Student Activities

ECE student organization activities include:

HKN

  • Fall and spring induction ceremonies
  • A weekly snack night for ECE students
  • Tours for prospective students and parents
  • Capstone Design Showcase
  • ECE Jeopardy
  • Interactions with industry
  • Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

IEEE

  • Host of the weekly IEEE Tech/Career Talks
  • Weekly social and sporting events
  • ECE Day barbecue

WinECE

  • Fall and Spring Dinners with academic or industry keynote speakers
  • Mentoring and outreach events
  • Social/professional gatherings

Build18

  • Offers information sessions and tutorials for students prior to annual hackathon
  • Obtains industry sponsorships to purchase parts/components
  • Runs the annual, weeklong Build18 gadgeting festival, including project demos
  • Hosts the Build Banquet for student participants and sponsors following demos

EGO

  • EGO fall picnic for grad students, faculty and staff
  • ECE winter formal for grad students, faculty and staff
  • Annual ski trip
  • Subsidies for campus and Pittsburgh cultural events
  • Support for prospective student open house and new student orientation
  • Qualifying exam workshop

SAC

  • Designs and runs the annual ECE Community Day
  • Hosts meetings and town halls to encourage dialog between students and department leadership MAC
  • Hosts events for new professional masters students to help orient to campus and ECE
  • Hosts town halls to encourage dialog between students and department leadership

ECE Day

ECE Day is an annual community event on the last day of spring classes, hosted by ECE SAC with substantial contributions from the other ECE student organizations and support from the department.

ECE Day started in 2005 when SAC members voted to provide an annual, day-long event that would bring the ECE community together to celebrate the discipline, department and talents of its people – technically and otherwise. The first ECE Day was in the spring of 2006 and has been held annually ever since.

The day’s events begin indoors with a “Google map yourself” breakfast that helps connect the ECE community during the summer. It also features technical, professional and reflective activities that often include project demonstrations, an ECE “tech art” gallery, rounds of ECE Jeopardy and ECE Café (a specific form of intellectual engagement and idea exchange based on World Café).

Later in the day, the ECE graduate lounge opens its doors for ping pong and foosball tournaments, and eventually the entire community goes outside for a picnic, ECE talent show, charity dunk tank and lots of volley ball.

Build18

Build18 is an annual, weeklong, student-run, tinkering and gadgeting festival for ECE students that starts just prior to spring semester and runs through the first week of spring classes. Teams may also include faculty and students from other disciplines. Alumni and corporate representatives are welcome to join in many of the activities during the week.

Build18 was brainstormed in SAC for several years before becoming an initiative presented to the department and a pilot in 2009. When the pilot was successful, SAC voted to hand it off to IEEE to further develop and run it as an annual “hackathon” – funded mostly by industry – with the full support of the ECE Department. In 2010, 16 student teams participated. In 2011, 23 teams and approximately 75 students were involved. In 2012, the event grew to 40 teams and over 130 students and was covered by the Associated Press. Following the 2012 event, Build18 became its own student organization.

ECE undergraduate and masters students take great pride in participating in Build18. They get the chance to work with their own creative, technical ideas and their choice of project partners. Each evening there is “hack support” – a time when student teams are joined by alumni, corporate sponsors and interested faculty to discuss projects and problem-solve.

This entrepreneurial endeavor is punctuated by talks on innovation during the week. Those talks have included innovators from Qualcomm, SpaceX and Google as well as alumni currently involved in startups.

National Leadership & Innovation Conference

During the academic year 2007-2008, Carnegie Mellon’s HKN sigma Chapter submitted a proposal to host the fall 2008 national conference and won that opportunity. The officers for academic year 2008-2009 took on the task of planning and implementing that conference. In conjunction with their professional advisor, the HKN officers and members created a full day of professional events and activities that aimed to educate, inform and inspire the approximately 150 visiting honor society students from 27 U.S. universities. The conference schedule included a variety of keynote addresses (by industry leaders and academics), faculty and student-led leadership exercises and a VIP industry panel on innovation.

The ECE Department also hosts the following annual events for its students:

  • Sophomore Welcome Reception
  • Recruiter Networking Breakfast
  • Prof. M.S. Graduation Dinner
  • Graduate Orientation and Welcome Dinner for new M.S. and Ph.D. students
  • Grad Appreciation Day
  • Volunteer Appreciation Outing
  • Senior and IMB Graduation Celebration

EGO students show off their ECE Day t-shirts.

Students gather for ECE Day.