Order of the Engineer

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An engineer receiving his ring in a ceremony at Wayne State University.

The Order of the Engineer is an association for graduate and professional engineers in the United States that emphasizes pride and responsibility in the engineering profession. It was inspired by the success of The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, a similar and much older Canadian ceremony, and is a common presence in American engineering schools. Before joining, members must take an oath to abide by a code of ethics called The Obligation of an Engineer:

I am an engineer, in my profession I take deep pride.
To it I owe solemn obligations.
Since the stone age, human progress has been spurred by the engineering genius.
Engineers have made usable nature's vast resources of material and energy for humanity's benefit.
Engineers have vitalized and turned to practical use the principles of science and the means of technology.
Were it not for this heritage of accumulated experience, my efforts would be feeble.
As an engineer, I pledge to practice integrity and fair dealing, tolerance, and respect, and to uphold devotion to the standards and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth's precious wealth.
As an engineer, [in humility and with the need for Divine guidance,] I shall participate in none but honest enterprises.
When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public good.
In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give the utmost.
- The Obligation of the Engineer

Note: Brackets indicate the original wording of the Obligation. Either wording is acceptable, but new certificates have the newer wording.

Members are given a stainless steel ring called the Engineer's Ring. The ring is worn on the little finger so that it will drag across any surface on which the wearer writes, providing a constant reminder of the engineer's oath.

An example of the stainless steel Engineer's Ring issued by the Order of the Engineer
The ring is worn on the little finger of the dominant hand

The first ceremony was held on June 4, 1970 at Cleveland State University's Fenn College of Engineering. Now, almost all states have universities with chapters, called "links", that host the Order of the Engineer. Several engineering organizations also host links such as NSPE, United States Army Corps of Engineers, and ASCE. During the ceremony engineering graduates take the Obligation of the Order. After each member takes the obligation they are awarded the ring while putting their hands through a big ring and having a member of the Order of the Engineer put the ring on the little finger of the dominant hand. Each inductee takes the obligation, signs a certificate of obligation and wears the ring to show their pride in the Order and as a symbol of their Obligation to the Profession and the Public. Often friends and family join the new initiates for a time of celebration together after the Ceremony.

Early attempts to extend The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer to the United States were unsuccessful due to complications including copyright issues.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Wedel, Kip A. (2012). The Obligation: A History of the Order of the Engineer. Author House. ISBN 9781477219676. 

External links[edit]