Quality of Meetings
Meetings of the University of Illinois Pre-professional Branch of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers were held the first Tuesday of each month in the fall and spring semester at 6:30 p.m. in Room 204 of the Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building with the exception of January; for most of January undergraduate students have an extended winter break. The chapter has consistently maintained this schedule in part because it does overlap with other student organization meetings in the department. There were four meetings held each semester during 2014-2015. Meetings are semi-informal to encourage active participation from members. There is no dress code for members or speakers at meetings; however, an atmosphere of professionalism is promoted by the officers. Additionally, correct parliamentary procedure is required for bringing new business to the floor, voting on measures and electing officers. These procedures are monitored by the Parliamentarian.
The usual order of meetings is:
1. Students, staff & guests arrive pre-meeting to obtain dinner
2. President’s Call to Order
3. Secretary’s Report
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Committee Reports
6. Old Business
7. New Business
8. Advisor comments
9. Adjournment, followed by guest speaker
Following the business meeting, the President introduces the guest speaker. Speakers almost always give power-point presentations. Past speakers include faculty (emeritus and current), graduate students, former students now in industry, former ASABE members, and local engineers. A question and answer session concludes the presentation. Following the presentation, all those present at the meeting are invited to join in a dinner provided for by the branch.
May 2015 Agenda
May 2015 Meeting
May 2015 Meeting
Special Member Activities
Members and faculty are informed of special meetings and outside events through emails from the Secretary or the corresponding officer/committee calling the event to order. Special meetings such as Officer or Executive Board Meetings are announced via email with early notice and suggested meeting times, which are up to the discretion of the President. This year doodle polls were the primary means to schedule officer meetings. Officers will reply with the times that work and a time is selected based on when the most relevant officers can make it. These meetings are not open to the public and general members.
A new addition has been for elected officers to meet with both faculty advisors and senior members prior to the start of the first meeting of the new academic year. This was done in order to brainstorm involvement of increasing general member participation as well as assist newly elected officers in developing a good start leading the organization. New officers who are elected in early May are also scheduled to meet with advisors and invited senior ASABE members the following August.
Aside from officers meetings and the annual meeting with branch advisors, special meetings arranged internally are very rare and the majority of the branch activity is public.
Attendance at National, Regional, and Sectional Meetings of ASABE
ASABE Annual International Meeting
The 2015 AIM Meeting was in New Orleans, Louisiana. Several branch members attended various events including young professional meetings, general sessions, paper presentations, educational seminars, the Alpha Epsilon meeting and technical sessions. Our members were also actively networking and socializing with ASABE branch members from other institutions outside of scheduled events.
Special Branch Activities
College of ACES of New Student Welcome Night
The College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences held its annual ACES New Student Welcome in the Illini Union on Friday, August 21nd. The event featured games, food, the clubs within the College of ACES, and an informal setting to talk to students and faculty. The main purpose of this event is to familiarize freshman and transfer students with the various clubs and societies available in the College of ACES. Both new students and branch members benefit from this event.
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Ambassadors
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Ambassadors recruit students to ABE, promote the department and ultimately increase interest in ABE in local communities. This is a significant recruiting stratagem as many undergraduate students in the ABE department hail from Illinois. The ambassadors answer students’ questions about student life & the job of a typical agricultural and biological engineer, and the potential career opportunities available today for folks in both engineering fields.
Professional Meetings/Inspection Tours
Although these are generally external, this year we worked with Stephen Anderson of the Central IL Section to host a joint meeting with the ASABE student chapter, the Agricultural Mechanization Club (the flagship organization for Technical Systems Management majors) and a presentation from John Deere was given. The club expects to continue this particular event in the future where professionals may also be able to tour the department with students.
Social Functions Sponsored by the Branch
Happy Hours and Bar Crawls
Throughout the whole year, the branch seeks to connect members with other students and faculty within the department. Happy hours and bar crawls were organized to provide an opportunity for members to relax and network over free appetizers and good company. It has been branch policy to invite faculty and students in both Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Technical Systems Management to accompany us on these events.
Bowling Outings and Socials
To increase club awareness and build the strength of members’ relationships between one another, the ASABE student branch enjoyed organizing a bowling outing during the fall and spring terms. Students enjoyed a couple games of bowling and socializing at the bowling alley located in the basement of the Illini Union at UIUC.
The annual Spring Banquet sponsored by the ASABE Pre-professional Branch provides an opportunity for a more formal gathering of students, faculty, and families. The banquet also gives an opportunity to recognize the achievements of students and staff within the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. This year's banquet was held on April 10, 2016 at the I-Hotel & Conference Center in Champaign. A delicious dinner was served and multiple awards and scholarships were given on this night.
Special Branch Projects
Lawnmower Summerization is an annual fundraising event held by the branch. Around 50 lawnmowers were cleaned, having their blades sharpened, engine oiland air filters changed, People from the surrounding community brought their lawnmowers to the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department to be tuned up for spring. Aside from football concessions, this is the largest fundraiser for the branch. Morgan Fuehne organized the event which occurred April 29-30.
