a little history lesson: the iron ring
cyrus sy, vp external

You've seen it, you've heard about it...so what's the story behind the Iron Ring? In 1900, construction began on the the Quebec Bridge, a bridge which linked Winnipeg to Moncton on the National Trans-Continental Railway. As construction neared completion, it collapsed under the weight of a locomotive loaded with steel. Seventy-five people were killed and a subsequent inquiry showed the accident was due to an error in judgement by the engineers who designed the bridge. Tragedy struck again during the second attempt to build the bridge in 1916. The centre span collapsed while being hoisted into place, killing 10 more people. The bridge was finally completed in 1917. Contrary to popular belief the first rings were not made from iron from the collapsed bridge. But the collapse of the bridge led to the tradition of the Iron Ring to symbolize the humility and fallibility of engineers.

the iron ring Every year, graduating Engineering students receive an Iron Ring at a private and voluntary "Ceremony of the Calling of an Engineer". The ceremony calls upon all Engineering graduates to uphold the principles of professionalism and to perform their work to the best of their ability. The first ceremony, also known as the Kipling Ritual, was held in 1925. Every year hundreds of practising and graduating engineers receive their ring at the ceremony which is closed to the public. In order to get your ring you must have graduated from an accredited Engineering program. This year's ceremony for graduating UBC and SFU Engineers was held on March 11 at the Vancouver Playhouse. If you will be graduating next year then watch out for an e-mail from your EUSS VP External early in the new year.

We welcome feedback and comments at euss-vp-external@sfu.ca
Copyright © 1999 sfu euss