New IEEE-HKN Chapter Leverages Support Grant to Get Established

Students at Purdue University Northwest attended the IEEE-HKN Nu Theta 3-D Printing Fundamentals Workshop

The Nu Theta Chapter of Purdue University Northwest wasted no time in taking advantage of all the support IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), IEEE’s honor society, provides to help Chapters get started. After being installed as a new chapter on 19 October 2023, five of its enthusiastic, newly inducted students and Lizhe Tan, Chapter advisor, attended the 2023 IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Conference held at the University of Houston only weeks later on 3 to 5 November 2023. There, they were inspired to learn how other Chapters had leveraged the Chapter Support Grants to advance their goals, prompting them to immediately apply for a grant to host a “3D Printing Fundamentals Workshop” to aid them in creating awareness on campus about their new Chapter. Two hands-on workshops were held on 30 November and 1 December 2023 that not only equipped students with valuable technical skills but also sparked a surge of creativity and interest in more advanced aspects of 3D printing, with several participants expressing enthusiasm for future workshops on complex projects like a DC motor design. An IEEE-HKN tag was created, which the Chapter plans to mass-produce for distribution at the school’s 2024 spring welcome rally to promote itself to new students.  

Dr. Ryan Bales (center), 2024 HKN Board President, presided over the 19 Oct 2023 installation ceremony of Nu Theta Chapter

According to Anhviet Le, Nu Theta’s President, “The event was a huge success with many students expressing their new found interest in 3D designing and printing. Thanks to the grant our Chapter has now acquired enough filament to produce thousands of key decals to give away next year.”

Nu Theta’s IEEE-HKN Chapter Support Grant is an example of just one of the 23 awarded during 2023, which represents a 200% increase over 2022. Chapters from around the world utilized these funds in their work to enhance the HKN experience and serve the communities around them for activities such as induction banquets, tutoring program enhancements, technical and skill-building workshops, pre-U STEM outreach, mentoring and networking events, gaming tournaments, interChapter gatherings, faculty firesides, and more. Established in 2022 thanks to a gift from Jo-Ann and John McDonald, a long-time IEEE-HKN member, IEEE Foundation Director and now HKN Board of Governors member, Chapter Grants are part of the overall Chapter Support Initiative providing up to $250 to IEEE-HKN Chapters to enable them to deepen their work. 

Sometimes money alone is not enough to support a Chapter, especially ones through student or department turnover or the aftermath of the pandemic had become inactive or dormant. Therefore, a second component of the Chapter Support Initiative – Chapter Success Program – allows Chapters to pursue a formal coaching relationship with HKN Board Members, volunteers, and staff to enhance and energize operations or help a newly-installed Chapter get its start. Currently, there are 45 Chapters receiving in-depth mentorship and guidance coaching.

The 2023 results of the coaching component represents a 54% increase in the number of activity coaching hours compared to the prior year with 326 new members being inducted from coached chapters, and 5 coached Chapters earning 2022-2023 Key Chapter recognition.  Although numbers are useful in evaluating effectiveness, they cannot convey the satisfaction and pride that our students, future leaders in their field, receive from seeing their work pay off or the leadership skills gained from conceptualizing and implementing activities that impact their communities.  Watch the 2023 Chapter video to hear student stories on the results of their Chapter Grants.  

IEEE-HKN’s goal is to continue this successful program in 2024 and beyond. Continuation is only possible with the support of donors, like Jo-Ann and John, who are willing to invest in the next generation of professionals. Interested in learning how you can help? Contact Michael Deering at or call +1 732 562 3915 or make a gift online.

Header image photo caption: Students at Purdue University Northwest attended the IEEE-HKN Nu Theta 3-D Printing Fundamentals Workshop

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