Presentation on theme: "1 Engineering Ethics Seminar Richard O. Mines, Jr., Ph.D., P.E. Hodge Jenkins, Ph.D., P.E. February 2005 Mercer University School of Engineering."— Presentation transcript:
1 Engineering Ethics Seminar Richard O. Mines, Jr., Ph.D., P.E. Hodge Jenkins, Ph.D., P.E. February 2005 Mercer University School of Engineering
2 Outline 1.Definitions 2.Engineering Decision Making 3.Personal and Professional Ethics 4.Attributes of Professional 5.4-Criteria for Safe Designs 6.NSPE Canons 7.Examples of Technology Gone Astray 8.Case Studies 9.NSPE Test
3 Definitions Ethics: the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation; the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group. Morals: principles, teachings, or conduct. Guidelines for determining right or wrong actions.
4 Definitions Right : correct in accordance to moral law. Wrong: not morally right or just, unfair, improper. Legal: Can be morally right or wrong.
6 Engineering Ethics Rules and standards governing the conduct of engineers. Applies to situations involving engineers in their professional lives.
7 Personal Ethics? Professional Ethics? How we treat others in our day-to-day lives. Involves choices on an organizational level. Relationships between two corporations, company & government, company & individuals, society.
8 Attributes of a Professional 1.Membership in profession requires formal education. 2.Work requires sophisticated skills, use of judgment, exercise discretion. 3.Societies or organizations establish standards for admission to profession and standards of conduct. 4.Significant good results from the profession.
9 4-Criteria for Safe Designs 1.Design must comply with applicable laws. 2.An acceptable design must meet the standard of acceptable engineering practice. 3.Alternative designs that are potentially safer must be evaluated. 4.The engineer must foresee potential misuses of the product by the client and must design to avoid these problems.
10 NSPE Fundamental Canons 1.Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. 2. Perform services only in areas of their competence. 3.Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. 4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. 5.Avoid deceptive acts. Honest. 6.Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.
11 NSPE Rules of Practice 1.Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. 2.Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence. 3.Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. 4.Engineers shall act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. 5.Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts.
12 Examples of Ethics in Technology Gone Astray Hyatt Regency Walkways Collapse Challenger Explosion 3-Mile Island Pinto Automobile Ford/Firestone Tire Controversy Bridges that Collapse Gas Pipeline Explosion Personal examples
13 Reconciling Case Studies-1 Engineer A prepares a set of drawings for a client for the design and construction of a building. Owner contracts with Contractor X, not an engineer, for construction, but does not retain Engineer A for construction phase services. Engineer A is paid in full for his work. Engineer A's drawings are filed with town code officials and a building permit is issued. Contractor X builds the building, but does not follow Engineer A's design, relying upon Contractor X's own experience in construction. Following construction, Contractor X, with the assistance of Engineer C, prepares a set of record "as built" drawings based upon the actual construction of the building as reported by Contractor X. Because the design and the construction drawings are not reconciled, the building official refuses to issue an occupancy permit to the Owner. Owner asks Engineer A to "reconcile" the original design and the record drawings. Engineer A, not wanting to perform additional studies, agrees to perform the "reconciliation."
14 Questions-1? 1. Was it ethical for Engineer A to perform the design reconciliation? 2. Was it ethical for Engineer C to prepare a set of record drawings based on the construction without notifying Engineer A?
15 Conclusions-1 1. It was not ethical for Engineer A to reconcile his original documents without extensive investigation to assure that all original design intent was followed. 2. The Owner is the ultimate client, therefore, it was not ethical for Engineer C to prepare a set of record drawings based on the construction without notifying Engineer A. There is the possibility that Engineer C was aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of engineering.
16 Discussion-1b An engineer’s firm was retained by a fuel company to perform site investigations. The site visits were conducted by engineering technicians under direct supervision of Engineer A. No professional engineer was present during the site visits. All pertinent information was presented to Engineer A who would certify the evaluations. They concluded it was ethical for Engineer A to certify the evaluations were performed in accordance to engineering principles.
