The Order of the Engineer
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.
The first ceremony was held on June 4, 1970 at Cleveland State University. Since then, similar ceremonies have been held across the United States at which graduate and registered engineers are invited to accept the Obligation of the Engineer and a stainless steel ring. The ceremonies are conducted by Links (local sections) of the Order.
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 and the honoring of one’s pledge lifelong.
The Obligation is a creed similar to the oath attributed to Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) that is generally taken by medical graduates and which 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 by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth.
Tennessee Tech established the first Tennessee Link of the Order of the Engineer, link number 7, in October 1971, patterned after the Canadian “Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer.” The idea originated in Ohio in 1970, and Tennessee Tech was the first Link to be established outside that state. The organization has become national, with the purpose of fostering a spirit of pride and responsibility in the profession of Engineering.
Engineering graduates of Tennessee Tech are invited to join thousands of others admitted to the Tech Link by accepting the Obligation of an Engineer. A stainless steel ring is given as part of the ceremony. It is worn on the small finger of those accepting the Obligation as a symbol of their qualifications and commitment to the profession. The ceremony to read and sign the Obligation is held in Derryberry Hall Auditorium at 3 p.m. the Friday before each Commencement.
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 authored 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 Pledge, United States Link Number 7, Tennessee Link Number 1
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 the utmost.