Student Portal FAQ

Q: What is the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer?

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer (often referred to as “The Iron Ring Ceremony”) has a history dating back to 1922. Civil engineer Professor Haultain of the University of Toronto felt that an obligation or statement of ethics to which a young graduate in engineering could subscribe should be developed. The seven past-presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada were very receptive to this idea.

Haultain wrote to Rudyard Kipling, who had made reference to the work of engineers in some of his poems and writings. He asked Kipling for his assistance in developing a suitably dignified obligation and ceremony for its undertaking. Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both an obligation and a ceremony formally entitled “The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer.”

The object of the Ritual can be stated as follows: The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has been instituted with the simple end of directing the newly qualified engineer toward a consciousness of the profession and its social significance and indicating to the more experienced engineer their responsibilities in welcoming and supporting the newer engineers when they are ready to enter the profession.

The Iron Ring is a reminder of the obligation and is worn on the little finger of the working hand by any graduate of an accredited engineering program who has been obligated at an authorized ceremony of the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer. The ring symbolizes the pride which engineers have in their profession, while simultaneously reminding them of their humility. The ring serves as a reminder to the engineer and others of the engineer’s obligation to live by a high standard of professional conduct. It is not a symbol of qualification as an engineer – this is determined by the provincial and territorial licensing bodies.

Q: Who can register for the Iron Ring Ceremony?

Students who are completing an accredited undergraduate engineering program may register for the Ceremony.  In order to participate you must be eligible to graduate this spring. Your name will be checked against the “Eligible to Graduate” list from the Registrar’s Office and you will be contacted if you are not eligible to participate.

This registration site is for undergraduate students from universities in the Greater Toronto Area served by Camp One.

Q: What if I am a Masters or PhD graduate?

Graduating Masters and PhD students can only attend an Iron Ring Ceremony as a ‘senior’ candidate. For further details and to apply to attend a ceremony as a senior candidate, please and complete the application there. Applications are accepted between April 1 and June 30 for the senior ceremony in October of the same year. The cost for the application is $50 including HST.

Q: Do all engineers have to wear the Iron Ring?

No. The ring is unrelated to professional qualification.

Q: Is it mandatory to attend an Iron Ring Ceremony?

No. It is a personal decision but you need to graduate and register in order to attend.

Q: Can I get a ring without attending a Ceremony?

The Iron Ring Ceremony is about an engineer’s personal obligation to uphold the ideals of engineering. The ceremony requires that candidates wishing to participate must recite an obligation “in the presence of my betters and my equals”, that is, in the presence of senior engineers and fellow candidates. The Iron Ring serves only as a reminder of the obligation which you have taken. To receive the ring without having participated in the ceremony would be meaningless.

Q: How to I sign up for the Iron Ring Ceremony?

To register to attend a ceremony, please click on the Login/Register link above and begin by creating an account. If you have already created an account, log in and complete your registration.

Q: Are there any guidelines for sizing my ring?

Yes, please take note of the following:

  • The ring is worn on the little finger of your working hand (the hand you write with).
  • Your finger’s size will be affected by time of day, temperature, humidity, exercise and other factors. Your fingers tend to swell later in the day.
  • It is best to measure your ring size later in the day, at room temperature. Never measure when your hands are cold; allow them to warm to room temperature.
  • The ring must fit over the knuckle and sit comfortably at the base of the finger. The correct size will require you to twist once or twice to get it off the knuckle; otherwise, your ring will fall off when your hands are wet or cold.
  • If the ring slips easily over your knuckle when removing it, try a half size smaller (we stock rings in half-size increments).
  • If you are not used to wearing a ring, the proper size may feel a bit uncomfortable at first. Please allow two weeks before requesting an alternate size.

Q: Can I add or change my ring size after I register?

No. You will need to know your ring size before finalizing your registration online. Please get in touch with your Department Club Chair or ceremony coordinator who will have a ring sizer, or visit a local jewellery store.  You will have an opportunity to exchange your ring for a different size immediately after the Iron Ring Ceremony.

Q: When and where do the ceremonies take place?

The ceremony for student candidates takes place once a year, typically in March or early April at a location on or near campus. Further details will be provided at the information session held at your school.  Your ceremony time will be indicated on the invitation sent to you via email once your registration is complete and your eligibility has been confirmed.

Q: When will I receive my invitation?

Expect to receive your invitation by email, shortly before your ceremony. You must bring this invitation with you to be admitted to the ceremony.

Note: if you are late for your ceremony, you will not be admitted.

Q: What is the dress code?

The dress code for the Iron Ring Ceremony is business attire. Dress as though you are attending a job interview for a professional position. Jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, running shoes, etc., are not appropriate.

Note: if your attire is inappropriate, you will not be admitted.

Q: Can I get an Iron Ring in the Spring if I am graduating in December?

No, unfortunately you will have to wait until next year’s ceremony.

Q: Can I invite someone to the ceremony to present my ring to me?

Yes, but Invited Ring Presenters must be obligated engineers (that is, have previously participated in an Iron Ring Ceremony) and have at least four years’ experience since graduation in order to be eligible to present a ring to another candidate.

Family members acting as Invited Ring Presenters must meet the requirements noted above. Professors and other members of the university teaching staff cannot act as Ring Presenters to their own students (unless they are a relative of the student, e.g., parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, etc.).

The provisions noted here are required to ensure a mentor-candidate relationship between the Ring Presenter and candidate.

To invite an Invited Presenter, please complete the Invited Presenter section during the application process.

Note: An Invited Ring Presenter must wear their iron ring on the day of the ceremony.  If your presenter has lost their ring,please ask them to visit to order a replacement.

Q: Can I invite a guest to observe my Obligation?

At the present, only University of Toronto has sufficient space to permit invited guests, but only one guest per student candidate is permitted due to space limitations.

Guests must be obligated engineers (that is, have previously participated in an Iron Ring Ceremony and are wearing their iron ring on the day of the ceremony). Family members, friends and engineers cannot be admitted unless they are obligated (no exceptions).

Please contact your ceremony coordinator to obtain a copy of the application form.  Your guest will be seated on the second floor of Convocation Hall. They are not allowed to sit with you during the ceremony.