Report an accessibility problem

Eta Kappa Nu

Select Page

About HKN

International Honor Society for Electrical Engineers (HKN)


Eta Kappa Nu is the International Honor Society for Electrical and Computer Engineers (as of 2011, Biomedical Engineers were also added to Eta Kappa Nu). Outstanding students are elected to Eta Kappa Nu from the junior and senior classes of an accredited undergraduate program.

Eligibility is based on scholarship, personal character, voluntary services, and distinguished accomplishments. HKN considers these as indicators of success in his or her profession.


As conceived by its founders, Eta Kappa Nu’s aim is to assist its members in becoming better professionals as well as better citizens. The purpose of the organization is to help 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 carries out these ideals in the manner best fitted to its individual needs and opportunities. The international organization is elected by the chapters to exercise general supervision and direction for these efforts while a quarterly magazine keeps the members informed of the organization’s activities.

Services & Awards

Besides the membership qualification, Eta Kappa Nu administers the following awards:

Outstanding Electrical Engineering Senior

In 1965 Eta Kappa Nu inaugurated an award for the most outstanding Electrical Engineering senior in the United States. The award includes a certificate, a monetary gift, and a trip to Disneyland for an award dinner in his/her honor.

Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer

The most well known award given by HKN is the award for Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer, which was first awarded in 1936. An award dinner is held in honor of the recipient. The recipient’s name is engraved on a large award bowl that is kept on display at IEEE Headquarters in New York and the recipient is presented a smaller replica.

Outstanding Professor Award

Each year, HKN recognizes an outstanding young Electrical Engineering Professor with an award dinner in his/her honor at his/her university.

Eminent Membership

Distinguished individuals in the Electrical Engineering profession are elected into the Eminent Membership of HKN. These people are usually world-renowned for their research contributions.

Outstanding Chapter Award

Eta Kappa Nu makes an annual award to the most outstanding undergraduate chapters. A silver plaque is awarded to the chapter, representing the best record of scholarship and activities.


College Chapter Activities

Undergraduate chapters engage members and students in a variety of activities on the campus that embody HKN’s objective.

Alumni Chapter Activities

HKN alumnus actively contribute and give back to the HKN community by 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 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.

Also HKN’s official magazine, The Bridge, publishes a variety of diverse cultural and technical articles and has since become a forum for articles on the subject of Electrical Engineering.

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.