Order of the Engineer

The Order of the Engineer Ring Ceremony is held concurrently with the University of Hawaii College of Engineering Convocation Ceremony at the end of each semester. Participation in the ceremony is not limited to graduating students. Engineers meeting the qualifications are welcome to participate in the ceremony by contacting the University of Hawaii College of Engineering.

The Order of the Engineer was initiated in the United States to foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession, to bridge the gap between training and experience, and to present to the public a visible symbol identifying the engineer. Its purpose is to stimulate formal public recognition by engineers in the United States of two basic principles. These principles are that the primary purpose of engineering is service to the public, and all members of the engineering profession share a common bond. The Order is not a membership organization; there are never any meetings to attend or dues to pay. Instead, the Order does foster a unity of purpose and the honoring of one's pledge lifelong.

The Order is governed at the national level by a National Board of Governors, composed of as many as 21 engineers who serve three-year terms. The officers are a chair, a chair-elect, a secretary, and a treasurer. The National Board establishes policy, directs the national office, and charters "Links" or local sections. A "Link" is a local board of governors chartered by the National Board of Governors for the purpose of holding Engineer's Ring Ceremonies. Links have been established by universities, engineering societies, Tau Beta Pi, and government engineering organizations. There is no formal connection between the Order of the Engineer and other organizations; it is independent. However, the Order recognizes ABET's accreditation of engineering programs as a primary measurement of educational credentials for an engineer in the United States. In 1972, the Order of the Engineer was incorporated in Ohio, and tacit approval was obtained from the Canadian Wardens. The Order's national office remained in Ohio until 1987 when it was relocated to the United Engineering Center in New York City.

Any engineer is eligible for induction into the Order of the Engineer if he or she has graduated from an ABET-accredited engineering degree program or holds a license as a Professional Engineer. Students enrolled in accredited engineering degree programs are eligible if they are within two academic terms of graduation. Other candidates who have equivalent credentials may be considered eligible and subject to the approval of the National Board of Governors.

The Ring Ceremony

The Ring Ceremony is the public induction of candidates into the Order of the Engineer, during which the engineer candidates formally accept the Obligation of an Engineer and receive the ring. The induction ceremony is open to the public and families of the inductees are often invited as guests. The Ring is the symbol of recognition of membership in the Order of the Engineer. It symbolizes the pride we have in our profession and also reminds us of our humility.

The first ring ceremony was held on June 4, 1970 at Cleveland State University's Fenn College of Engineering. Others like it have since spread across the United states at which graduate and registered engineers are invited to accept the Obligation of the Engineer and to wear a stainless steel ring. The ceremonies are conducted by Links of the Order. It was on April 15, 2004 that 75 individuals participated in the first Ring Ceremony held in Hawaii. The Order of the Engineer Ring Ceremony is currently held concurrently with the University of Hawaii College of Engineering Convocation Ceremony at the end of each semester.

The Canadian ceremony uses a wrought iron ring, conducts a secret ceremony, and administers an oath authorized by Rudyard Kipling. In the United States, the Engineer's Ring is a stainless steel ring, worn on the fifth finger of the working hand by engineers who have accepted the Obligation of an Engineer in a Ring Ceremony. Initiates, as they accept it voluntarily, pledge to uphold the standards and dignity of the engineering profession and to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth's precious wealth. The Obligation is publicly accepted by an engineer during induction at a Ring Ceremony. Inductees are encouraged to wear the ring and to display the signed Obligation certificate as visible reminders of the publicly accepted Obligation as a contract with themselves.

The Obligation is the formal statement of an engineer's responsibilities to the public and to the profession. It is publicly accepted by the engineer during induction at a Ring Ceremony. This Obligation is a creed similar to the "Engineer's Creed" of the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Canon of the Engineers' Council for Professional Development. The Obligation is also similar to the Canadian "Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer" initiated at the University of Toronto in 1926.

The Obligation

The actual wording on the Obligation reads as follows:

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, 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.