Overview of SAE Collegiate Chapters
Student members are vital to the continued success and future of SAE and Collegiate Chapters are a great way to develop valuable skills.
While your course work teaches you the engineering knowledge you need, participation in your SAE Collegiate Chapter can develop or enhance other important skills, including: leadership, time management, project management, communications, organization, planning, delegation, budgeting and finance, and many more in a safe, non-threatening environment! If you have any aspirations towards management or someday starting your own business, you should also consider taking an active leadership role in your SAE Collegiate Chapter.
SAE Collegiate Chapters provide a valuable service to students, including:
- Increasing the technical knowledge of members through meetings, speakers and tours
- Providing a forum to discuss industry issues and trends
- Creating opportunities to network with faculty and industry professionals
- Developing a camaraderie with other students
- Promoting SAE membership
- Encouraging grade school students to develop an interest in science and math
- Volunteering in your local A World In Motion program
SAE Collegiate Chapter activities are administered by students as elected officers. They provide students with an experience that simulates running a business or an organization. As a student officer, you'll "set yourself apart from the pack" and increase your visibility to recruiters.
By networking with your local Professional Section, you will have an opportunity to meet practicing engineers in the mobility industry. Student officers are counseled by the SAE Faculty Advisor but may also be mentored by members of their local Professional SAE Section. You can find the Professional Section closest to you.
Even if your career is ultimately in another industry, your involvement with the SAE Collegiate Chapter will be an invaluable transferable experience.
You may also choose to get involved in one of the SAE Collegiate Design Competitions which will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. In addition to having fun and meeting great friends, you'll experience integrated project management, giving you the opportunity to realistically simulate your future in engineering. These competitions provide an exceptional engineering experience and allow you to apply your course work in a real world application. You'll experience the various phases of design, manufacturing, budgeting and costing, materials selection, testing and quality control, etc. During the actual competition, you'll be asked to explain what decisions you made and why to the judges. And of course, you'll love the thrill of the dynamic and endurance events.
Whether your experience with SAE as a student is focused around your involvement in the Collegiate Chapter or the Collegiate Design Competitions, you'll find that the benefits will stay with you throughout your career.
ORGANIZING AN SAE COLLEGIATE CHAPTER
All university groups begin as an SAE Collegiate Club. The term "Collegiate Chapter" is interpreted to apply to both types of organization, except where otherwise noted.
SAE Collegiate Club - An official SAE collegiate chapter having:
- A minimum of 15 student members.
- An appointed faculty advisor.
- Elected club officers (Chair and Treasurer are required).
- A formal program of projects and meetings.
SAE Collegiate Branch - A Collegiate Club that has met the following requirements:
- A minimum of 25 student members for three consecutive years.
- Evidence of ongoing activity for a period of at least three years.
- Establishment of a formal slate of elected officers, updated annually.
SAE COLLEGIATE CHAPTER MEETINGS
Successful meetings are the result of careful planning and require the cooperation of the chapter officers and related faculty.
Determining Topics of Interest
The most successful Collegiate Chapters survey their members every year or so and ask what topics hold the most interest. With the survey results, the Collegiate Chapter Program Chair can organize a team to brainstorm possible topics and speakers. Consider faculty from various departments at your university (or ones nearby), local companies and team sponsors. Your Faculty Advisor and Department Chair can also suggest topics of current interest. Also, consider using the SAE Industrial Lectureship Program (see below).
The Program Chair should present a general outline of the programs for the coming year to the chapter officers for consideration and then finalize the details. As much as possible, programs should always be scheduled at least one month in advance and announced at the proceeding meeting.
SAE Industrial Lectureship Series
As you plan your meetings for the year, consider inviting a speaker from the SAE Industrial Lectureship Series. This program provides a variety of industry experts that you can invite to speak at your university, with the travel costs paid for by SAE International. Contact any speaker who interests you, presenting them with some possible dates, and see what their schedule allows. Once you have a speaker scheduled, please invite students from nearby universities and the members of your local Professional Section to attend the meeting. Find the Professional Section closest to you.
In additional to the SAE Industrial Lectureship Series, you can also find speakers through your local Professional Section.
The SAE Collegiate Chapter functions according to its Constitution and such general rules as may be outlined by the SAE International Education Board, SAE International Student Activities Committee and the SAE International Board of Directors. It must, of course, abide by the SAE International Constitution and By-Laws.
Due to limitations in SAE's constitution and its non-profit status, it is also necessary that certain restrictions be placed on Collegiate Chapters to promote only programs in the scientific and technical fields. Therefore, SAE Collegiate Chapters may not directly or indirectly:
- Engage in activities to exert political pressure or influence.
- Participate in programs relating to employer / employee relations or to problems dealing with the economic status of the engineer.
- Endorse or condemn any commercial product by direct or indirect action.
NOTE: Universities in countries where we have SAE Affiliate programs should contact their SAE Affiliate directly for information on organizing their SAE Collegiate Chapter.