The following must pertain to be considered for membership:
- Enrollment in the COE at UW-Madison
- Distinguished scholarship
- Top 1/8 of junior engineering class*
- Top 1/5 of senior engineering class*
- Demonstrate exemplary character
- Uphold the 3 pillars of the honor society
*Junior/senior status is based on number of credits completed, not year in school
It is a goal of the Wisconsin Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi to be the principal source of relevant volunteer activities for all students in the College of Engineering. Any volunteerism that stimulates thought, introspection, and growth is termed relevant. It is the belief of the Society that engaging in volunteerism is a necessary part of becoming an educated member of society, a responsible world citizen, and a true student of engineering at the University of Wisconsin. The Society seeks to place an emphasis on building character, integrity, and compassion through service to others. The Society believes that such skills distinctly posit the role of engineers and engineering in this world. By edifying the students with the principles of volunteerism in this college of world stature, the Society believes it will inspire the growth of engineers of world stature. Kindness, sympathy, warmth, and human struggle, although indescribable by equations, can still be calculated by the sentient engineer. It is the hope of this Society that all aspects of knowledge gained from volunteering will invoke transcendence in every part of students' lives. When taken into account, such awareness will always lead to a better design; such awareness will always lead to a better world.
It is a goal of the Wisconsin Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi to become the principal source of professional development for students in the College of Engineering, harnessing the resources of Tau Beta Pi's Engineering Futures programs, the Department of Engineering Professional Development, Engineering Career Services, and the greater university community to prepare students for the professional world, regardless of intended field. Rather than focusing on development for specific career paths, as is found in clubs specific to a major, Tau Beta Pi will focus efforts on skills applicable to all disciplines. Such skills will be transferable between engineering jobs, between engineering fields, and also between engineering and non-engineering disciplines. It is the belief of the Society that getting an education and gaining knowledge is a first step, but being able to effectively and compellingly translate that knowledge into action and results is what determines the efficacy of an engineer. It is the goal of the Society to ensure every engineer leaves Wisconsin fully prepared, in every respect, for success in today's world. As The Council Bulletin of Tau Beta Pi states, the hope of the world is the professional person, he or she who has the ability and is willing to give of him or herself for the betterment of all.
It is a goal of the Wisconsin Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi to become the primary source of activities that foster and promote a liberal culture within the College of Engineering, in an effort to educate students in the need to understand wholly the society in which their technology is being used. As The Council Bulletin of Tau Beta Pi declares, the problems facing the world today cry out for the best technical efforts and the keenest understanding of human needs, human capabilities, and human values. We at Wisconsin Alpha are in the business of educating for life, not just for a job. As the former President of Harvey Mudd College Henry E. Riggs insisted, the concept of a holistic education demands that the poet be technology-literate and that the technologist be well acquainted with poetry, philosophy, history, psychology, and so on. To tend only to one's technical skill set and neglect a thorough understanding of the world outside engineering is like designing a chair with only two legs: it simply does not result in a complete, educated, and effective professional and world citizen. The role of technology in the world is fundamental to the role of the engineer in the world; in fact, they are one in the same. The continually evolving relationship between technology and society is a constant point of debate; however, as Riggs also declares, it is imperative that the engineer not simply be the passive subject of the debate. The engineer must be educated to participate centrally in these important moral, economic, and political discussions and struggles. An engineer not educated in the societal implications of his or her actions, and in the role of an engineer in society, is as detrimental to that engineer's credibility as is an engineer not educated in basic engineering principles. It is the goal of the Society to ensure that all engineers are as capable in the former as they are in the latter, so no one leaves this University with a two-legged chair.