills and civic responsibility. Members participate in scholarship and service programs, MechSE and College of Engineering events and social activities. Among Pi Tau Sigma projects planned are Engineering Open House, Relay for Life (cancer awareness) fundraising, and outreach to local high schools to encourage engineering studies.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) promotes the art, science and practice of mechanical & multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences. The ASME student chapter hosts meetings throughout the semester with representatives of industry leaders such as Caterpillar, Motorola, Arcelor-Mittal and others, develops exhibits for Engineering Open House, and sponsors an annual M. E. for Me Conference to showcase post-graduation industrial opportunities.

Women in MechSE (WIM) was created for and by women in the department to share experiences and learn about career opportunities. Through career fairs, leadership events, company visits, lunches with female professors, and weekly meetings, the group provides its members with opportunities to further explore career paths. They also encourage women to join other MechSE RSOs that have been predominately male in the past. 

Formula SAE cars with trophies on Quad in front of Foellinger Auditorium

The Society for Engineering Mechanics (SEM) is open to all engineering students who are interested in mechanics. The society focuses on projects related to mechanical principles, with the choice of projects being entirely up to the student members. In the past, these projects have ranged from research on engines to the mechanics of bicycles to the construction of weapons of medieval warfare. The society hosts several social events throughout the year where students and faculty who share an interest in mechanics can get to know each other. 

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) seeks to provide its members with educational, professional and social activities and opportunities related to vehicles of all types. The U of I chapter includes the SAE Baja Team, Illini Electric Motorsports, and the SAE Supermileage team that all design and build vehicles for competition. Through its activities, SAE hopes to foster members’ engineering, communication and leadership skills.  Check out our car teams and their current activities here.

Looking for other student societies to join?  Choose from more than 1,800 student organizations, representing a wide variety of interests or start your own! See all of Illinois' Registered Student Organizations here.

Engineering General Interest

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) furthers engineering education by promoting excellence in instruction, research, public service and practice. The society develops policies and programs to enhance professional opportunities for engineering faculty and to support increased student enrollments in engineering colleges and universities. The ASEE student chapter hosts a lunch seminar series and presentations by faculty on topics concerning engineering education. Students in the chapter also participate in activities with like-minded programs on campus, such as iFoundry and the Campus Center for Teaching Excellence.

Engineering Council (EC) serves as the students' voice in the College of Engineering and consists of an executive board that oversees 13 committees and more than 50 professional and honor engineering societies. Engineering Council events help students to develop leadership skills, encourage personal and societal achievement, and build a sense of community among engineering students.

Engineering Student Alumni Ambassadors (ESAA) plan and host events and programs to increase student-alumni relations. We hope that strong student-alumni ties will lead to more involved alumni, thus making the College of Engineering more widely recognized as a leading institution. Current events that ESAA is working on include: special alumni events at Engineering Career EXPO, Engineering Open House, and Homecoming; a student-produced e-newsletter; an alumni reception with student representatives in Chicago; a student welcome event on campus; a celebration for graduating seniors; and a networking dinner for students and alumni.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) partners with developing communities to improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally sustainable, equitable, and economical engineering projects. The University of Illinois student chapter sponsors regular lectures, workshops and field trips related to solar technologies, natural cooling, bio-diesel and other topics. In working to advance developing communities, the group promotes the development of globally aware and internationally responsible engineers, students, and professionals.

National Organization of Business and Engineering (NOBE) offers students resources for professional development, corporate interaction, and post-undergraduate and current market education. NOBE is a national society uniting business, management and engineering organizations at universities around the country. The group sponsors workshops, informational meetings on topics related to engineering management, entrepreneurship and more, and opportunities to meet with recruiters from industry.

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) works to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. The group participates in regional and national conferences and sponsors on-campus activities for members, including resume workshops, registration information sessions and study hours.

The Society for Business and Management in Engineering (SBME) educates engineering students about careers that go beyond engineering, into the business and management of technology.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) seeks to bring together Latino students who share the values of heritage, social responsibility and the desire to improve the equality of all people through the use of science and technology. The group sponsors academic, professional and social support programs, and participates in national and regional conferences.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) supports women in achieving their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expands the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrates the value of diversity. The group sponsors meetings with industry representatives, community service projects and outreach activities to inspire young girls to pursue science and engineering.

Tau Beta Pi is the most prestigious honors society of which an engineer can be a member. It is made up of over 500,000 members, notably astronaut Buzz Aldrin, double nobel prize-winner John Bardeen, and founder Jeff Bezos. The Illinois Alpha Chapter, which has its office in 111 Engineering Hall, has almost 10,000 alumni and is well known for its member scholarships and fellowships, numerous service events, and outreach activities. In order to be invited to join TBP, an engineer must be in the top 1/8th of the Junior class or top 1/5th of the Senior class. For more details, visit our web site (linked above) or stop by the office.

Campus Arts and Culture

Alma Mater

Learn more about our campus and community here.

Campus Recreation - Physical and emotional wellness, health and fitness, recreational sports, outside-the-classroom learning experiences, leadership opportunities, global awareness, and more. 

Explore Champaign-Urbana - Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fraternities and Sororities - The University of Illinois is home to the largest Greek system in the country with almost 25% of the undergraduate population involved.

Illini Media Company - Student newspaper, yearbook, magazines, radio and television stations

Illinois Student Government (ISG) 

Illini Union - A center of student activity—home to registered student organizations, performance spaces, meeting places, food court, bowling alley, etc.

Illinois Athletics - Schedules for all Fighting Illini sports

Student Employment

Office of Volunteer Programs