Engineering Open House
The annual Engineering Open House (EOH), sponsored by the Engineering Council, was held on Friday, March 11, 2016 through Saturday, March 12, 2016 here at the University of Illinois. Thousands of visitors of all ages, from all over the country come to see the exhibits presented by various engineering departments and clubs. The ABE department always presents several exhibits and booths run by staff, faculty, and students. Area farmers are especially interested in these exhibits because many of the displays reflect current research by graduate students and professors related to practical farming applications. There are awards given out to the students by both the ABE Department and the College of Engineering. The department award is given to undergraduates who illustrate the opportunities offered in the department, the effectiveness of engaging visitors in the display, and the attractiveness of the display. The College of Engineering recognizes the top five projects in various award categories. The categories encompass graduate and undergraduate research, as well as the application of technology, representation of student societies, and fun and interesting educational exhibits.
For Engineering Open House this year Fountain wars made a two nozzle water fountain, one nozzle had a turbulent flow and the other closely mimicked a laminar flow. This was designed for the participants from age of 5-16, the goal here was for people to understand the differences between laminar and turbulent flow. For the activity we explained the participants what laminar and turbulent flows were and how each of them work, then we asked them to look at the fountain as it was pumping water from both nozzles and then had them explain which nozzle was laminar or turbulent. Later we asked them what different situations we could use the nozzles for, and why.
The College of ACES (Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences) hosts a series of events every year for potential incoming students. This year, the ASABE chapter had a display board of past club events as well as a water filter demonstration. The water filter demonstration involved pouring water into three transparent filters that were used to help construct a water system in Honduras. A questionnaire for visitors as to which filter would be most effective for an interactive learning experience. There was a larger version of the filter on display in the Soil and Water Lab.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) is an event planned in conjunction with the Society of Women Engineers. The event is targeted to high school girls in order to expose students to the world of different engineering concentrations. This event is important since it not only teaches students about the different career opportunities in engineering, but also to empower young women in achieving goals in STEM fields. Our ASABE Chapter worked with the Society of Women Engineers in having an Agricultural & Biological Engineering station in the IGED program. At this station, we had a demonstration on Non Newtonian Fluid where we discussed how different fluids relate to engineering principles and in the biological concentrations of ABE. We then had an interactive experiment where the girls would try to build a miniature green house and see how it can capture heat. The activity will show how engineering helps in deciding how to build the best green house under certain locations.
Various community and campus groups host blood drives throughout the year. Student members sign up to donate blood to save lives or donate time as volunteers. Student members are usually most involved in blood drives for Engineering Council, individual fraternities and sororities, or various clubs of which they are members. Alpha Epsilon, the agricultural engineering honor society, hosts semi-annual blood drives within the Heritage Room of the ACES Library and the Illini Union. This year Alpha Epsilon hosted a blood drive on Monday September 22nd, 2014 Monday, March 2nd, 2015. Student branch members help sign-up donors, set up the blood drive, and volunteer as coordinators.
The annual Spring Banquet sponsored by the ASABE Pre-professional Branch provides an opportunity for a more formal gathering of students, faculty, and families. The banquet also gives an opportunity to recognize the achievements of individuals within the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. This year's banquet was held on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at the iHotel in Champaign. A delicious dinner was served and multiple awards and scholarships were given. Award winners are listed below and descriptions of the awards are listed following the winners.
Organized by Alpha Epsilon, the Worldwide Book Drive is an organization partnering with different populations that are in need of books. The book drive was started in the fall and continued until the end of April. ASABE issued a call to help assist in this drive.
ASABE Branch Website
The branch maintains a website where one can find information concerning officers, recent events, and upcoming activities as well as volunteer opportunities. There is contact information for officers, a calendar listing branch meetings and events, and links to other useful sites including the ABE department website. This website will be updated in the near future.
ASABE UIUC Facebook™ Group
The branch also maintains a Facebook group page. Here, members may upload photos from prior events, post activity ideas and network with other members. The Facebook group provides a quick way for members to communicate as well as an organized method for reminding members of upcoming events.
With current members and other campus entities using twitter in recent semesters, our chapter now has an active twitter account.
E-mail Server List
The branch president and secretary have access to an e-mail list containing the e-mails of all members who submitted their e-mail address. A reminder e-mail is sent out the week before each meeting to encourage members to attend. Other announcements for upcoming events and activities are sent through the e-mail.
Department and Professional Publications
A bulletin published periodically by the ABE department highlights the achievement and progress of the department faculty and students in the last month or two. The bulletin generally cover the Spring Awards Banquet, student achievements both within and outside of the department and university, new study abroad programs, recent activities of Women in Engineering, the latest work of several professors and the results of ¼-scale design competition. The publication also informs faculty, alumni and current graduate and undergraduate students of the latest departmental news and activities. In short, the bulletin is the most comprehensive, current news resource in the ABE Department for internal communication.
Publications About or By Our Members
A few club members are able to publish their work with professors and graduate students (or merely as graduate students) throughout the year in conference proceedings as well as agricultural, science and engineering journals. Graduate student member Jaime Thissen has indicated he is developing a manuscript this coming term as well as database publications. Otherwise, our branch members engaged in research are either awaiting results or have not informed the branch of their activities. Lucy Dunderman is also developing a poster for the student poster competition at AIM this summer. Additionally, ex officio Anna Walker and Jaime Thissen will also be working on developing officer manuals for future ASABE officers to ensure a smooth transition of club members.
There are six students in our ASABE chapter who have expressed interest and one person who is possibly interested in taking the EIT exam. The results were compiled from an internal chapter survey. Official department statistics were not made available at the time of this report.
Student Campus Participation