Student organizations and activities outside the classroom are enormously enriching for CEIE students. They also create smaller, more personal groups within the larger university. The broad range of CEIE student-driven activities is a hint of our students’ enthusiasm for their professional aspirations. And the enjoyment they derive from working together.
Aside from informal, spontaneous student activities and student-organized study groups, the following CEIE student chapters of professional associations are very active in the department.
- The 136th Chapter of Chi Epsilon, the national civil engineering honor society, was installed at George Mason University in May, 2010. Chi Epsilon recognizes undergraduates who achieve academic distinction, and who are dedicated to the principles of scholarship, character, practicality and sociability. Chi Epsilon students wear distinctive honors stoles on their graduation robes at commencement.
- The largest and oldest of the CEIE student organizations is the American Society of Civil Engineers GMU student chapter. Their activities range from organizing career fairs for CEIE students, hosting guest lectures, and setting up field trips, to sponsoring barbecues just for fun. Each year the ASCE chapter forms a student team that designs and builds a 20-foot-long steel bridge for their annual steel bridge competition. The team works tirelessly for the better part of the academic year to complete the project.
- CEIE students interested in design-build engineering formed the GMU chapter of the Design Build Institute of America in 2010, the only student chapter in the National Capital Region. Students host speakers on campus, and regularly send representatives to the huge annual national conference of the Design Build Institute of America. In addition to touring local construction sites in the nation’s capital, they have travelled to landmark projects under construction, including the site of the Freedom Tower under construction on the site of the World Trade Towers.
- CEIE students formed the International Engineering Group of George Mason University in 2010, now renamed GMU Engineers for International Development. The group’s first project involved a village in the high Andes of Peru (near Machu Picchu), experiencing water shortage attributed to global climate change. After a year of design and fundraising, a team of students, faculty, and professional engineers travelled to Peru in June, 2011, to install water storage tanks working with villagers. With that great success under their belts, they have taken on new projects, and invite students at any level to join them.
- The Society of American Military Engineers chapter at George Mason enjoys a close mentoring partnership with its very active Northern Virginia parent chapter. In addition to lectures and joint meetings, SAME activities focus on good citizenship, for example, supporting U.S.-based disaster relief efforts in Haiti.
- The first Order of the Engineer ceremony at George Mason was held in fall 2010. Ten GMU civil engineers took the oath that sets forth an ethical code of professional integrity, requiring members to shoulder their responsibility to serve and to protect the public in their engineering practice. A ceremony is now held each fall for recent graduates and soon-to-graduate students. Members of the Order recognize each other by the distinctive stainless steel ring they wear on the small finger of their working hand.
If you are interested in the fun and the professional benefits that come from involvement in any of these activities, look for emails sent to all CEIE undergraduates about meetings, or check the notice board in the CEIE Department office.