Order of the Engineer
Each spring, the School of Engineering hosts its annual initiation ceremony for the Order of the Engineer, a fellowship of engineers who are trained in science and technology and dedicated to the practice, teaching, or administration of their profession.
Those who currently hold, or will graduate by December of the current year with, a bachelor's degree from an ABET accredited engineering program qualify to join. Licensed professional engineers are also eligible to join, as are Graduate students enrolled in engineering programs housed in departments that administer ABET accredited undergraduate programs, including Santa Clara University's Bioengineering and Web Design and Engineering degrees. The ceremony is conducted by engineering faculty and professionals who are members of the Order.
Initiation into the order includes commitment to the “Obligation of an engineer” and acceptance of a stainless steel ring to be worn on the little finger of the working hand. Only those who have met the high standards of professional engineering training or experience are invited to accept the Obligation, which is voluntarily received for life. This commitment is not a trivial act, but is, rather, like the wedding of the engineer with his profession. The ring is worn as a visual symbol to attest to the wearer’s calling, and symbolizes the unity of the profession in its goal of benefiting humanity. The stainless steel from which the ring is made depicts the strength of the profession.
The order was organized by several members of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers who were inspired by The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, a Canadian organization whose adherents wear an iron ring. The first ceremony of the Order was at Cleveland State University on June 4, 1970.
The Order of the Engineer is an organization that is growing steadily. Its objectives are to help engineers uphold the dignity of their profession, and to commit themselves to the public service ideals and ethics that are the foundation of the engineering profession. It creates a fellowship of engineers who share this dedication. The wearing of an engineer's stainless steel ring symbolizes the unity and pride of our profession in benefiting humanity, and serves to remind the engineer of the professional ethics and moral conduct to which she or he is obligated.