What is the Iron Ring
“The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer,” is a “solemn expression of intention to adhere to the highest ideals of the engineering profession” that a Canadian engineering student takes part in before they officially graduate. During the ceremony, the student is presented with a ring called an Iron Ring, a subtle piece of jewelry that has a lot of meaning. It’s customary that the ring be worn on the pinkie finger of the writing hand, to remind engineers of their obligation towards ethical work. The ring has no beginning and no end, metaphorically representing a lifelong commitment towards professional integrity. Upon retirement from the engineering practice, an engineer is meant to return the ring so it can be passed down to the next generation of engineer.
This week, Chrissy Ure from the University of Windsor talks about what getting an Iron Ring meant for her.
“When I look down at my Iron Ring, pride for my profession, my hard work, and dedication shines back at me.” she says. “It is a very empowering feeling to be included and welcomed into such a highly respected profession.”
Throughout her academic career, Chrissy has striven to learn new skills with the hopes of becoming a great engineer someday. For graduating engineering students, receiving their ring represents the perseverance they have shown over the years of lectures, assignments, laboratories, midterms and final exams, as well as the excitement of starting their career and a new chapter in their life.
By receiving her Iron Ring, she now has a physical symbol that she can wear every day to remind her of her personal goals.
A deeper personal meaning
“As a female student in engineering, my Iron Ring means so much more. It represents all the study sessions I had in the engineering building late at night. It represents the commitment I made to my education. It represents my resulting titles of Dean’s Honour Roll, President’s Honour Roll, Outstanding Scholar and Golden Key Student awards.”
In addition to her academic achievements, Chrissy’s commitment to supporting others shines brightly as well.
“The Iron Ring also represents my role in co-founding a diversity club called Women in Engineering to encourage younger male and female students to feel that they belong in engineering. It represents the volunteer hours I spend visiting high schools, so that female students could see themselves in engineering as a future career. It represents the time I dedicated to community events that future students can learn what engineering is and why they should consider it as a career.”
As a summation of all her accomplishments, Chrissy can think of no better symbol than the Iron Ring. “It represents many more accomplishments to come in the future!”