Professional & Student Organizations

The Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering engages in numerous professional societies and student clubs. You may also wish to explore the full listing of Engineering Clubs available at Rensselaer. 

American Helicopter Society

Faculty Advisor: Farhan Gandhi

We are a student chapter of the American Helicopter Society, an international society of scientists and engineers interested in vertical flight technology.  Members of the RPI chapter include undergraduate and graduate students. Our main activities include competing in student design competitions, engaging in innovative research, presenting at technical conferences, and going on field trips.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Faculty Advisor: Farhan Gandhi

American Nuclear Society (ANS)

Faculty Advisor: Peter Caracappa Website:

The American Nuclear Society is a not-for-profit, international organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of nuclear science, engineering, and technology. ANS serves its members in their efforts to develop and safely apply nuclear science and technology for public benefit through knowledge exchange, professional development, and enhanced public understanding. ANS consists of over 10,000 members worldwide, including more than 1,000 students. Our chapter consists of approximately 30 active members and is governed by a four-member executive board. Our mission is to provide services to students that will foster personal and career development in a friendly environment.

American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers

Faculty Advisor: William Gerstler

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Faculty Advisor: Glenn Saunders

ASME is a society for all Engineers that provides opportunities to grow as an engineer and as a professional. Through conferences, competitions and meetings/tours, ASME is a way to explore the many fields of engineering and stay up to date on what is happening across the world. ASME is not strictly for Mechanical engineers, but for anyone majoring in any field of engineering.

Design Build Fly Team (DBF)

Faculty Advisor: Matt Oehlschlaeger

Design/Build/Fly (DBF) is an international aircraft design competition in which student teams from universities across the world design, build, and fly a remote controlled aircraft. Each year the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) presents a new design challenge requiring a completely new aircraft to be created. The competition is sponsored by the AIAA, Cessna Aircraft and Raytheon Missile Systems and is focused on the development of unmanned aerial vehicles. You can find out more about the competition at the Design/Build/Fly website.

RPI’s team functions as an extra-curricular activity that typically meets twice per week in the design phase and as often as possible during the build and test phases. RPI DBF made its first appearance at the 2006-2007 competition, and recently broke into the Top 10 with a 9th place finish (out of 69 teams) in the 2009-2010 competition.

RPI Formula Hybrid

Advisor: Aram Chung

An outgrowth of the Formula SAE Program, the Formula Hybrid Program emphasizes drive train innovation and fuel efficiency in a high performance green technology application.

Rensselaer Aeronautical Federation (RAF)

The purpose of the RAF is to promote interest in aviation and aviation safety within the Rensselaer community, to encourage safe and economical flying, and to increase flight proficiency of the membership.

Pi Tau Sigma

Faculty Advisor: Theodorian Borca-Tasciuc

Pi Tau Sigma, the international mechanical engineering honor society, was founded in March 1915 to recognize outstanding students who display both distinguished scholarship in technical fields and exemplary character. Pi Tau Sigma is highly regarded within industry and the academic world, and has grown to include 150 chapters in universities across the country. The Rensselaer Phi chapter was chartered in 1940, and is currently working towards hosting programs targeted towards freshmen and sophomores concerning research opportunities, as well as mentoring. Please visit our website at for more information.

Rensselaer Electric Vehicle

Faculty Advisors: Josh Hurst; Chia Leong

The Rensselaer Electric Vehicle (REV) Team is an entirely student-run and maintained group who designs, builds, optimizes, and competes electric vehicles. We strive combine student ideas, drive, and work with knowledge and technologies from industry and academics alike; the end product are custom, lightweight, and efficient vehicles and one-of-a-kind experiences for our members. Our Team's three main areas of concentration are mechanical, electrical, and financial. We require no previous experience or specific disciplines-all are welcome!

RPI Rock Raiders

Faculty Advisor: Glenn Saunders

Sigma Gamma Tau Aerospace Honor Society

Faculty Advisor: Onkar Sahni

Sigma Gamma Tau is the National Honor Society in Aerospace Engineering. Sigma Gamma Tau serves to acknowledge those who have shown outstanding performance and achievement in the aerospace field.

Society of Auto Engineers (SAE)

Faculty Advisor: Matt Oehlschlaeger

The Rensselaer Formula SAE Team is a dynamic group of individuals representing a broad array of academic disciplines who collaborate to conceive, design, and fabricate a high performance formula style racecar. The Team was formed in 1991 and participated in competition for the first time in1992. Since then, we have continued to place competitively, usually in the top third.

Solar Car

Faculty Advisor: Michael Jensen

The RPI Solar Car Racing Team is designing a completely solar-powered car for entry in the North American Solar Challenge and the cross-Australia World Solar Challenge.