‘Order of the Engineer’ Reborn At New Mexico Tech

SOCORRO, N.M. March 21, 2013 – Six Techies were initiated into the Order of the Engineer at a ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 19. One professor and five students pledged the “Obligation of the Engineer,” signifying the rebirth of the event at Tech.


The participants in the ring ceremony are (from left) Dr. Mark Cal, Jessica Bennett, Kathryn Hayden, Jaime Ealey, Matthew Rayl and Shane Wilson.


The Order of the Engineer was initiated in the United States 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,” according to the official website.

The Order is split into 12 regions (or links), with an area governor based in Mesa, Arizona. Scott Granger, the “link governor” for the New Mexico region, visited Tech to conduct the ceremony. Also presiding was Dr. Jamie Kimberly, a new professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, and Dr. Mark Cal, chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Cal was the first to go through the ceremony on February 19; he then helped preside over the remainder of the ceremony. The students who recited the pledge were Jessica Bennett, Jaime Ealey and Kathryn Hayden of Civil Engineering and Matthew Rayl and Shane M. Wilson of Mechanical Engineering.


The Obligation of the Engineer


I am an engineer. In my profession I take deep pride. To it, I owe solemn obligations.

Since the Stone Age, human progress has been spurred by the engineering genius. Engineers have made usable nature’s vast resources of material and energy for humanity’s benefit. Engineers have vitalized and turned to practical use the principles of science and the means of technology. Were it not for this heritage of accumulated experience, my efforts would be feeble.

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 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.

The inductees recited the obligation, then were presented with rings fitted for the little finger.

Tech had hosted the ceremony through the 1990s, but the ceremony had been on hiatus for at least 10 years due to faculty retirements.

Granger contacted both New Mexico Tech and the University of New Mexico about becoming active once again a few months ago. Cal and Kimberly – both of whom are graduates of the University of Illinois, incidentally – agreed to resurrect the Order of the Engineer at Tech.

Cal said, “We want to have students who are graduating to go through the pledge – to serve the public good and do no harm. … It’s often compared to the [physician’s] Hippocratic Oath.”

There is no lifetime cost and students only pay $10 for the ring.

Cal said he hopes to get more participation in coming years. He said he would organize another initiation ceremony later this year if enough graduating seniors express interest. New Mexico State University has an active and vibrant organization; many engineering professors there are members of the Order and they host a large ceremony each year.

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By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech