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SAE Chicago Section Ramps Up Student Mentoring and Outreach

Posted: December 8, 2023

Mentoring SAE student members and supporting SAE University Programs is a core part of the SAE Chicago Section’s mission.

To help facilitate those relationships, the Chicago Section has been working hard to step up their communications with the local universities they support with three officers dedicated to these activities.

From inviting students to attend their monthly board meetings to a Collegiate Design Series (CDS) presentation challenge where teams compete for funds for their vehicle builds to including students in their local events, the results have been extremely positive.

“By taking on various responsibilities and positions within our board, students gain experience, enhance their resumes, network with Chicago area professionals, and assist the board in reaching more students,” said Chicago Section Chair Tim Hicks. “This all hopefully leads to the students becoming professional members upon graduation, and if they stay in the area, to continue to be on the board.”

This spring, the Chicago Section is planning a number of events including one around the Chicago Auto Show where an SAE Collegiate Chapter will have a chance to set up a booth showcasing their vehicle and to share their always popular CDS presentation competition. 

To maintain their connections with students throughout the academic year, board officers also visit a few local universities annually. This year marks a return to form as  the first time they are reinstating the visits since the pandemic shutdowns. While they’re on campus, officers share first-hand guidance on the CDS team’s design and build.

Beyond the countless benefits for local SAE Collegiate Chapters and their student members, the additional outreach and communication has also had a positive impact on the Chicago Section.

“Our board is now comprised of engineers from all stages of their careers with active involvement of newer board members taking on and filling all key officer positions. This has led to a much more balanced board and sharing of responsibilities for the officers,” Hicks said.

Together, SAE Local Sections and Collegiate Chapters offer SAE professional and student members an unmatched opportunity to connect with engineering and mobility experts, share ideas spanning industries and job functions, and give back to their local communities.

If you’re a current SAE member and not involved with your Local Section, don’t miss this chance to connect with SAE on a local level. If you’re a Section or Chapter member and you’re looking for ideas for upcoming programs or to grow, contact