About Theta Tau

National History

Founded at the University of Minnesota on October 15, 1904, Theta Tau is the largest (as well as the oldest) professional fraternity in the field of engineering. Over 28,000 have been initiated over the years. With emphasis on quality and a strong fraternal bond, the Fraternity has chapters only at ABET accredited schools, and limits to fifty the number of student members in any one of its chapters across the nation.

Theta Tau follows carefully a program in the selection and development of its members that stresses the importance of high professional ethics and exemplary practices. Within each chapter, the Fraternity stimulates professional activity and social compatibility; provides a framework for group participation in campus, community, engineering, and fraternity affairs; and promotes lasting friendships – a lifetime of brotherhood in an engineering environment.

The Fraternity presents awards for outstanding personal and chapter achievements. Through visitation from national officers and other alumni, the stability of each chapter can be maintained. Guidance and publications are provided by the Central Office to help manage the chapter in a professional manner. Financial assistance is available through loans for chapter housing and loans for senior students.

Kappa Chapter History

1916 - 1940

Colony Certified: March 25, 1916
Chapter Founding: November 25, 1919
Founder: George Gieb

The Kappa Chapter of Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity was initially installed on March 25, 1916. Founded by George Gieb, a graduate student in Civil Engineering, the chapter attracted many bright members during its initial 23 years of existence, initiating 455 members in total. Some notable members during this period of Kappa’s existence include Charles Luckman (1931), a Hall of Fame Laureate, and Harry Darby (1917), who played an instrumental role in convincing Eisenhower to run for President. Due to unknown reasons the chapter dissolved 1939 for several decades.

2005 – Present

Colony Reactivation: Fall 2005
Chapter Reinstated: February 9, 2008
New Chapter Founders: Steven Choi, Sean Safavinejad, Gautam Amin, Bertrand Tay, Joe Cocco, Ankeet Patel, Ui Aik Cheah, Peter Ho, Chen Xu, Calvin Gudeman, Sravan Mettupalli, Kai Amundsen, and Amy Chow.
Our Chapter’s Mission: To continue Theta Tau’s long tradition of professional development coupled with meaningful community service and excellence in academics; the new Kappa Chapter of Theta Tau seeks out the best and brightest men and women in the field of engineering.

In 2005 Steven Choi, a member of the Zeta Chapter, transferred to the University of Illinois and decided to start the de-activated Kappa Chapter back up. After filling out all the necessary paperwork, the colony began to slowly grow. With the guidance from Steven, the colony leaders (Sean Safavinejad, Gautam Amin, Bertrand Tay, Joe Cocco, Ankeet Patel, and Ui Aik Cheah) succeeded in laying the foundation for the Fraternity on campus. During this time, the colony also received a lot of help from Peter Ho, Chen Xu, Calvin Gudeman, Sravan Mettupalli, Kai Amundsen, and Amy Chow. After initiating 5 members in February 2007, the colony began seriously preparing to obtain Chapter status, as the colony charter was set to expire the following year. During the fall 2007 semester, the fraternity more than doubled in membership — 26 were initiated — and all the necessary paperwork was filed to petition for Chapter status. On February 9, 2008, the Kappa Colony was reactivated as a Chapter of Theta Tau.

Currently, Kappa has over 80 active members and is continuing to grow. Each semester, the Kappa Chapter hosts professional, philanthropic, and social events on the University of Illinois campus. Members of Kappa attend leadership conferences and the University of Illinois Engineering Open House. They also volunteer on campus through various engineering programs and events. Members also enjoy taking part in social events including dinners, camping, and pick-up sports. The involvement and dedication of many members has allowed Kappa to mature with tremendous speed over the past few years, and it will continue to grow in the future.


Regent: Rishab Pohane
Email: pohane2@illinois.edu

Vice Regent: Dhairav Vakil
Email: dvakil2@illinois.edu

Scribe: Tara Zumwalt
Email: tzumwal2@illinois.edu

Treasurer: Omar Kashow
Email: kashow2@illinois.edu

Corresponding Secretary: David Kline
Email: dkline2@illinois.edu

Pledge Marshall: Jessica Austriaco
Email: austric2@illinois.edu

Historian: Katelyn Schoedl
Email: schoedl2@illinois.edu

Professional Chair: Kanchi Shah and Nikhil Shiva
Email: kanchi.shah957@gmail.com and shiva2@illinois.edu

Philanthropy Chair: Alec Keil
Email: ajkeil2@illinois.edu

Rush Chair: Sherry Yu
Email: smyu2@illinois.edu

Fundraising Chair: Ashley Detlaff
Email: adettl3@illinois.edu

Projects Chair: Spencer Norwick
Email: norwick2@illinois.edu

Web Chair: Dean Cannon
Email: dcannon2@illinois.edu

Social Chair: Eric Valuyev
Email: valuyev2@illinois.edu

Bernay's Chair: Lisa Yala
Email: lisaly2@illinois.edu