Dr. Brenda McCabe
Chair, Department of Civil Engineering, University of TorontoCivil Engineering Department, University of Toronto Team
In 2009, Professor Kim Pressnail found a document created by the Cousteau Society that described our obligations to future generations. Inspired, he shared it with his students. Two in particular, Ekaterina and Marianne, took the lead in revising it for use by Engineers, resulting in The Promise. The Promise does not replace the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer (the Hipprocratic oath for Engineers), but extends its mandate to include the well-being of future generations. Ekaterina and Marianne had earlier galvanized support in the Department for introducing sustainability as a theme across the course material, and had been the catalysts for its integration in the curricula. They engaged Kim and Department Chair Brenda McCabe in the re-design of the document, and in garnering support among students and faculty. The group worked together and in its first year asked professors and the 2009 graduating students to sign the pledge. In 2010, they expanded it to include alumni. In 2011, the effort expanded once again, this time to encourage practicing engineers to sign on. In all, there are now 177 engineers in Canada who have taken The Promise. See ptfg.org for more information.