IEEE and HKN – Perfect Together

IEEE and HKN – Perfect Together 150 150 IEEE Pulse

Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) was founded in 1904 on the campus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The vision of the founders was to create an organization to both recognize the scholastic success of students, and to help electrical engineering graduates find employment and support in their careers. The guiding principles remain the same—invitation to join Eta Kappa Nu is an early recognition of success, based on the Scholarship, Attitude, and Character of its members.
IEEE and HKN officially merged in 2010 and IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) became the Honor Society of IEEE. IEEE and HKN have a long history of cooperation—sponsoring joint programs, shared memberships, and a commitment to advancing the engineering profession and offering educational opportunities.
To be invited to join, students (both undergraduate and graduate) must meet strict academic criteria and make a commitment to work with their school chapter. School chapters are established under rigorous guidelines and approved and chartered by the IEEE-HKN Board of Governors. To learn about the criteria for students and chapters, visit
Professionals may also join IEEE-HKN, either by invitation of an established active school chapter, or by sponsorship from an IEEE-HKN member, subject to approval by the Board of Governors, and based on the candidate’s meritorious work in an area that falls within one of IEEE’s fields of interest.
All students inducted into IEEE-HKN become (or renew) IEEE student members. All Professionals inducted must be or become IEEE members; both pay a one-time fee to IEEE-HKN. The designation is for a lifetime—once you are inducted IEEE-HKN (or HKN), you are always HKN.
IEEE-HKN has established 236 chapters around the world; currently 182 chapters are active. Eight (8) of these chapters are outside Regions 1-6, and are the result of volunteer efforts to expand IEEE-HKN worldwide—one of the goals of the merger. Early indicators show that students joining IEEE-HKN have a higher membership retention rate. The merger of IEEE and HKN has created increased recognition among students and professionals.
IEEE-HKN chapters and IEEE student branches have the opportunity to work together on almost all projects, based on the structure that works best at their university. IEEE sections and regions are encouraged to work with their local IEEE-HKN chapters to foster the relationships between all parts of IEEE. IEEE and HKN truly are perfect together!
IEEE-HKN has a pilot project in place to work with IEEE TAB Societies and all technical groups. If your group is interested in connecting with IEEE-HKN, you are encouraged to contact IEEE-HKN Director, Nancy Ostin at
IEEE-HKN also produces THE BRIDGE Magazine. Digitally published three times a year (February, May, October), it is emailed to lifetime subscribers and current members. It is also available as open content on the IEEE-HKN websiteTHE BRIDGE has been the official publication of HKN since 1909. Each issue features a technical theme, chapter news, a society spotlight, member profiles, and much more.
Remember, if you were ever inducted HKN, you are always HKN. Currently, IEEE-HKN has contact information for 32,000 people; it is estimated that there have been over 200,000 people inducted. If your IEEE membership card or record does not reflect your HKN status, please contact us to verify and add IEEE-HKN onto your profile (a member cannot self-service this option). You can also submit our alumni re-connect form.
To learn more about IEEE-HKN, visit For questions, contact Nancy Ostin, Director, IEEE-HKN at