Student Resources

Order of the Engineer: Steel Ring and Awards Ceremony

  1. What is the purpose and history of the Order of the Engineer?
  2. What is the "Order of the Engineer?"
  3. When is the next Steel Ring and Awards Ceremony at Cleveland State University?
  4. What is done at the Steel Ring and Awards Ceremony?
  5. How can I purchase a Steel Ring and get sized for the ring?
  6. What do I do if I lose my ring?
  7. Whom may I contact if I have questions about the Steel Ring Ceremony?
  8. How should participants dress for the ceremony?
  9. What if I can't make it to the ceremony?
  10. What is the "Obligation of an Engineer?"

What is the purpose and history of the Order of the Engineer?

The purpose of the Order of the Engineer is to foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession; to bridge the gap between education and practice; and to present the public with a visible symbol identifying the engineer. The Steel Ring (or Order of the Engineer Ring) Ceremony in the United States was actually first held at Cleveland State University in the Fenn College of Engineering on June 4, 1970. Nearly 170 students and faculty members participated. Since that time it has been adopted by several other engineering colleges throughout the United States. Ring ceremonies are conducted by Links (local sections) of the Order; there are currently 189 links in the United States and Fenn College is Link 1. It is a meaningful and traditional event for Fenn College of Engineering students, and they are encouraged to invite family and friends to attend the ceremony.

The Obligation that students recite at the ceremony is a creed which sets forth an ethical code of conduct for engineers. Students pledge to uphold the standards and dignity of the engineering profession and to serve humanity by making efficient use of the world’s resources. The rings further serve to remind students to persist in their pursuit of excellence.

By taking part in this event, students are not committing themselves to membership in any group, nor are they required to attend any meetings or to pay dues to any organization.

The event that takes place at Cleveland State is similar to the Canadian “Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer”- initiated there in 1925 after the Quebec Bridge collapse of 1907 convinced Canadian engineers that there were consequences for failing to adhere to professional standards. Other ceremonies like it have since spread across the United States, and graduating and registered engineers from more than 30 states have accepted the Obligation of the Engineer and wear the stainless steel rings. In the U.S. today there are tens of thousands of inductees. Cleveland State’s Fenn College of Engineering has inducted more than 1700 engineers.
(Source: Petrosky, Henry. 1995. “The Iron Ring,” American Scientist Vol 83. May/June: 229-231.)

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.”

When is the next Steel Ring and Awards Ceremony at Cleveland State University?

[April 16, 2010.]

What is done at the ceremony?

The Steel Ring Awards ceremony administered by the Fenn College of Engineering at Cleveland State University consists of brief remarks from a number of college officials, including the Dean of Fenn College. After remarks and introductions the participants stand and take an oath, professing to adhere to professional engineering standards. Participants then sign a certificate which cites the “Obligation of an Engineer.” Students then come up on stage individually to receive their rings. In addition to the Steel Ring Ceremony other students receive recognition from their respective engineering departments for academic achievement. The ceremony is followed by a brief reception.

How can I purchase a Steel Ring? How do I get “sized” for a ring?

Steel Rings will be sold in the Engineering Dean’s Office (SH-104) (Date of the ring sales to be announced). Rings will be available for sizing, and the cost of the ring is $20.00. The price includes lifetime membership in the Order of the Engineer. Checks should be made payable to “CSU – Order of the Engineer.”

What do I do if I lose my ring?

You may order another through the Engineering Dean’s Office in Stilwell Hall, Room 104.

Whom may I contact if I have questions about the Steel Ring Ceremony?

If you have additional questions or concerns about the ceremony, please stop at the Dean’s Office in Stilwell Hall, Room 104 and speak with Carolyn Kasprzak or call(216) 687-6950. Her email address is: c.kasprzak@csuohio.edu.

How should participants dress for the ceremony?

Because this is a public recognition ceremony that stresses the professionalism of engineering it is strongly recommended that students dress in business attire. Guests will include out-of-town visitors, alumni donors and corporate representatives, including potential employers. Photos will be taken at the event that may be used in local newspapers, campus publications and on the University’s website. Therefore, casual clothes, including jeans, are not recommended.

What if I can’t make it to the ceremony?

You must take the oath in order to get the ring and become a member of the Order of the Engineer. However, if you can not make it to the ceremony please call the Dean’s Office at (216) 687-6950 or come in to SH-104 to make the necessary arrangements.

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 mankind’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.