Student organizations and competition teams
Immerse yourself as a future Berkeley Engineer through the Society of Women Engineers’ New Admit Orientation Host Program (OHP). During this week-long program, you’ll bond with prospective and current students at socials and through a pen pals program, explore the vast opportunities in engineering and get honest perspectives to all your Berkeley Engineering questions. Register by Saturday, April 16. Email SWE with questions.
Much of what makes Berkeley Engineering unique is the abundance of ways our students can learn and grow. Our student organizations and competition teams offer unique opportunities to integrate materials learned in the classroom with a chance to develop character and leadership skills.
Each year on Cal Day, engineering student organizations and competition teams turn out in force, sharing the projects they ran throughout the year, vehicles they’ve built, or some other hands-on experience — all so you can learn more about them and the students who make it all possible. Since we’re unable to provide that in-person experience this year, our students have shared videos, photos and stories of what makes their organization or team such an important part of the their time as Berkeley engineers.
Check out some of the teams and organizations that have created content for you below. Then you can find the complete list of engineering student organizations and competition teams online.
The American Nuclear Society (ANS) at UC Berkeley is a student chapter of the national American Nuclear Society organization. The mission of UC Berkeley ANS is to promote the development of nuclear science and technology through community engagement, professional connections, and the exchange of knowledge. What does ANS do? They host professional development, academic development, outreach, and social events. ANS has no membership dues or application process. All interested in learning more about nuclear science and technology are welcome and encouraged to come to their events! Sign up for the ANS mailing list to stay in touch!
The UC Berkeley chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is the college chapter of the national ASCE organization. It is the organization’s mission to engage, prepare and propel students into the world of civil engineering. The mission of ASCE at Berkeley is to support the success of all students in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department; to foster the academic, social, and professional development within the CEE community; and to promote the CEE profession as a whole. They support a variety of civil engineering specific competition teams, groups, and honor societies. They also have a phenomenal relationship with the Bay Area industry, hosting many events with industry leaders and connecting them with our innovative student body.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a professional engineering organization dedicated to the professional development of engineering students on the Berkeley campus.
They help students network with corporations, startups, other professional societies and their fellow engineers. In addition to their numerous professional events, they also sponsor a number of social events throughout the semester to foster a tightly-knit, positive engineering community.
Bioengineering Honor Society (BioEHS) honors undergraduate students from the Department of Bioengineering who have maintained excellent scholarship during their time at UC Berkeley. In addition to holding high academic standards, BioEHS emphasizes striving for exceptional character. All prospective and current members participate in volunteer, professional and social events that benefit themselves and the community. Learn more about them online and view their photo gallery to see their events/projects in action.
BioEHS members teach a DeCal in the fall semester: Breaking Down Bioengineering (BioE 98/198): This DeCal bridges the BioE concentrations & courses on campus with the unique specialties of BioE including Biomimetics, Computational Neuroengineering, and Orthopedic Bioengineering. If you would like to know more about the intersections of BioE with MSE, EECS, and MCB through faculty & industry speakers, or gain insight into BioE electives through panels with BioEHS alumni & upperclassmen, apply to BioE 98/198! They have crafted this course to help you navigate whatever problems in BioE you want to solve, and find the resources on campus to solve them. This 2-unit course is open to students from all majors, and offers you exclusive access to BioEHS!
Blueprint is a team of Cal students working together to develop software (for free!) for nonprofits and promote technology for social good. On top of helping their members develop skills as software engineers and product designers, they also host external events, such as hackathons to bring the campus community together in solving interesting problems, and field trips to organizations in the Bay Area. Learn more about Blueprint online:
Cal Seismic Design is a welcoming competition team/club/Decal course focused on structural design and earthquake engineering. Each year, the team competes in the international Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Student Design Competition, presenting a seismically safe, 5-foot tall balsa wood tower that must survive two intense earthquake simulations. This team works the whole year to come up with the most efficient and elegant design while having lots of fun. Check out their slides, and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more! Go Bears!
Follow Cal Seismic!
CalSMV races in the Shell Eco Marathon, which competes across four continents around the globe to spread awareness of alternative fuels and to foster the ingenuity of tomorrow’s engineers.
Since the beginning of CalSMV in 1991, the team has focused its ambitions towards small, single-passenger prototype vehicles designed to prioritize fuel efficiency before all else. As the world and technology have changed, so has the CalSMV team.
Watch their slide show featuring their most recent vehicle, Lux, from concept to race.
Solar Vehicle Exploration with CalSol! CalSol is a solar car team made up of Berkeley students in all majors and disciplines. They are currently building the 10th generation car Excalibur, and yes, it can really drive! Come take a look at one of their past solar cars and play around with the materials they use to make their vehicles. Learn how solar cells work, the electric engineering that goes on under the hood and the integration of all the solar components. CalSol is a non-application based org and would love to have you join their team when you get to Berkeley!
Watch more about the CalSol team and process:
Concrete Canoe provides a welcoming community where students can learn, gain hands-on experience and create something they can be proud of. The concrete canoe team encompasses many disciplines of civil engineering, and provides a unique opportunity for students to grow.
Students are able to participate in various modules, working from conception to fabrication of our concrete canoe. Participating in the team exposes students to many topics covered in civil engineering, such as construction, material science, structural analysis and environmental sustainability. In addition, as a competition team, Concrete Canoe helps individuals build leadership and teamwork skills. Their team also has a long history of competition and success, which allows students to call upon a large network of knowledgeable alumni. Concrete Canoe at UC Berkeley provides a great opportunity for students to grow outside of their courses.
