Spring 2018 Undergraduate Roundup: The Iron Ring, Student Awards, and Grad Trip to Cuba

With the spring term coming to a close, the 2018 class of Civil Engineering students are celebrating their graduation and transition into the engineering world outside of UBC. Amidst the celebrations, graduates affirm their commitment to engineering ethics, recognize the contributions of students to the UBC community and explore the field of civil engineering around the globe.

Iron Ring Ceremony & Civil Engineering Dinner

The iron ring is famous to the engineering profession. Gracing the pinky of the working hand, the iron ring is a symbol of the ethical obligations inherent to the industry, and is given to engineering students upon graduation. Developed in Canada by the Corporation of the Seven Wardens, the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer is the ceremonial bequeathing of the iron ring which dates back to 1922, and was initiated by a civil engineer. Dr. Herbert Edward Terrick Haultain, a professor at the University of Toronto, first proposed the idea of a Canadian organization to foster ethics in engineering and connect new engineering graduates with established engineers, encouraging a culture of responsibility, pride and humility. When the original seven founders of The Corporation of the Seven Wardens (the organization that oversees the Iron Ring Ceremony across Canada) brought his idea to life with the creation of the iron ring tradition, Haultain wrote to poet Rudyard Kipling, who agreed to create the ceremony. While originally made of iron, most rings are now constructed of stainless steel.

This year’s Iron Ring Ceremony was at Vancouver’s iconic Queen Elizabeth Theatre, where Camp #5 of The Corporation of the Seven Wardens gave the ring to engineering graduates from across the lower mainland. After the official ceremony, the different engineering departments separated for their individual graduate dinners. The Civil Club hosted a three-course plated dinner for forty Civil Engineering graduates at the Rogue Convention Centre.

Iron Pin Ceremony

New undergraduates also had an opportunity to reflect on and affirm the ethical obligations of the engineering profession, with the Iron Pin Ceremony. This ritual encourages prospective engineers to approach their studies from the perspective of their public duty. UBC Engineering was the first to do an Iron Pin Ceremony, and it has since been adopted by other post-secondary institutions. While the main Iron Pin Ceremony for first year UBC students happens in the fall term, transfer students and others who were unable to attend the earlier ceremony were able to join their classmates in wearing the Iron Pin and pledging to uphold the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (EGBC) code of ethics in a smaller ceremony at the Engineering Student Centre this spring.

Student Leadership Award Recipients

The Civil Club also recently recognized leaders within the civil engineering student body at their March Alumni Student Night. Congratulations are in order for Julia Dinglasan who was named Rookie of the Year, Jasmine Smith for receiving the Lifetime Commitment Award, and to Daniel Adria, Matthew Cheung, Megan Norwick, Yezi Zhang, Kevin Parrish and Maria Bitar who were recognized for their leadership and committed service to Civil Engineering clubs and teams.

Grad Trip to Havana

Graduating students who joined the annual Grad Trip had the opportunity to explore civil engineering outside of Vancouver, visiting sites in Havana, Cuba. Hosted by Technical University of Havana, Professor Bruno Clavelo and students took the UBC contingent on a tour of the Acueducto de Albear (Albears Waterway), one of the seven wonders of Cuban civil engineering. Built in the 1800’s, the waterway is entirely gravity-fed and takes water from the top of a natural spring ten kilometers to the city distribution centre, providing 16 percent of Havana’s water. They also toured the University’s facilities, including the hydro lab (pictured above). Professor Clavelo also showed UBC students the civil engineering sights of old Havana.

Every year, the Civil Club organizes a trip for graduating students, and previous years have visited sites like the Hoover Dam and Puerta Vallarta water treatment facilities. Students interested in getting involved as attendees or organizers should contact the Civil Club.

Convocation May 30th

Congratulations to those students who are convocating on May 30th! Deadlines for regalia and ticket reservations are fast approaching in May, so see the UBC graduation checklist for further information. Also, watch your emails for an invitation to the Department of Civil Engineering student graduation reception and celebrate your achievement with fellow graduates and faculty!