Welcome to EHZ of Lambda Chi Alpha

Lambda Chi Alpha is an international men's fraternity founded in Boston , Massachusetts in 1909. Epsilon-Eta Zeta Chapter was founded in 1937 and is one of the strongest Lambda Chi Alpha chapters in the North East. Receiving numerous awards from both the campus community, including the presidents award in 2007, 2010, and 2011, as well as awards from our international headquarters, including the Grand High Alpha Award in 1998 and 2004 and the Gold Standard Grand High Alpha Challenge in 2008.

Epsilon-Eta also stands out as being one of the few Inner Circle chapters in the nation. An honor which is recieved by having exemplary recruitment skill and a superior associate member education program.

For more information please visit About Us.

News

Profile in Excellence:  Dick Rittelmann  ‘60

March 2nd, 2015

Distinguished architect, business leader, RPI Honorary Trustee

by Donald Pendagast  ‘07

Dick grew up in Butler, PA and came to RPI in 1956.  He joined Lambda Chi Alpha his freshman year.  While at RPI, Dick was a diver on the Swim team and a goalie on the Water Polo teams, Navy ROTC, Scarab and Tau Beta Pi honorary societies.

After graduating in 1961 with a degree in architecture, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy until 1964 at which point he returned to civilian life as an architect.  In 1967 he joined Burt Hill, an architecture firm in Butler with a staff of 12.  When he retired as Chairman of Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Assoc., he had helped build the company to a distinguished international firm of 1200 architects and engineers with 10 domestic and 3 foreign offices.

While at Burt Hill, Dick led the firm’s medical and laboratory design practice and developed internationally recognized expertise in energy conserving design, energy management and research.  He has frequently lectured and published on these subjects.  Recognized as a leader in his field, he has held a number of high profile positions including Chairman of the Research Advisory Board for Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  In 1984, the U.S. State Dep’t. asked him to join a small team (seven people) that negotiated bi-lateral agreements with the Soviet Union in Architecture, Engineering and Construction.  This continued until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1990.  He became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1987, an honor bestowed on about 2% of practicing architects.

Dick returned to RPI in a big way in 1999 when he was selected to be the Principal architect of the Biotechnology Center.  While leading this work, Dick spent some of his time on campus teaching in the School of Architecture using the work on the Biotech Center as the focal point of the courses for architecture and engineering students.

He is married to Jane Rittelmann, with whom he shares three grown daughters and a son.  Jane (BFA Syracuse ’60) is a Board member of the Associated Artists of Butler County.  Dick also enjoys drawing and painting as well as singing and woodworking.  A gallery in the Butler Arts Center is named for the Rittelmann’s.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Dick by phone from his home in Butler, PA.

What stands out to you about your undergraduate years ?

I’ve always thought I attended RPI at the right time in history.  That goes for the fra ternity as well.  We had a great group of young men and I learned a lot from them.  We enjoyed life and I don’t think we would be caught dead doing some of the things I hear some fraternities and sororities are doing today.  We excelled in our academics and we won the Barker Trophy a few years while I was there.  We also did some great floats for the GM parade.  The young men I lived with have gotten back together three times (twice at Williamsburg and once at Rensselaer) in recent years to hold our own ‘50’s—‘60’s reunions.  These men have had such strong bonds we’ve felt compelled to have our own reunions just to get back together and renew aquaintenances.  We have a lot of respect for each other.

How did you start your career ?

I attended RPI on a NROTC scholarship and at the end of my senior year I received a year’s leave–of-absence from the Navy to allow me to complete my fifth year and receive my degree and then my commission in the Navy.  I was commissioned an ensign and assigned to the USS Wiltsie (DD-716), a WWII destroyer in the Pacific Fleet.  After attending some excellent engineering schools in the Navy I became the Chief Engineer of the Wiltsie and in my fourth year of active duty became Chief Engineer of eight destroyers (Destroyer Squadron Seven) in the US Seventh Fleet at the tender age of 26.  The Navy doesn’t seem reluctant to force extraordinary responsibility on to very young officers.  They prepared me well for it but it was still a sobering and maturing assignment.

