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ring2A standing-room only crowd was on hand at the UAB Alumni House Tuesday evening to watch as nearly 120 UAB engineers were inducted into the Order of the Engineer. The students included those who graduated in August and December 2016, as well as those who will graduate this spring. The students formally accepted the Obligation of an Engineer and received a stainless steel ring to be worn on the fifth finger of the working hand as a symbol.

“Tonight you are officially joining the profession of engineers, and I hope this event is something you will always look back on with pride, just like I do when I think about the journey you’ve taken with us to get to this point,” said School of Engineering Dean Iwan Alexander, Ph.D. “More than 15,000 individuals are inducted each year, and as you join those ranks, it is your responsibility to foster a spirit of pride and to uphold standards of dignity of the engineering profession.”

mark berryAfter rings were presented to students from each of the five undergraduate departments, SOE alumnus Mark Berry, Ph.D., delivered a keynote address. Berry is vice president for environmental affairs for Georgia Power, and as he shared his experiences of his engineering career, he offered a challenge. “Many of you will be tasked to solve some of society’s greatest problems,” he said. “It will be your responsibility to solve them safely, with sound scientific principles, and in a way that makes sense financially. You should accept those challenges, no matter how daunting.

“Just because you don’t know something, doesn’t mean you can’t know. Don’t be afraid to take those chances, and you will learn a lot about yourself in the process.”