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1 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I ECE 495 - INTEGRATED SYSTEMS I Ethics Timothy Burg.

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Presentation on theme: "1 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I ECE 495 - INTEGRATED SYSTEMS I Ethics Timothy Burg."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I ECE INTEGRATED SYSTEMS I Ethics Timothy Burg

2 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Career Note: Professional Engineer Professional Engineer is an engineer who is registered or licensed Procedure – Engineer-In-Training (EIT) Graduate from ABET accredited four-year program in engineering. Complete a standard Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) written examination (offered twice per year on campus) – PE Accumulate a certain amount of engineering experience ~ four years. Pass Principles and Practice in Engineering('PE') examination, testing knowledge and skills in your field as well as engineering ethics. (almost)

3 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Career Note: Professional Engineer Five Reasons to Get Licensed (NSP) – Prestige: PEs are respected by the public and are seen in the same light as licensed professionals in other fields. – Career Development: Shows commitment to the profession and demonstrates heightened leadership and management skills. May be a necessity for rising to increased levels of authority and responsibility. – Authority: Only PEs can sign and seal engineering drawings Only PEs can be in responsible charge of a firm in private practice or serve as a fully qualified expert witness. Many government agencies and educational institutions are emphasizing licensure among their engineers as well. – Flexibility: Have a PE license opens up your career options. – Money: Studies have shown that most PEs earn higher pay throughout their business careers.

4 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Example: Engineering Decision As an electrical engineer (with no facilities design and construction experience) you are designing process automation for the current assembly line, which spans two buildings. You are asked by your boss to use the new Megadesk structure design software to "design a walkway to connect our facilities". "It is fully automated" she says, "just enter the length and maximum weight". What are the issues in this decision? What is the basis for making a decision?

5 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Example: Engineering Decision National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) has been supportive of the concept that a qualified individual engineer, regardless of his or her particular area of technical discipline, should be licensed as a “professional engineer”. – Doesn’t mean engineers are free to practice without restriction in any and all areas. – Engineers should only practice solely within his or her area(s) of competency. Answer: It is unethical to perform work for which you are not qualified

6 6 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Generic Design Process Identify Need Research Specifications Concepts Design Prototype Testing Retire Maintain Use by Customer(s) Distribute and Sell Manufacture Some design decisions can have impacts that extend beyond technical, financial, marketing resolutions; that is, there may be ethics to consider.

7 7 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Professional Ethics The professional carries additional moral responsibilities to those held by the population in general. This is because professionals are capable of making and acting on an informed decision in situations that the general public cannot, because they have not received the relevant training. The client places trust in the professional on the basis that the service provided will be of benefit to them. Professional Engineer is a certification that you earn through work experience and passing examinations.

8 8 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Codes of Ethics What is the basis for moral criticism? – A well thought-out code of ethics All engineering societies have promulgated a version of a code of ethics. They are all very similar. Statement of a code of ethics is an explicit recognition of the implicit contract between the professional and the society in which she/he functions. Some specific Ethical Codes – IEEE – ABET (NSPE)

9 9 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I IEEE Code of Ethics IEEE – Internationally recognized standard for electrical engineers – Non-profit organization – The world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology As per IEEE Bylaw I , membership in IEEE in any grade shall carry the obligation to abide by the IEEE Code of Ethics (IEEE Policy 7.8). – Agree that you have read the Code and agree during membership renewal.

10 10 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I IEEE Code of Ethics 1.Accept responsibility for their actions. 2.Avoid conflicts of interest whenever possible, and disclose them when they exist. 3.Be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data. 4.Reject bribery in all its forms. 5.Improve the understanding of technology, its appropriate application, and potential consequences. 6.Maintain and improve technical competence and undertake tasks only if qualified by training or experience.

11 11 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I IEEE Code of Ethics 7.Seek, accept, and offer honest criticism, acknowledge and correct errors, and credit contributions of others. 8.Treat fairly all persons regardless of such factors as race, religion, gender, disability, age, or national origin. 9.Avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious action. 10.Assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional development and in following this ethical code.