I had nearly four years of sea duty in late 1964 and overdue for shore duty.  I requested and received orders for a three-year assignment to Webb Institute to earn a masters degree in Naval Architecture.  This was to be my Navy career.  Soon after receiving my orders to Webb Institute, I received orders to report to Washington for interviews with Admiral Rickover’s staff (and the Admiral) regarding the Nuclear Power Program.  I had the orders I wanted and wanted nothing to do with the NPP.  Unfortunately, I was selected by Rickover for the Program and told I would soon be assigned to the Nuclear Power School in Idaho.  They cancelled my orders to Webb Institute and I resigned from the Navy.

You spent most of your career growing a small firm into a major architectural and engineering firm.  What was your role in that transformation ?

When I joined Burt Hill in 1967, I had been out of the Navy for three years and I still had three more years until I would be eligible to take my licensing exams to become a registered architect.  In 1974 I became a partner in Burt Hill at age 36.  With an excellent engineering background from the Navy on top of my architecture degree, I thought it natural to use both skill sets in practice.  Soon after being involved in new building design, I was appalled at how primitive, unsophisticated and inefficient engineering systems were in the building industry.  With the onset of energy scarcity and ever increasing energy costs it was obvious that current building energy systems were unsustainable long into the future.  With a keen interest in research, engineering and architecture and having written both papers and speeches on the concerns of energy inefficiencies in buildings a new direction for the firm began to emerge.  We decided to form an engineering group within the firm and later a research group.  Both of these moves were relatively unprecedented at the time.  The Arab oil boycotts, increased energy costs and the political scene at the time, however made these moves rather prescient.  Before long we were receiving grants and research contracts from ERDA, the federal agency that would soon become DOE.  There were just so few groups in the country doing what we were doing in energy research and alternate energy strategies.  Throughout the 70’s and well into the 80’s, Burt Hill did more contracted research than any AE firm in the country.  Our annual research budget in those years was usually in the $5 million to $6 million range.  We were doing research with practicing architects and engineers which brought the results into the vocabulary of the construction industry with great speed and efficiency.

In 1972 I was appointed to the NASA/NSF Solar Energy Panel charged with assessing the potential for the practical applications of solar energy nationwide.  By the mid 70’s Burt Hill had designed the largest solar energy project in the world.  It was a combined solar powered heating and cooling system for an elementary school in Atlanta, GA.  We designed a 10,000 sq. ft. collector array to drive a 100 ton absorption cooling system.  The largest attempted before us was a 3 ton system at Dr. Erich Farber’s labs at the Univ. of Florida.  This was a substantial breakthrough in the scaling up of solar systems.  NATO recognized our work by featuring it through its CCMS (Committee for Challenges to a Modern Society) organization.  This breakthrough was quickly followed when Burt Hill designed the world’s first combined wind-photovoltaic power generating systems for Yugoslavia.

In the mid 70’s we were asked by DOE to be one of the US Representatives to the International Energy Agency, a role we held for about 12 years.  Within the IEA we also had a 6 year project of managing a 12 country research program focusing on the use of solar energy applications in low-energy dwellings.  This research resulted in a book published jointly with Torben Esbensen of Denmark.

Interest in energy conservation and solar energy waned in the late 80’s.  The economics were just not sufficiently compelling.  Research funding fell substantially in the latter days of the Reagan administration and the G.H.W. Bush administration.  The abundant funding of the Carter days was gone.  It was necessary for Burt Hill to adjust the Long Range Strategic Plan.

