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Order of the Engineer

Order of the Engineer

Order of the Engineer Logo

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.

Order of the Engineer ceremony

The Order is not a membership organization; there are never any meetings to attend or dues to pay. Instead, the Order fosters a unity of purpose by promoting ethical standards and professional integrity among engineers of all disciplines. To be initiated, engineers participate in a ceremony, at which they will recite the Obligation of the Engineer and accept a stainless steel ring to be worn on the fifth or last finger of the dominant hand. The obligation is voluntary and for life.

Order of the Engineer Ceremony

Attending a ceremony is required to be initiated into the Order.

Students at the Order of the Engineer ceremony

The Obligation of the Engineer is the formal statement of an engineer’s responsibilities to the public and to the profession. It is a creed similar to the oath attributed to Hippocrates that is commonly taken by medical graduates and that sets forth an ethical code. The Obligation likewise, contains parts of the Canon of Ethics of major engineering societies. Initiates, as they accept it voluntarily, pledge to uphold the standards and dignity of the engineering profession and to serve humanity.

The Fall 2022 Order of the Engineer Ceremony is Thursday, December 15, 6:30-7:30pm, in the University of Tennessee’s Student Union Auditorium (SU 180).

About the Order of the Engineer

Close-up of student's hands at the Order of the Engineer ceremony

In 1966 a group of engineers, along with members of several engineering organizations, began to pursue the objective of what came to be called the “Order of the Engineer.” The first induction ceremony was held on June 4, 1970 at Cleveland State University. Since then, similar ceremonies have been held across the United States at which graduating and registered engineers are invited to accept the Obligation of the Engineer. The ceremonies are conducted by Links (local sections) of the Order. UT’s Link is number 83 and was established on November 14, 1984.

Audience at the Order of the Engineer ceremony

The Obligation of the Order of the Engineer is similar to the Canadian “Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer” initiated there in 1926. It uses a wrought iron ring, conducts a secret ceremony, and administers an oath authorized by Rudyard Kipling. The extension of the Ritual outside Canada was prevented by copyright and other conflicting factors. The basic premise, however, was adapted for the creation of the Order of the Engineer in the United States in 1970.

Obligation of the Engineer

“I am an engineer. In my profession I take deep pride. To it I owe solemn obligations.

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 the 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 my utmost.”

Students at the Order of the Engineer ceremony
Close-up of certificate at the Order of the Engineer ceremony