Follow the team:
EnableTech designs and builds assistive technology to address challenges faced by individuals who have disabilities. They provide teams with the resources to turn ideas into solutions that could improve the lives of many people. They also run a DeCal that teaches design skills through the perspective of human-centered design. Learn more about EnableTech:
Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) Berkeley chapter manages ~10 local community and campus projects focusing on sustainability, resilience and education. Their mission statement is to “Design, Educate, Build, and we are part of a larger network of ESW chapters, over 1,000 members all around the world, but mostly in the U.S.” Their members are from all backgrounds, not just engineering. They fund many projects through the Green Initiative Fund and the Chancellor’s Grant, and welcome anyone passionate about sustainability, learning by doing, community resilience and environmental justice. Learn more about them and their projects:
Welcome new Golden Bear engineers! As the Engineering Student Council (ESC) we are dedicated to serving you and supporting your journey as a Berkeley engineer. We hope that in the coming years, you can look to us for guidance, empowerment and inspiration. Berkeley Engineering is filled with passionate students, wonderful faculty and exciting opportunities — an adventure awaits you, and we can’t wait to meet you all.
Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) is a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to developing and implementing long-term sustainable engineering solutions in communities that lack access to basic needs. We bring together talented students – both engineers and non-engineers – to work towards a common goal of philanthropic engineering abroad. We strive for sustainability in all of its forms: ensuring our projects utilize materials from the community, and guaranteeing that the necessary infrastructure and community acceptance is present to sustain the project after its implementation. The EWB Berkeley model emphasizes working with the community – the project belongs to the community members and it is essential we work together throughout the process. Our chapter has ongoing water and sanitation projects in Nicaragua and Panama. We are hoping to adopt two new projects in the upcoming year including one local project to address engineering needs in the Bay Area.
Hispanic Engineers and Scientists (HES) is a student organization that was established in 1974 to create a community among all Latinx engineering and science students at UC Berkeley. They are a collegiate chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, whose educational programs and events directly serve tens of thousands each year representing a diverse Hispanic community.
There are many ways that HES engages in activities that not only help their undergraduate members, but also help the youth of the local community. The unwavering dedication of their student members has made their numerous outreach programs a success.
Their organization influences more and more students every year and has had a great impact on the Berkeley student body. HES has quadrupled in members over the course of two years and they re-established their chapter’s presence at the 2014 SHPE National Conference with over half of their conference attendees placing in rigorous academic competitions.
Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) is a friendly environment that is collaborative and cooperative. We are open to all Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) and Operations Research and Management Science (ORMS in the College of Letters and Sciences) majors. They work alongside the Berkeley IEOR department in order to bring as many resources as we can to our tight-knit major.
But what do they do specifically? We work in three areas: professional development, academic guidance and community building.
- For professional development, we work closely with our department, hosting multiple faculty lunches and company info sessions, and we are looking to host our first ever IEOR/ORMS career fair this fall.
- For academic guidance, we host meetings to help members create a four-year plan with advising from junior and senior IEOR majors. Additionally, many study groups are formed through this club, and we have a mentor/mentee pairing to help younger IEOR students navigate their way through college.
- And finally, for community building, we host many events with professors and faculty such as our Halloween Party, End of the Year Banquet, and volunteer opportunities alongside the department. Amongst students as well we have food buddies, club retreat, and “very important meetings” where we hang out, whether that means going on a hike, going to SF together, or karaoking.
Phi Sigma Rho is a social sorority for women in engineering and science technologies with over twenty-five chapters nationwide! We currently have ~40 members in our chapter at Berkeley, which was founded in April 2015. Our organization’s key values are friendship, scholarship and encouragement. Through Phi Sigma Rho, our members develop personal integrity and character, academic and professional skills, social involvement, and lifetime sisterhood. For philanthropy, we work with Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA) and Leukemia/Lymphoma organizations to bring positive change to our community. Learn more through their presentation.
The Pilipinx Association of Scientists, Architects, and Engineers (PASAE) is a professional organization aimed towards Pilipinx* students in STEAM. Primarily, they provide members a community and space in which they can feel comfortable professionally and academically developing themselves.
Programming includes workshops on crafting the perfect resume, panels on navigating undergraduate research, networking events with our alumni, and even an annual tech conference, hosted on campus, inviting Filipino American professionals from around the Bay Area.
Beyond their external events, they also facilitate a social and cultural space. They hold social events to de-stress, such as PASAE’ce-skating, PA’Smash Tournament, and Glade & Chill. Additionally, they are connected to the greater Pil Community on campus and collaborate with them on various occasions.
*gender-inclusive term referring to those with Philippine ancestry (i.e. Filipino, Pinay, etc.)
A fully student-run team, Space Enterprise at Berkeley (SEB) was founded in 2016 with the goal of developing rocket technologies and achieving spaceflight. Since then, they have extensively developed their Low Altitude Demonstrator program, which has enabled them to flight-test critical infrastructure and fine-tune their in-house design and manufacturing process. SEB currently holds the UC Berkeley record for speed and altitude, set by the launch of their LAD-4 vehicle.
In August 2019, SEB debuted their EUREKA program with the goal of becoming the first college team in history to reach space with a liquid-fueled rocket – to inspire other rocketry teams, engineers, and creative minds to innovate the impossible.
Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a national nonprofit organization which strives to highlight the achievements of women as leaders and engineers. Our mission is to empower women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering and technology professions as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.