With our strong history of doing research and the strong technical base to complement our design skills we spent the remaining 25 years of practice designing research labs.  It was also a good fit with our already established strong practice in hospital planning and design.  Some of the labs under our responsibility were:

  • Low Energy Particle Physics Lab – Cornell University
  • Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics – Princeton University
  • Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies   - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Institute for Molecular Medicine – UT Houston
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering – Ohio State University
  • Institute for Engineering and Medicine – Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
  • Medical Device Development Center – University of Massachusetts
  • California Nanosystems Institute – UCLA
  • Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology – University of Maryland
  • Biomedical Science Tower – University of Pittsburgh
  • Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Lab – Virginia Tech
  • Mellon Institute – Carnegie Mellon University
  • NASA National Robotics Research Center – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Chemistry Labs – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Research Resource Facility – Georgetown University
  • Janelia Farm Research Center – Howard Hughes Medical Inst.
  • Porter Neuroscience Center   - National Institute of Health
  • U.S. Geological Service Research Labs – Reston, VA
  • Research and Development Center   - Corning Glass Works
  • The Van Andel Institute – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Environmental Research Labs   - Westinghouse Corp.
  • Advanced Tooling Lab –Nuclear Services Div. – Westinghouse Corp.
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Lab – Westinghouse Corp.
  • Alternative Energy Research Facilities – Westinghouse Corp.
  • Bangalore Research and Development Center – Bangalore, India
  • Claris Pharmaceutical R&D Campus – Ahmedabad, India
  • Xcelris Biotech and Pharmaceutical Research Labs – Ahmedabad, India
  • Low Energy Particle Physics Lab – Cornell University
  • Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics – Princeton University
  • Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Institute for Molecular Medicine – UT Houston
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering – Ohio State University
  • Institute for Engineering and Medicine – Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
  • Medical Device Development Center – University of Massachusetts
  • California Nanosystems Institute – UCLA
  • Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology – University of Maryland
  • Biomedical Science Tower – University of Pittsburgh
  • Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Lab – Virginia Tech
  • Mellon Institute – Carnegie Mellon University
  • NASA National Robotics Research Center – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Chemistry Labs – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Research Resource Facility – Georgetown University
  • Janelia Farm Research Center – Howard Hughes Medical Inst.
  • Porter Neuroscience Center   - National Institute of Health
  • U.S. Geological Service Research Labs – Reston, VA
  • Research and Development Center – Corning Glass Works
  • The Van Andel Institute   - Grand Rapids, MI
  • Environmental Research Labs – Westinghouse Corp.
  • Advanced Tooling Lab –Nuclear Services Div. – Westinghouse Corp.
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Lab   - Westinghouse Corp.
  • Alternative Energy Research Facilities – Westinghouse Corp.
  • Bangalore Research and Development Center – Bangalore, India
  • Claris Pharmaceutical R&D Campus – Ahmedabad, India
  • Xcelris Biotech and Pharmaceutical Research Labs – Ahmedabad, India

When I retired as Chairman of Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates in 2006 we had 10 offices in the US, one in Abu Dhabi, one in Dubai and one in Ahmedabad, India.  We were the 19th largest AE firm in the world.

To what do you attribute your success ?

We’ve always tried to do very thorough Long Range Strategic Planning.  Burt Hill’s growth and entry into specialized fields was carefully planned.  It wasn’t accidental.

Good planning has to be accompanied by good execution and that includes hard work and tenacity.  We were involved in some precedent setting work and we had to expect setbacks and we had to have the resolve to overcome setbacks.  I had a strong family discipline (raised by a German cop and an Irish nurse), a disciplined academic background at Rensselaer and the military discipline of Naval engineering.  In addition to the art and design of architecture, I’ve loved science and technology and always hoped to be able to contribute to its advancement.

In a 2003 RENSSELAER MAGAZINE, you were quoted saying ”This is where I grew up  ___in the School of Architecture”….. What did you mean by that ?

