History of HKN


The Eta Kappa Nu honor society is a unique membership organization dedicated to encouraging and recognizing excellence in the field of electrical and computer engineering. Members consist of students, alumni, and other professionals who have demonstrated exceptional academic and professional accomplishments. Only those students that exist within the top fourth of the junior class, top third of the senior class, or the top third of the graduate class are considered.

Eta Kappa Nu was formed as a result of the vision of Maurice L. Carr, an electrical engineering student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He shared his vision of a unique organization that recognized academic excellence in engineering with nine other students, and together they founded Eta Kappa Nu on October 28, 1904. Although the organization's original purpose was to honor scholarship, it was also noted that selecting students with the character and attitude that would make them probable leaders in the profession was even more important.

Eta Kappa Nu is a nonprofit, public-service organization comprising nearly 200 university chapters, a variety of committees, many active member volunteers, and thousands of student members. A Board of Governors provides the leadership and guidance to Eta Kappa Nu and a set of Operating Procedures provides the basis for the association's day-to-day operations. Numerous committees composed of Board members and volunteers provide additional service to the organization. Management services for HKN are provided by the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) -- a nonprofit educational and service organization that serves industry and academia. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association is also managed by the IEC.


Fig. 1: The Crest of Eta Kappa Nu

HKN at Carnegie Mellon (Sigma Chapter)


It is a distinctive honor to be recognized as a member of Eta Kappa Nu, particularly within the Sigma chapter of HKN at Carnegie Mellon University. Sigma membership consists of over 70 students from the Junior and Senior classes as well as graduate students. Our objective is to promote a greater level of interaction between students, faculty and corporate representatives in both academic and social settings. What we do:

:: Professional Connections Program - Eta Kappa Nu strives to connect its members with top professionals by hosting events exclusively for HKN members.

:: Community Building - Eta Kappa Nu seeks to support the ECE community at large. HKN sponsors a snack night every Wednesday that is open to the public, allowing students to get together and take a short break from work.

:: Mentoring Program - This year the mentoring program will be focused on a variety of new and innovative ways to connect with ECE students, including freshmen that are considering declaring ECE as a major.

:: Department Tours - Our members volunteer to give the popular department tours to incoming students considering ECE at CMU for their post-secondary education.

:: HKN Excellence in Teaching Award - Each year at graduation, our HKN chapter gives an award to a faculty member who has a clear dedication to undergraduate education and has made a significant impact on his/her students.


Joining HKN-Sigma


In the Fall of Junior Year, HKN will contact current ECE students that satisfy the following requirements: top fourth of the junior class, top third of the senior class, or top third of masters students. This maintains our strict requirements for achieving members that have shown great passion in their work. There are many benefits to joining HKN, including lifelong membership and tons (I mean TONS) of free food. Members are required a one-time membership fee to join, to cover chapter fees. We understand that HKN may seem like any other society, requiring fees for a small line on the resume. However, HKN is what you put into it. Our members are also the same friends we see in every class, in the halls, and around campus. If you have questions about joining, please come to an HKN event (such as Snack Night) and ask our members!

Contact Details


(note: you must remove quotes and annex "@hkn.ece.cmu.edu" to the following partial emails)

Executive Board, HKN-Sigma: "exec"

Faculty Advisor, HKN-Sigma: "advisor"

Web Development Chair, HKN-Sigma: "jon"

Director of Alumni & Employer Relations, CMU ECE Dept.: "susan"

Manager of Student Relations, CMU ECE Dept.: "david"

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