"Upholding Devotion to the Standards and Dignity of the Engineering Profession"

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"The Obligation"

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FAQ

What is the Order of the Engineer?

The Order is the roster of engineers in the United States who have participated in an Engineer’s Ring Ceremony and who have publicly accepted the “Obligation of an Engineer.”

What is the Purpose of the Order and its “Obligation”?

The Purpose is to stimulate formal public recognition by engineers in the United States of two basic principles. These principles are that 1) the primary purpose of engineering is service to the public, and 2) all members of the engineering profession share a common bond.

 What is the “Obligation of an Engineer”?

The Obligation is similar to the National Society of Professional Engineers’ Engineer’s Creed, the Codes of Ethics as adopted by the Engineering professional societies and the oath that is part of the Canadian Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer.

What is an Engineer’s 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 a stainless steel ring to be worn as a symbol on the little finger of the working hand.

What is an Engineer’s Ring?

The Engineer’s Ring in the United States is a stainless steel ring, worn on the little finger of the working hand by engineers who have accepted the Obligation of an Engineer in a Ring Ceremony. In Canada, the Engineer’s Ring is a wrought iron ring accepted by engineers inducted into the “Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer” in a secret ceremony.

Who can participate in an Engineer’s Ring Ceremony?

Any engineer is eligible for induction if he or she has graduated from an EAC of ABET program or holds a license as a Professional Engineer in the United States. Students enrolled in EAC of ABET degree programs are eligible if they are within one academic year of graduation. Other candidates may be considered eligible because of equivalent credentials, subject to the approval of the local Link Board of Governors or the National Board of Governors. Anyone may witness the induction ceremony. Families are often invited as guests.

How is the Order of the Engineer governed?

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 Vice-Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The National Board establishes policy, directs the national office, and charters local “Links” governed by local boards of governors. Such “Links” are granted the right to conduct Ring Ceremonies.

What is a Link?

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 and government engineering organizations.

What is the connection between the Order of the Engineer and other American 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 addition, Links of the Order have been chartered to various local components of Tau Beta Pi, NSPE, ASCE, and many other engineering societies.

Where was the Order of the Engineer founded?

During the 1960s, Ohio engineers attempted without success to extend the Canadian Ring Ceremony into American engineering schools. The first Engineer’s Ring Ceremony in the United States was conducted in 1970 by students at Cleveland State University’s Fenn College of Engineering. In 1972, the Order of the Engineer was incorporated in Ohio. The Order’s national office remained in Ohio until 1987 when it was relocated to the United Engineering Center in New York City, and then to its current location in Scottsdale, Arizona.

What are the membership activities of the Order of the Engineer after induction through a Ring Ceremony?

There are no dues and no meetings of the Order of the Engineer. 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.

Is the Ring Ceremony program aimed at engineering students or at practicing engineers?

Both. The impact of the formal program is likely to be greatest if inductees are engineering students about to enter the profession. However, until there is a preponderance of practicing engineers in the U.S. who have participated, as there is now in Canada, there will be a place for Ring Ceremonies at engineering functions. Although older practicing engineers may not be as impressionable as graduating seniors, the reminder of the common purpose of all engineers is a message which cannot be too often repeated.

Who should be contacted for further information about the Order of the Engineer?

Order of the Engineer
c/o Ms. Paula Ostaff
P.O. Box 25473
Scottsdale, AZ 85255-0107
Phone (866) 364-7464 or (480) 513-3640
FAX (480) 585-6418