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Insights from 69 years Jim Nordahl (MSU ’63). My Passion is team effectiveness and credibility of leadership. My mission in this presentation - Share.

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Presentation on theme: "Insights from 69 years Jim Nordahl (MSU ’63). My Passion is team effectiveness and credibility of leadership. My mission in this presentation - Share."— Presentation transcript:

1 Insights from 69 years Jim Nordahl (MSU ’63)

2 My Passion is team effectiveness and credibility of leadership. My mission in this presentation - Share thoughts and ideas on business and engineering ethics to inform and challenge you: in the hope of furthering your chances for a successful and rewarding engineering career; and specifically with respect to some aspects of system design. 2 An annotated version of the presentation will be posted on the course website. Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

3 Overview of nuclear power industry 1976 – present: Based totally on U.S. science/engineering achievements; Enabled by President Eisenhower’s “Atom’s for Peace” policy; Pushed by President Kennedy’s enthusiastic endorsement; Slowed by “environmental and anti-nuclear politics”; Thwarted by President Carter’s policy of “non-proliferation” and the accident at Three Mile Island plant (“TMI”) on March 28, 1979; Loss of U.S. technology lead position to Europe (France); Currently: o104 operating nuclear power plants in the U.S., producing 20% of electricity; oTotal of 441 plants operating in the world with 60 under construction (none in the U.S.); oFrance produces 75% of domestic electricity and exports significant electricity with 59 operating plants (2002 data) 3 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

4 4 Source: Eng. Ethics JHN 10/19/2010 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

5 How many think “big business” in the U.S. is generally conducted to high ethical standards? Or, do you see business organizations in a different light: o“Dens of thieves” run by execs making millions? oIvory towers rife with “company politics” and “back stabbing”? oOrganizations that care more about profits than their customers and the “public welfare”? 5 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

6 There are many well publicized bad examples:  Gulf oil rig disaster – BP  West Virginia coal mine disaster  Toyota quality problems  Washington Mutual “meltdown”  General Motor’s arrogant response to a young customer’s complaint about the safety of the Corvair – Ralph Nader 6 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

7  “State (of WA) declares Tesoro blast was preventable” 7 workers killed in April 2 explosion (Seattle Times, page one, Tuesday, October 5, 2010) The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries on Monday fined Tesoro a record $2.39 million after a deadly explosion in April at the oil refinery in Anacortes. By Susan Gilmore and Craig Welch; Seattle Times staff reporters 7 A charred tower is seen outside a Tesoro refinery gate in Anacortes after the April blast that killed seven workers. KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

8 Despite these and many more bad examples however, from my experience:  The vast majority of “big businesses” operate at high standards of ethics.  Engineering driven companies are most often exemplary -- many have engineers as executives and CEO’s. 8 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

9 GIVEN: As a member of the engineering profession, you are expected and required to adhere to the highest standards of professional ethics. You should know and strive to live up to the ethics guidance of:  The American Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE), whether you become a “Registered Professional Engineer” or not, and;  The professional society for your engineering discipline. In your engineering career working for a company or organization, engineering ethics and business ethics are inseparable. 9 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

10 “As a Professional Engineer, I dedicate my professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare. I pledge:  To give the utmost of performance;  To participate in none but honest enterprise;  To live and work according to the laws of man and the highest standards of professional conduct;  To place service before profit, the honor and standing of the profession before personal advantage, and the public welfare above all other considerations. In humility and with need for Divine Guidance, I make this pledge.” (emphasis added) Adopted by National Society of Professional Engineers, June Eng. Ethics JHN 10/19/2010 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

11 From my observations: Personal integrity is the best foundation for the required level of professional ethics. Oft used ethical “equation”: “To thine own self be true” Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82 Anyone see any problems with it ??Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82 Think of it as an equation: E = f(S) Where: E is ones ethics; and S is “self”, a dependent variable and an integral of: conscience courage integrity strength of character some negative power of ego Note: E does not equal “IQ” and, E is not a function of “Advice of Counsel” 11 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

12 Some attributes of Business and Engineering Ethics that I’ve come to recognize:  More than following laws, regulations, policies, procedures  Common sense and thoughtful action trump bureaucracy  Be a good steward (take care of what you have and the property – real or intellectual – that is entrusted to you by others)  Build strength and exercise your “muscle” of integrity – your conscience, your spirit (soul)  Be mindful of your obligation to multidisciplinary team work in all aspects of your work  Include those doing the real work and solicit their input  Be confident enough to “do the right thing” 12 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

13 BUSINESS ETHICS:  Long term goal of successful business – survival  Employment Your job is not a “right” it is a privilege. Professionalism demands dedication, competence and extra effort. A good company should have an employee ethics policy that is taken seriously. 13 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

14 Management:  Personal and professional integrity enable the best foundation of leadership.  Excellent management cultivates and supports outstanding team performance.  You can’t effectively manage people to organizational success unless they perceive that you care about them. – Supportive Work Environment.  You don’t have to be a manager or executive to provide critical leadership. As a professional engineer, you are part of management. 14 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

15 System Design Application: The role of engineering in system design includes:  Assuring that the probability of system failures and accidents is driven to an acceptably low value,  Doing safety analyses and including mitigation features to limit consequences even if failures occur,  Assuring that safety systems are capable of being properly maintained and operated.  Performing related design assessments: “Hazards Review” Feasibility of manufacture or construction Criteria for required operational maintenance  Obtaining Input from the “front-line” people who are or will be involved, and  Providing “As Built” drawings and documentation 15 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

16 Ethics Challenges in Engineering:  Concern about a safety or environmental issue or situation  How safe is safe enough?  The engineering profession’s “Achilles heel”  Citizenship 16 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

17 WORK ETHICS:  Hours No time clock (generally) No overtime (generally) Comp time (works both ways)  Avoid procrastination  Keep your head in the game and your eye on the ball  Vacations are part of compensation – don’t forego taking them  Go for it – seize opportunities for personal and career growth 17 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

18 “ETHICS” in your life and your profession  Safety First  Honesty  Integrity  Empathy for your “customers”, internal and external  Exercise “The Power of Respect” 18 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010

19 “Apollo 13”; scene beginning with the quote by James Lovell (Tom Hanks), “Houston we have a problem” The Power of Respect, Deborah Norville, Thomas Nelson (publishers), 2009 Stephen Covey; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; Highly-Effective-People/dp/ http://www.amazon.com/Habits- Highly-Effective-People/dp/ Professional Engineering Associations/Organizations: National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Code of Ethics: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE): (See Constitution; Article B15; “Professional Practice” American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Code of Ethics: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code of Ethics: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Code of Ethics: ies.org/history/ieee_codeofethics.pdfhttp://ieee- ies.org/history/ieee_codeofethics.pdf 19 Eng. Ethics JHN 10/19/2010 Eng. Ethics JHN 11/30/2010


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