An Honorary Member shall be a person who has made “distinctive contributions” to engineering, science, industry, research, public service, or other pursuits allied with and beneficial to the engineering profession.
Honorary Membership was first awarded in 1880, the founding year of the Society. The roster of Honorary Members contains the names of leaders of world renown who have been selected under carefully drawn procedures rigorously maintained by the Society over the years.
In 1962, the ASME further defined this statement as “distinguished service that contributes significantly to the goals of the engineering profession”. While this definition may sometimes imply career-long dedicated activity, that alone is not adequate for this highest level of Society Membership.
The Board of Governors may elect up to five Honorary Members each year (By-Law B3.1.10). An Exception was made in 1980 - the Centennial Year of the Society - when 38 Honorary members were elected.