The Iron Ring is worn by many Engineers in Canada, reminding those who wear it of their ethical obligations associated with the Engineering profession in the service of the public. The concept originated in 1922 with seven former heads of the Engineering Institute of Canada. These Seven Wardens wanted to create a symbol as a reminder to the Engineer – and others – of the Engineer’s obligation to live by a high standard of professional conduct and to maintain humility.
Historically, Rings were wrought iron. Rings today are made of stainless steel. Obligated Engineers are asked to return their Ring after they leave active service as an Engineer; and so a number of rings given to newly obligated Engineers have their own part in the history of Engineering service in Canada.
The Obligation Ceremony
The Iron Ring is presented to graduates and other qualified Obligants in a private ceremony, which is known as The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. The ceremony was developed with the help of Rudyard Kipling, the Nobel-prize winning English author and poet. While the ceremony is not secret, it is a private function. Guests are asked not to take photographs or make recordings during the ceremony.
There are 28 organizations, called Camps, that organize Obligation Ceremonies and also arrange for replacement Rings to be provided to obligated Engineers. The inaugural Ceremony for 6 Engineers was held at Camp 2 in Montreal in 1925. More than 440,000 Engineers have now been obligated in Canada.
Camp 6 administers The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer in the Edmonton, Alberta area. Camp 6 held its first Obligation Ceremony in 1930 for 30 graduating Engineers. As of 2020, over 33,300 Engineers have been obligated within Camp 6. Camp 6 has no direct affiliation with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) or the University of Alberta.
Chief 6 Warden
Dave Rumbold, P Eng.
Camp 6 Secretary
Susan Ancel, P Eng.
Camp 6 Treasurer
David deJong, P Eng.
The Iron Ring is not a symbol of registration to practice as an Engineer in Canada. Qualification and registration to practice is the role and responsibility of the provincial and territorial licensing bodies.
Further information about the history of the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer is available at the Main Corporation of the Seven Wardens Website: www.ironring.ca.