17 Discussion-1c A chief engineer in a large consulting firm routinely affixed his seal to plans prepared by licensed engineers working under his general direction who did not affix their seals to the plans. At times, the chief engineer affixed his seal to plans prepared by unlicensed graduate engineers even though the plans were not checked in detail. The BOR concluded that it was not ethical for the chief engineer to seal plans that have not been prepared by him or which he had not checked and reviewed in detail. Today, the BOR would conclude that it was not unethical for the chief engineer to seal the plans as long as those plans were checked and reviewed in some detail by the chief engineer.
18 Providing Design Client’s Competitor-2 Engineer A is hired by Developer X to perform design and construction-phase services for a subdivision for Developer X. Per the agreement with Developer X, Engineer A is paid 30% of his fee by Developer X. Engineer A submits the design drawings and plans to the county authorities and permits are issued for the benefit of Developer X. Developer X cannot get financing for the project, and Developer X tells Engineer A that Engineer A should not disclose the contents of the drawings and plans to any unauthorized third party. Developer Y, a client of Engineer A and also a business competitor of Developer X, is interested in the subdivision project. Developer Y has secured financing for the project and approaches Engineer A, requesting that he perform the design on the project and requests that Engineer A provide the design documents for Developer Y’s review. Since Engineer A was not paid his entire fee for his completed project design by Developer X, Engineer A agrees to provide the design drawings and plans to Developer Y and agrees to charge Developer Y only for the changes to the original subdivision design drawings and plans.
19 Questions-2? 1. Was it ethical for Engineer A to provide a copy of the design drawings and plans to Developer Y? 2. Was it ethical for Engineer A to charge Developer Y for the changes to the original subdivision design drawings and plans?
20 Discussion-2 Conflict between the obligations of an engineer not to disclose information that is considered confidential by the client and the right to be properly compensated. Engineer A should not share the plans with another client. The Code is silent about the failure of a client to provide agreed compensation and how that would effect their status as clients.
21 Conclusions-2 1. It was not ethical for Engineer A to provide a copy of the design drawings and plans to Developer Y. 2. It was not ethical for Engineer A to charge Developer Y for the changes to the original subdivision drawings and plans. Had Engineer A successfully negotiated an agree- ment with Developer X on the questions of ownership and possession of the design drawings, it would have been ethical for Engineer A to charge Developer Y for changes to the original subdivision design drawings and plans.
23 Question-3? 1.Was it ethical for Engineer A to agree to perform an investigation for the newspaper in the manner stated?
24 Discussion-3 Engineers should render a professional opinion 1) based upon adequate knowledge of facts 2) the engineer clearly possesses the expertise to render such an opinion It was not unethical for an engineer to criticize a town engineer and consultant with respect to a report on a sanitary landfill for their town.
25 Conclusions-3 It was not unethical for Engineer A to agree to perform an investigation for the newspaper. Engineer A did have the obligation to require the newspaper to state in the article that he had been retained for a fee by the newspaper to provide his professional opinion concerning the safety of the bridge.
26 Public Welfare Duty of Government Engineer-4
27 Question-4? 1. Would it have been ethical for Engineer A to withdraw from further work in this case? 2. Would it have been ethical for Engineer A to issue the permit? 3. Was it ethical for Engineer A to refuse to issue the permit?
28 Discussion-4 Engineers have a fundamental obligation to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties. Board believes that it would not be ethical for Engineer A to withdraw from further work on the project because Engineer A has an obligation to stand by his position to protect the public, health, and safety to refuse the permit.
29 Conclusions-4 1. It would not have been ethical for Engineer A to withdraw from further work on the project. 2. It would not have been ethical for Engineer A to issue the permit. 3. It was ethical for Engineer A to refuse to issue the permit.