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.
The Cockrell School of Engineering established the Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program in 1970 to promote the recruitment and academic development of African American, Hispanic, and Native American students interested in pursuing careers in engineering. Later, in 1973, a group of minority engineering students founded Pi Sigma Pi Minority Academic Engineering Society at The University of Texas at Austin in an effort to unite fellow minority engineers and support them in their academic and professional endeavors.
In the year of 1982, the student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Engineers was chartered in conjunction with the National Society of Black Engineers under the direction of the Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program. Afterwards, the three entities became known as PNS (Pi-NSBE-SHPE). Since that time, EOE has expanded its goals and now seeks to increase the diversity of its student body by supporting the PNS community and others who come from underrepresented communities by establishing a strong academic foundation and promoting the formation of a peer support network.
Having the support from PNS unity and EOE initiatives, UT-SHPE has dedicated itself to increase the enrollment and retention of Hispanics throughout the UT community in order to better represent the increasing population of Hispanics within the State of Texas. By collaborating with other engineering and Latino organizations, UT-SHPE will strive to maintain and support its members in developing academic excellence, leadership skills, and professional development.