Rensselaer is a strong technical school and I loved that.  Through the five years at RPI I became more and more convinced that this is what I wanted to do with my life and was becoming more and more confident that I was being well prepared to do it.  The engineering training and experience of the Navy was icing on the cake.  When I was able to enter architectural practice, I felt well prepared and positioned to take on the things we did nationally and internationally.

You have been an Honorary Trustee of Rensselaer since 2013.  What do you think of the school today ?

I am very pleased with what I see at the school today.  We’ve come a long way since I attended as a student.  Dr. Jackson is certainly the most significant force behind that improvement over the last 15 years.  When she took the reigns at Rensselaer, her first efforts were to study, analyze and prepare a comprehensive plan ….”The Rensselaer Plan”… She then proceeded to work that plan.  Our reputation when I was a student was an excellent teaching school.  We had no significant reputation as a research institute.  Dr. Jackson saw this as unsustainable for the future of Rensselaer and her plan reflected this belief and she has received the Trustee’s support in the task of bringing Rensselaer renown in the research community.  We are in a period of transition right now. Building the Biotechnology Research Center was a major step in entering the biotech century and Dr. Jackson saw that.  The 21st century will be and is so far the biotech century and we needed to be there, in research, not just in academics.  She’s doing a great job, but we’re still in this transition…..Dr. Jackson and the Board has realized this.  They are doing what I think is bringing us into the teaching/research world.  Every year we get closer and I don’t see where we have any outstanding weak spots.  There is always room for improvement, but we see no big weaknesses.  Rensselaer is in good hands.

EHZ – Big Brother Chapter for Recolonization of Syracuse University Chapter

December 8th, 2014

Epsilon-Eta has been selected to be the Big Brother Chapter to the recolonization of the Syracuse University Chapter. Lambda Chi Alpha at Syracuse was originally chartered as Alpha-Upsilon Zeta in 1918 but has been dormant since 1997.

Our Brothers have already performed the Associate Member Ceremony this past fall and will be a part of initiation in the future.

SyracuseAMInitiation

Watermelon Bash a Success

December 8th, 2014

This past September, the chapter hosted its annual “Watermelon Bash” fundraising event. Teams from various Greek and Club organizations competed in various watermelon-based events. Some examples include a speed eating, watermelon carving, watermelon smashing, and tug-of-war. The event was a great success. In total, approximately $1300 was raised, all of which was donated to the Troy Unity House.

Enjoy some pictures of the day’s events and activities. Watermelon Bash Photos:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk4oZQnb

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk4t6fMW

Happy Holidays!

December 8th, 2014

We would like to wish all of our friends a very safe and happy holiday season. We thank you for a terrific year of support and communication.  Please stay safe and enjoy time with your families and friends!Cover

Epsilon-Eta Welcomes their New Brothers

December 8th, 2014

We are very pleased and excited to announce that following an excellent Kappa period, we initiated 16 new Brothers to Epsilon-Eta in November. Please welcome our newly initiated Brothers:

 

Matthew Beshears,  EH 1342 – Chemical Engineering

Curt Brackett, EH 1343 – Mechanical Engineering

Chad Brady, EH 1344 – Mechanical Engineering

Igor Carvalho, EH 1345 – Computer Science

Brandon Cressi, EH 1346 – Undeclared Engineering

Harrison Eichler, EH 1347 – Undeclared Engineering

Huntington Gazecki, EH 1348 – Undeclared Engineering

Jeffrey Gordon, EH 1349 – Industrial and Management Engineering

Matt Gott, EH 1350 – Undeclared Engineering

Anders Jepson, EH 1351 – Undeclared Engineering

Deegan Lotz, EH 1352 – Architecture

Gerard Owens-Fryar,  EH 1353 – Physics

Arun Padykula, EH 1354 – Architecture

Matthew Gerrard, EH 1355 – Mechanical Engineering

Sukhjinder Singh, EH 1356 – Nuclear Engineering

John Varvayanis, EH 1357 – Mechanical Engineering

NewBrothers