Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the Ethics of Engineering Introduction to Mechanical Engineering The University of Texas-Pan American College of Science and Engineering."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction to the Ethics of Engineering Introduction to Mechanical Engineering The University of Texas-Pan American College of Science and Engineering
Objectives Explain the nature of ethics and the difference with other kinds of standards and values. Explain the basic issues and concepts in the codes of ethics of professional engineering societies.
Introduction Engineers are expected to maintain high standards of ethical conduct, in their professional lives, by the society and their profession. Specifically, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) provides the Model Rules of Professional Conduct Code.
The Nature of Ethics Ethics is concerned with standards, rules or guidelines for moral or socially approved conduct such as being honest or trustworthy, or acting in the best interest of society. Ethical standards apply only to conduct which could have some significant effect on the lives of people in general.
Legal Standards vs. Ethical Standards Legal standards, defined by legal body, determine what the law is and who should obey it. Ethical standards exist independently of any particular group of experts.
The Nature of Engineering Ethics Engineering ethics is an applied form of ethical standards which apply to any human occupation (ethical duties of honesty, fair dealing with other people, obeying the relevant laws, …)
Model Rules of Professional Conduct Code The Preamble The Engineer’s Obligation to Society The Engineer’s Obligation to Employers and Clients An Engineer’s Obligations to Other Engineers
The Preamble 1)It is ethically wrong to cause harm to people 2)“… promote the public welfare.” 3)“… to maintain a high standard of integrity and practice among engineers.”
The Engineer’s Obligation to Society 1)While performing services, the engineer’s foremost responsibility is to the public welfare. 2)Engineers shall approve only those designs that safeguard the life, health, welfare and property of the public, … 3)If an engineer’s professional judgment is overruled resulting in danger to the life, health, welfare or property of the public, the engineer shall notify employer or client and authority.
The Engineer’s Obligation to Society 4)Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports. 5)Engineers shall not express a professional opinion publicly unless it is based upon knowledge of the facts and competent evaluation. 6)Engineers should explicitly identify the parties on whose behalf they are expressing the opinion, and reveal the interests the parties have in the matters.
The Engineer’s Obligation to Society 7)Engineers shall not associate in business ventures with persons engaging in dishonest, fraudulent, or illegal business practice. 8)Engineers who have knowledge of a possible violation of any of the rules listed shall provide pertinent information and assist the state board.
The Engineer’s Obligation to Employers and Clients 1)Engineers shall not undertake technical assignments for which they are not qualified by education or experience. 2)Engineers shall approve or seal only those plans or designs that deal with subjects in which they are competent. 3)Engineers may coordinate an entire project provided that each design component is signed or sealed.
The Engineer’s Obligation to Employers and Clients 4)Engineers shall not reveal professional information without prior consent, except when required by law. 5)Engineers shall not solicit or accept valuable considerations from contractors. 6)Engineers shall disclose to their employers or clients potential conflicts of interest.
The Engineer’s Obligation to Employers and Clients 7)An engineer shall not accept compensation from more than one party for services on one project unless the details are fully disclosed and agreed. 8)To avoid conflict of interest, engineers shall not solicit or accept a contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of the firm serves as a member.
An Engineer’s Obligations to Other Engineers 1)Engineers shall not misrepresent or permit misrepresentation of their or any of their associates’ academic or professional qualifications. 2)Engineers shall not give, solicit, or receive any gifts or commission in order to obtain work. 3)Engineers shall not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputations, prospects, practice or employment of other engineers.
Engineering Ethics and Legal Issues Engineers are expected to obey the general rules and regulations of the societies which they live in. Every engineer needs to have a good basic grasp of basic transaction legal matters.
Ethics: Challenger Roger Boisjoly tried to stop the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. Despite Boisjoly's objections, the ship was sent up, only to explode just over a minute after take-off, killing all the astronauts on board. Boisjoly had more than 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry when, in 1985, he found a problem with the Challenger's seals that he thought could jeopardize the safety of the mission. Although he was asked to soften the urgency of the problem he had found, Boisjoly continued to voice his concern about going ahead with the launch. Unfortunately, Boisjoly was left out of the final decision to send up the shuttle. http://www.graduatingengineer.com/articles/feature/12-7-99b.html
Case Scenario: Exam Copy While preparing for a major engineering exam, a fellow classmate approaches you and informs you that he has a copy of the exam and asks if you would like a copy of it. You know that if you take the copy of the exam you will get a perfect score and most likely end the semester with an “A” in the course. Will you take the copy of the exam? Why or why not?
Case Scenario: Leaving Out Data You have spent many months in the lab recording test data on a particular material that you have designed. All the prior tests indicate that this material can be very useful in the industrial world. Yet towards the end of the 8 th month of the material research, you discover that at a relatively high temperature the material will experience catastrophic failure. This new flaw in the material will make the material useless. But, if you don’t tell anyone about this high temperature flaw, you can potentially make millions of dollars. Do you leave out the data that basically kills your material? Explain your decision in detail.