Most universities are steeped in tradition and that’s certainly the case with UBC Okanagan’s school of engineering.
But this September, the SoE is embracing a new tradition. While the iron ring ceremony, a presentation made as Canadian students graduate as engineers will continue, this year all faculty, students, and staff will be presented with an iron pin.
Engineers adhere to a code of ethics for both personal and professional decisions throughout their lives, said Spiro Yannacopoulos, associate dean of the school of engineering.
The newly adopted presentation of the iron pin is intended to create early awareness of the engineering code of ethics, and let the students know there is a certain level of professionalism expected from the moment they begin their engineering degree on campus.
“This new process will serve as a reminder to all students, starting in year one that professionalism is expected from the start and the entire time they are studying to be an engineer — not on completion of a degree,” said Yannacopoulos.
All graduating engineers take an oath agreeing to an engineering code of ethics. With the oath, they accept an iron ring which they wear on the little finger of their working hand until retirement.
Ethics and professionalism are key aspects of being an engineer, says fourth-year electrical engineering student Connor Badowich.
He also likes the idea of a formal ceremony “that not only welcomed me to the UBCO community in an inclusive manner, but also spoke to me of ethics, and congratulated me on my chosen path as an engineering student.”