SAE Club

The SAE club meets in the project lab in Herak to discuss the club's projects, including the Baja car.

The school year is ramping up and clubs on campus are starting to meet with returning and new members. STEM, science, technology, engineering and math, related clubs play a large role both on and off campus with many clubs competing in intercollegiate or international competitions and many more clubs inviting professionals onto campus. 

Here is a list of the clubs Gonzaga has to offer for STEM-loving students. 

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)-Baja Club, or better known as Baja Club on campus, allows students to design, fabricate and build student-run projects. The latest project is the Baja car. In Spring 2019 the club took it to Gorman, California, for the single-seat international collegiate competition. GU took 12th place out of 120 entries in the hill climb event. 

“As a transfer student, Baja has definitely helped me find a community here and many of my close friends,” club president and senior Alex Orovitz said.

SAE is for everyone of all different majors, not just engineering. They always welcome new members whether their interest is to assist with the projects, to help fundraise, as they are self-funded, or both. 

SAE meets on Tuesdays at 4:45 p.m. in Herak 237. 

Material Advantage Club this year will be manufacturing and testing the integrity of I-beams made from different materials. An I-beam is a long beam and from the ends is the shape of an “I.” It has many uses often in buildings or trusses of bridges. This year the goal will be to compete in a Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) competition in the carbon fiber category with the possibility of a couple of other categories. 

“I am looking forward to increasing engagement and creating a club that will continue in the years to come,” senior Kelside Eagon, the club’s president, said. 

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) helps students with networking, career development and finding opportunities. IEEE organizes workshops so students can get more experience with techniques being learned in class like soldering. They also find opportunities for students to go on tours of engineering companies or companies looking for interns. The club also invites speakers to discuss electrical engineering and the different opportunities or paths that students may be able to take. 

Robotics Club works on an annual project, the robo-sub. The robo-sub is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Every year the club takes its AUV to an international competition, last year placing 30th. The club includes many teams to work on the project including: a computer science team, mechanical engineering team, electrical engineering team and a business team. Each team works on a different aspect but also together as one unit. The computer science team codes everything that allows the AUV to self-drive and learn its surroundings, it is also the most technical computer science club on campus. The mechanical engineering team works on the fluids and thermodynamics, the electrical engineering team does wiring and soldering, and the business team fundraises, finds sponsors and creates the website.

“My goal is that this club adds to people’s education and allows them to learn from experience not just through classes,” junior Marissa Encarnacion said. 

Drone Club is a project-based group and this year will be working toward attending a competition. Members balance the creation and manufacturing of projects like a fixed-wing drone with the use of GU resources on campus. Their presence on campus allows students to specialize or experiment with flight science and aeronautical engineering. Drone Club is open to everyone of all different majors.

“We are planning on having a few different projects that will make it a bit broader to open the door to as many people as possible,” said the club president, senior Christian Knutson. 

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a student chapter on campus from the national society. ASCE does three things for members: creates professional networking opportunities, gets involved with STEM-related community outreach and brings civil engineering students together outside the classroom with professors in a social environment. It is a professional development group to help students make connections in the engineering world as well as giving students opportunities to visit construction sites or infrastructure projects.

“My favorite part of the club is the community,” senior Tucker Munson said.  “Getting to spend time with my peers and professors outside the classroom is a real treat.” 

ASCE has its weekly concrete canoe meetings on Wednesdays at noon in Herak 237.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is dedicated to a high-power rocketry project. This year, the club will design and build a rocket that will lift a 10-pound payload 10,000 feet above ground level and compete in its first appearance in an intercollegiate engineering competition. The Spaceport American Cup (SAC) in New Mexico will hold the competition in May. SAC is the leading intercollegiate rocketry competition and aerospace networking event. With a lot of work in the coming year to design and create their rocket, members are hoping to split into teams to design a different aspect of the rocket.  

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a chapter of a national organization that seeks to empower women who are pursuing STEM-related fields. To continue this mission SWE volunteers once a month with opportunities like: Days for Girls, Spooky Science Fair, Girl Scouts of America and many more. In addition, the group  participates in the annual SWE convention where students across the country can meet, network with professionals and attend workshops.

“I have taken classes where I am the only female student in the room and have been told that engineering is a man’s job. SWE has provided me a greater sense of community and belonging,” junior Shelby Taketa said. “When I went to the SWE Conference, I was inspired by the confident, capable women I met there and it really ignited my passion for engineering.”

 SWE meets monthly on Wednesdays at noon and will have their next meeting on Oct. 2. The location is to be determined. 

American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) is a chapter of a national organization that combines the engineering design with the business administrative sides for those going into engineering management. The goal is to provide students with the tools to succeed in the engineering industry. The group collaborates with many different disciplines in the engineering industry to help students see innovative solutions to difficult problems in different types of engineering. It helps students with career development and encourages them to get involved in other engineering clubs to practice managerial and technical skills in settings outside of class. 

Gonzaga Student Nursing Association (GSNA) primarily does three things on campus for students: a mentoring program, bringing speakers to campus and creating all the nursing gear. The mentor program pairs an underclassman with an upperclassman within the School of Nursing to give students a peer to reach out to and ask questions. The group also invites professionals in the health care industry to come speak so students can hear about the different paths people have taken to end up where they are now. It is also a great opportunity for students to hear more than what they might encounter in classes or in clinicals.

“It’s cool to hear different nurses’ stories throughout nursing and to meet my peers from different classes,” senior Kaitlin Fernandez said.

Health Sciences Club helps students explore the opportunities in the health care world, from jobs to graduate school and anything in between. The club brings in speakers for students to learn more about their field and the path a professional took to get to where they are today. It also works closely with the UW Medical School to provide events and information to members that are both relevant and exciting. The goal is to make the student body more knowledgeable of the health science field with programs and opportunities.

“I find it valuable and important to constantly be engaged and expressing appreciation and encouragement to my peers,” senior Miriam Schaefer-Sharp said in an email. 

Human Physiology Club is a department-based club to help bring community and opportunities to students. It allows students to meet each other within the major as well as furthering opportunities, both professional and academic. The club invites graduate school representatives, admissions counselors and health professionals to speak about opportunities and health-related careers. It is also responsible for designing and creating all department related apparel.

“Our leadership team is working to have a greater involvement in the Health Sciences presence on campus,” senior Gavin Weiler said.

 The club is working to help more people find their path into the health sciences, particularly into human physiology. 

Health Equity Club is an inter-professional student-led organization to address health equity. This means working with students to develop skills and knowledge of community issues that affect health equity and how to approach those issues.

“Currently Gonzaga is the largest and only undergraduate chapter in Spokane,” Weiler said. 

Other schools have chapters in their graduate programs, including: Eastern Washington University, Washington State University and University of Washington. 

Psychology Club is a departmental club that provides speakers and opportunities for students interested in pursuing this field. Students stay up to date on recent or ongoing research as well as learn about graduate school and other opportunities open for them. The club invites guest speakers and open discussions so students can learn more about the psychology field and find a path that will work for them.

“By coordinating with staff, psychology majors and outside professionals, we attempt to provide useful and enjoyable meetings,” senior Riley Sebers said.  

Shelby Walker is a contributor. 

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