The Order of the Engineer is a fellowship of engineers that emphasizes pride and responsibility in the engineering profession. Senior engineering students take an “Obligation of the Engineer” oath together, and receive a ceremonial ring.
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. In the Canadian Ceremony, engineers inducted into the Order received a faceted ring during a private ceremony and accepted the engineer’s oath based on writings by Rudyard Kipling.
Based on the model of the Canadian Ritual of the Calling, the Order of the Engineer was established in the United States in 1970 with the first Ring Ceremony being conducted by students at Cleveland State University's Fenn College of Engineering. In 1972, the Order of the Engineer was incorporated in Ohio, and tacit approval was obtained from the Canadian Wardens.
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 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.
The University at Buffalo became a Link for the Order of the Engineer in 2006. Each spring, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences invites students in their senior year to attend the Order of the Engineer ceremony, as a way to mark the end of their struggle to become an engineer. The ceremony serves to remind students that the primary purpose of engineering is service to the public and that all members of the engineering profession share a common bond. Graduate engineering students and practicing engineering professionals are also welcome to participate.
There is no formal connection between the Order of the Engineer and other national engineering 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.