12 12 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I NSPE’s Code of Ethics The Fundamental Canons: – Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their duties. – Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence. – Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. – Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest.

13 13 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I NSPE’s Code of Ethics The Fundamental Canons (cont): – Engineers shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others. – Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity and dignity of the profession. – Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision.

14 14 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Applying Ethics David Monts, an experienced, licensed electrical (and nuclear) engineer, worked for PPSD. His department was responsible for building construction and renovation. His boss Schambach, without consulting his engineers, underestimated the costs for certain jobs. When these projects threatened to go over budget, Schambach insisted on various cost-cutting measures. In some cases, these measures entailed improper practices that put people at risk. Monts repeatedly objected to these tactics. In particular, he protested when fire alarms were deleted from plans to renovate certain space and the omission of emergency exit lights. A less obvious hazard involved a design with inadequate circuit overload protection. These, and other instances of corner-cutting, involved more than a difference of opinion as to what was required for safety. They violated state building codes. Monts was fired, claiming that “Monts had a negative attitude with regard to his employment and that he disrupted weekly staff meetings by complaining and arguing about non-project related matters.”

15 15 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Applying Ethics After 10 years and multiple court cases, the court supported PPSD. Monts never regained his job. PPSD is suing him for court costs. Doing the “right” thing may have a personal cost.

16 16 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Summary Professionals have a contract with society. When there is a dilemma between the interests of their client (or employer) and those of the public, the codes of ethics are clear: – The health, safety and welfare of the public comes before all other considerations. More often than not, ethical decisions come as dilemmas and the choices are not easy to make and must be carefully thought out. Being thoroughly familiar with a code of ethics aids in deciding.

17 Developed and Presented by the National Institute for Engineering Ethics

18 Characters in Incident at Morales Dominique Dominique - French corporate liaison to Phaust Fred Fred - Chemical engineer hired by Phaust to design a new plant to manufacture a new paint remover Wally Wally - Fred’s supervisor at Phaust Chuck Chuck - Vice president of engineering at Phaust Maria Maria - Fred’s wife, an EPA compliance litigator

19 Characters... Hal Hal - Market analyst at Phaust Jen Jen - Research chemist at Phaust Peter Peter - Project manager of the construction firm that builds the new plant in Morales Jake Jake - Plant manager for the SwisseChem plant in Big Springs, Texas Manuel Manuel - Plant manager for the new Phaust plant in Morales, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

20 Tests That Were Considered (Davis, 1997) Harm testHarm test - Do the benefits outweigh the harms, short term and long term? Reversibility testReversibility test - Would I think this choice were good if I traded places? Colleague testColleague test - What would professional colleagues say?

21 And... Legality testLegality test - Would this choice violate a law or a policy of my employer? Publicity testPublicity test - How would this choice look on the front page of a newspaper? Common practice testCommon practice test - What if everyone behaved in this way? Wise relative testWise relative test - What would my wise old aunt or uncle do?

22 Basic Ethical Concepts... EthicalEthical obligations do not stop at the United States border. WWherever engineers practice, they should hold paramount the health, safety, and welfare of the public. HHow an engineer fulfills those obligations may depend on the social and economic context of engineering practice.

23 23 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Incident at Morales – Discussion Questions Video shows real pressures on engineering decisions Shows how “small” decision can initiate a chain of events that can lead to catastrophic failures. Shows how a company may respond to employee concerns. “This is how it works, we did the best that we could” Should you negotiate for safety? Is it ethical to move a plant to Mexico knowing the environmental regulations are less strict? Are legal requirements your only obligation? Was Fred threatened to do the wrong thing? Was he pressured? Is it ethical to change jobs and work for a competitor? Can you “forget” what you know about your previous employer’s business?

24 24 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I Incident at Morales – An Engineering Ethics Story Quiz – Fred was warned not to use the cheaper controls, was using the cheaper controls unethical? – Who are the villains in the video? Who are the heros? – Is it “better not to know too much”? – What decision caused Fred the most trouble? – Is it ok to “pad the budget”? – Is a perceived conflict of interest different than a real conflict of interest?

25 25 ECE 495 – Integrated System Design I References NAE On-line Ethics Center:


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