The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community. The concept of networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters to begin the network that would grow to encompass the nation as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation.
SHPE Austin History
The SHPE Austin Professional chapter was founded in 1982. In the 25 years since then, it has continued to grow and develop its members in the Austin area. Our chapter has a proud history of excellence and community involvement. SHPE Austin was the host of the National Technical and Career Conference (NTCC) in 1994. This single event provided our chapter with a solid financial endowment which, since then, has allowed continuous funding for our operations, including our flagship annual event: The SHPEAustin Scholarship Program. Since 1994, we have been able to grant at a minimum $4,000 in scholarships each year to local Austin-area high-school graduates and college-bound students, pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. SHPE Austin has a good history of partnering with our local SHPE UT-Austin student chapter. Since the days of our founding, we have continued with some of our traditions which have helped us establish a bonding relationship with UT Austin students, who are also fellow SHPE members. These include: our annual Volleyball Challenge (professionals vs. students) as well as the annual SHPE’s and Salsa Networking Social. Our chapter has and will continue to collaborate with local companies and professional organizations to further its goals as well as help serve the needs of our members and our community. SHPE Austin’s continuing involvement with the community also extends to programs such as: Un Sabado Gigante in Engineering (www.unsabado.org), La FamiliaTechnology Week (www.lafamilianet.net), and the Texas Alliance for Minority Participation (www.tame.org). For the past two years, SHPE Austin has joined local Hispanic Organizations, and become part of an alliance known as HOWTO (Hispanic Organizations Working Together as One). This alliance is composed of ten Latino based organizations that can use each other’s cornerstones, and share members rather than fight for membership in the Austin Community, with one goal in mind to better the Latino community in our city. In recent years, SHPE Austin served as co-host for the 2005 SHPE Midwestern Expo, set in San Antonio, Texas. Jointly, with the SHPE San Antonio Professional Chapter, we provided yet again a solid foundation for members and local companies to encourage their continuous involvement with our chapter, seeking their much needed support to develop our mission for years to come. This year, SHPE Austin assisted in hosting RLDC (Regional LeadershipDevelopment Conference), along with the SHPE UT- Austin Student Chapter. This year we have started yet another key program to our community service values. The Learning Center in the Armadillo RV Park, is our new Community Service program that we plan to expand and make an annual program. We believe that they key to success is to cooperate with partnering organizations that share the same passion and values. We continue to grow and become more involved in the Austin Community.