Orange County Branch Newsletter

December 2012

Integrity and Pride: Purpose of The Order of the Engineer

By: Eric Walker, E.I.T.

The annual ASCE Orange County Branch History and Heritage night had many diverse events ranging from recognition of past presidents to student chapter presentations but one event that has become a tradition at the event is the induction of new candidates into the Order of the Engineer. This year’s ceremony added twelve new candidates to the order, students and professionals who recognize the critical role ethics and integrity play in our profession.


As engineers and as members of the American Society of Civil Engineers we have a duty to uphold the health, safety and welfare of the public whom we serve. In fact, much of the reason for the founding of ASCE was to provide accountability for the ethical practices of civil engineers. The Order of the Engineer is an organization whose purpose is to emphasize commitment to never forgetting the importance of ethical integrity in the course of our professional careers.

The purpose of the Order of the Engineer is to call attention to the Obligation of all engineers to use their technical education ethically in shaping the world around them. Engineers are responsible for the products, processes, and structures that people use every day, making a commitment to use technical skills ethically all the more crucial.

The Ritual of the Calling of An Engineer was begun in 1926, when our engineering counterparts in Canada recognized the special obligation of engineers to one another, to the profession, and to the public they served. Based on the model of the Canadian Ritual of the Calling, the Order of the Engineer was established in the United States in 1970. Since the inception of the ASCE Link in August 2003, over 3,000 individuals have become members in the Order as a result of over 150 ASCE led Ring Ceremonies.

During the Ritual of the Calling of An Engineer candidates are asked to read and accept the Obligation which highlights a deep pride in the engineering field and a pledge to practice integrity, tolerance, and devotion to the dignity of the profession. After taking accepting the Obligation candidates are given a steel ring to be worn on the smallest finger of the working hand. The ring signifies the strength and continuity of the profession and wearing it on the smallest finger of the working hand means it will be the first to touch each set of plans, specifications, or contract documents as they are approved. This serves as a reminder to ensure the work is accurate as the success of the project and more importantly people’s lives may depend on your work.

The Order of the Engineer represents an obligation of engineers to the protection and enhancement of ethical integrity within the profession for engineers hold a special place in society as stewards of health, safety, and welfare of the people we serve.

If you would like to learn more about the Order of the Engineer or if you would like to become a member of the Order, please contact the ASCE OC Branch. 

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