Electrical engineering honors society chapter earns national recognition

April 6, 2023

By Mariah R. Lucas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Epsilon Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, the student honors society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-HKN), was selected to receive the Outstanding Chapter Award for its efforts during the 2021-22 school year. They were honored at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association Conference and Expo held in New Mexico in March.  

Chapters are selected based on their activities, community service and outreach, and the impact they have had on their department, university and community, according to IEEE-HKN.  

“The Penn State chapter of HKN has been active on campus since 1909,” said Tim Kane, the faculty adviser for the group and professor of electrical engineering in the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). “This award is a testament to the skill and dedication to service that is embodied by our members throughout our long history, and especially our current cohort. I envision that this is just the first of many such awards our chapter will earn as it continues to grow through its second century.” 

HKN chapters are encouraged to plan activities that advance members’ professional development, raise instructional and institutional standards, encourage scholarship and creativity, provide a public service and further the established goals of IEEE-HKN. 

“We are really proud of being recognized for our achievements with the outstanding chapter award,” said Aaryan Patel, president of Penn State HKN, as it is known at University Park, and fourth-year Schreyer Honors College student in computer science. “Penn State HKN is committed to continue serving the engineering community for years to come.” 

Penn State HKN holds weekly tutoring sessions, providing mentorship for students taking introductory electrical engineering, computer engineering and computer science courses.  

“HKN's tutoring sessions are a great place to meet and socialize with other EECS students and also get help in courses,” Patel said. “We are hosting a food drive during our tutoring sessions for the Lion's Pantry and have asked our members to donate non-perishable food items.” 

The Lion’s Pantry provides food and other resources to students struggling with food insecurity at University Park.  

In addition to other professional development opportunities, Penn State HKN serves as volunteers at the EECS’ fall career fair every year. This year, the group also held an interchapter event with students from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, where members drove to Pittsburgh for a full day of technical and social activities. 

“One of our signature events is our research nights, where we invite engineering faculty to give a talk to undergraduate students about their research and how to get involved in it,” Patel said. “Usually, this involves computer science and electrical engineering topics, and this semester we also held a session on robotics.” 

Penn State HKN will hold its annual induction ceremony on April 8, where new invitees will sign the induction book — the same one that has been used since the club’s founding in 1909. 


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