What Is Eta Kappa Nu?


Let us acquaint you with the Eta Kappa Nu Association. It is the International Honor Society for Electrical Engineers. A Chapter or Eta Branch of Eta Kappa Nu has been established at your College, Company, or City and at approximately 200 other locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Outstanding persons are elected to Eta Kappa Nu primarily from the junior and senior classes of accredited undergraduate programs. Graduate Students and distinguished professional engineers are also eligible. Eligibility, naturally, must depend on marked ability, as evidenced by scholarship, personal character, useful voluntary services, and distinguished accomplishments, all of which indicate that the candidate will be or is a success in his profession. For undergraduate students, eligibility must depend largely on the records established during the first two or three years in college. Therefore, it is important that you set your goal early and strive steadfastly, first to do well scholastically; and, second, to give some of yourself to carefully selected activities which will help your school and fellow man. In turn, these accomplishments will bring returns to you as well.

It is for these reasons that Eta Kappa Nu is being brought to your attention now. The potential advantages and opportunities created through membership in this society are worthwhile goals. The scholastic and related effort that it will take to become qualified will reap benefits for you beyond your expectations. Eta Kappa Nu members are marked people, sought after by the best companies for employment. This factor alone is worth the effort it takes to maintain Eta Kappa Nu's high standards.

Purpose of Eta Kappa Nu

While one of its purposes certainly is the stimulation and reward of scholarship, Eta Kappa Nu has a far broader purpose than merely to award a badge of distinction to scholars. As conceived by its founders and as carried forward by its membership during more than two generations, another aim is to assist its members throughout their lives in becoming better professionals as well as better citizens. In turn, it is still another purpose of the organization, that its members be a constructive force, helping fellow members and non-members alike to improve the standards of the profession, the courses of instruction, and the institutions generally where its chapters are established.

Each undergraduate and alumni chapter is carrying out these ideals in the manner best fitted to its individual needs and opportunities. An international organization, elected by the chapters, exercises general supervision and correlates the efforts of these groups. A quarterly magazine keeps the members informed of the organization's activities and provides a means of contact between graduates and undergraduates.


Some of the activities and services in which undergraduates and alumni of Eta Kappa Nu engage are set forth briefly below. Besides the membership qualification, which in itself encourages and gives recognition to high scholarship and other significant achievements, Eta Kappa Nu makes the following awards:

Outstanding Electrical Engineering Senior

In 1965 Eta Kappa Nu inaugurated an award to the outstanding electrical engineering senior in the United States. The award includes an attractive Certificate, a substantial monetary gift, and a trip to Disneyland for an Award Dinner in his/her honor.

Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer

The most well known activity of Eta Kappa Nu undoubtedly is the award to the Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer. This award was first made in 1936. In the interim years, many now famous people were among the recipients of this distinguished honor. An Award Dinner is held in his honor either in New York or Philadelphia. His name is engraved on a large Award Bowl that is kept on display at IEEE Headquarters in New York, and he is presented a smaller version of the bowl.

Outstanding Professor Award

Each year Eta Kappa Nu recognizes an outstanding young Electrical Engineering Professor with an award Dinner in his honor at his university. Eminent Membership Very distinguished persons in the electrical engineering profession have been elected to eminent membership of Eta Kappa Nu. As world renowned as these people were they all considered it a unique privilege to be so specially honored by this organization.

Outstanding Chapter Award

Eta Kappa Nu makes an annual award to outstanding undergraduate chapters which have enhanced the prestige of electrical engineering through their campus and other activities. A silver plaque is awarded to the chapter presenting the best record of scholarship and activities.

Professional Activities

Implementation of that purpose of Eta Kappa Nu which encompasses aid to fellow man, the school, and the profession takes on various approaches as follows:

College Chapter Activities

Undergraduate chapters engage in a variety of activities on the campus and beyond its borders in order to fulfill their responsibilities. These activities are numerous in kind and wide in scope.

Alumni Chapter Activities

Many alumni actively contribute to the aim and purposes of Eta Kappa Nu throughout life. Some of their voluntary contributions include: serving as officers or on committees of local alumni chapters and the international organization; participating in joint and regional meetings of alumni and college chapters; and promoting the ideals of Eta Kappa Nu throughout the electrical engineering profession.

Eta Kappa Nu's sound motion picture; "Engineering--A Career for Tomorrow," was developed with the cooperation of the University of Illinois. It has been used for many years in guidance work; and it has gained worldwide reputation as one of the better films for this purpose.

The Bridge is the society's international magazine. It has always maintained a high intellectual level with cultural and broadening articles to enlighten engineers about subjects outside the technical field. The Bridge has become a forum for articles on the subject of electrical engineering.

Growth of Eta Kappa Nu
Eta Kappa Nu has grown steadily since its establishment at the University of Illinois in 1904. In the first ten years, ten chapters were formed. In the first fifty years, 56 chapters were in existence. In 1983 there were approximately 200 chapters including branches of Eta in five foreign countries and numerous Alumni Chapters in various cities and corporations.

Eta Kappa Nu continues to grow and to influence the progress of the electrical engineering profession through its high ideals about scholarship, character, and service to fellow man.

Wouldn't you want to strive for the distinction Eta Kappa Nu gives its members?