Graduating students inducted into Order of the Engineer at UIC
Every year, graduates transition from students to professionals. With this important change comes new responsibilities. To mark its significance, 60 young men and women from the College of Engineering participated in the Order of the Engineer ring ceremony on May 4 at the University of Illinois Chicago.
“I participated because I believe that engineering students should take pride in their studies and future works and should be honor-bound that their profession is meant to better humanity,” said Chris Carducci, a graduate research assistant in mechanical and industrial engineering and ring recipient. “Additionally, I had worked with many students in attendance as their teaching assistant prior, so seeing them take part in this ceremony was a point of pride for me.”
The Order of the Engineer was started in 1970 “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.”
During the ceremony, initiates are invited to accept the Obligation of the Engineer and a stainless-steel ring. The obligation is a creed that sets forth an ethical code, and it contains parts of the Canon of Ethics of major engineering societies. Initiates 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.
“It shows your honor and pride in the profession,” said Jamie Szwalek, a clinical associate professor in mechanical and industrial engineering. “It is similar to a medical doctor’s Hippocratic Oath. It’s good for the profession to ensure engineers are ethical in all that they do. It is a nice ceremony for those graduating since family and friends are welcome to attend.”
After a long hiatus, Szwalek re-establish the order in 2016. Since then, more than 400 UIC engineers participated in the ceremony, which is held in the spring and sometimes in December.
The participants do not have to pay dues or attend meetings, but they are required to register a few weeks prior to the one-time ceremony.
“They wear a ring on their hand, which reminds them daily of their obligation to the profession to be ethical. They feel a sense of the importance of engineering to society,” said Szwalek.