Iron Ring Ceremony

Iron Ring

The next Iron Ring ceremony will be held on November 25, 2017. Students eligible to receive their Iron Ring will receive an invitation a few weeks before the ceremony.

The Iron Ring ceremony is by invitation only. Students who have not received cannot register or attend the ceremony. If you did not receive an invitation and you believe that you meet the requirements, please email ironring@genie.uOttawa.ca.

If you have any questions regarding the Iron Ring ceremony, please contact ironring@genie.uOttawa.ca.

Important information regarding the Iron Ring Ceremony

  • Invitations are extended to engineers who meet the academic requirements for membership in one of the provincial engineering associations and who desire to participate. The invitation is also extended to those who expect to graduate in the near future. Those about to graduate should refrain from wearing their ring until the requirements for graduation are met. If a student fails to obtain their degree, they must return their iron ring.
  • The Ritual is open only to those who are invited and to engineers who have already participated in the ritual. Although consideration was given to opening the ceremony to guests of candidates, it has been decided, at least for the present, to continue the tradition of excluding friends and relatives, other than those who have already participated in the Ritual, from attendance.
  • As it is a solemn and formal occasion, it is expected that you will be properly dressed. Please note that the use of cameras, cellphones and other recording devices is not permitted during the Ritual.

History - The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer offers an opportunity to those who are in the engineering profession or who are about to enter the profession to obligate themselves to the high standards of integrity which the profession has established.

The Ritual has a long history, having been started in 1922 when a group of senior Canadian engineers met to consider the suggestion that graduates, when entering the profession, should have the opportunity to subscribe to some oath or creed reflecting the principles under which they would practice. As a result, a letter was sent to Rudyard Kipling asking for his assistance in writing an appropriate ritual. Kipling responded and, in consultation with the engineers in Canada, he wrote "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer" including the Obligation which you are invited to take.

The first ceremony took place on April 25, 1925. While the language and thoughts expressed are timeless in their worth, they do relate to the knowledge and skill which pertained at the time of writing. Some of the phrases in the Ritual may seem a bit dated. They do not recognize such things as computer science or space travel. However, the wordings of the Ritual and the ceremony have become ancient landmarks to be as lasting, it is hoped, as the ideals expressed. In these days of change and ferment in which past values are being challenged, it is important to have “ancient landmarks” when they apply to such basic things as our professional integrity. The Ritual is copyright and is governed by the Corporation of the Seven Wardens, who are empowered to create Camps at various locations in Canada. The Wardens for each Camp conduct the Ritual in their respective locations.

Why do engineers wear an iron ring?

The Iron Ring symbolizes the unity of engineers and serves as a reminder of the obligations and ethics that are associated to the profession. During the construction of the Quebec Bridge in 1900, poor decisions led to the failure of the bridge ending the lives of 75 individuals. As a result of this incident, the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer came to be. The first ceremony the Iron Ring was first presented was in 1925. By wearing the Iron Ring, the engineer is accepting the obligation bestowed upon them to live by the high standard of professional conduct.

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