Envision Alumni Edition Fall 2018

Ensuring a profession's legacy

By Brad Stager

Bill Collins

Following a five-decade career spent tracking missiles and developing medical technology that put his bachelor and master’s degrees in electrical engineering to good use, Bill Collins is undertaking a civil engineering project on behalf of USF’s Florida Gamma chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society. He was part of the group that founded the chapter in 1974 and served as president in 1975.

Collins, who began his tech career maintaining Air Force Radar systems as part of his military duties, is working with current Florida Gamma members to refurbish and relocate the association’s monument, known as the Bent. The project would move it from just west of Glenn A. Burdick Hall (ENB), to a more prominent spot, visible through the windows of the “Fishbowl,” the building’s event and study space. Plans call for the Bent to be illuminated.

It is the kind of effort that earned Collins recognition from the Tau Beta Pi Association national organization as a recipient of its 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Tau Beta Pi is the only honor society representing the entire engineering profession.

Tau Beta Pi

Initiation of the first group of Tau Beta Pi members in 1974.

Collins said ensuring a proper placement for the Bent combines the resources of alumni and students to produce something that exemplifies the opportunities available to engineering students at USF and Florida Gamma.

“The College of Engineering today is a premiere location to get an engineering degree in a wide variety of areas,” Collins said. “I am absolutely amazed at the facilities the students have and how they use them to get hands-on experience.”

Collins added that Tau Beta Pi members also have opportunities to gain leadership experience and develop industry relationships.

Learn more about the College’s Florida Gamma chapter.