Essay on Code of Ethics Engineering - 1168 Words

Engineering Ethics
Respect-for-Persons Analysis:
During the hurricane season (mid- and late summer), Citicorp tower engineers developed elaborate emergency evacuation plans. This was at the time when New York City was most vulnerable to the threats of structural failure as a result of wind speeds. However, these plans were not revealed to the general public, shop and office workers, other property owners, tens of thousands of residents, people in the neighborhood (Kremer, 2010). These are people were to be informed only in the event of a hurricane looming over New York. According to Red Cross estimates, as much as 200,000 people would have lost their lives had the Citicorp building collapsed.
When a fatal flaw was noted just a year after completion of the Citicorp, the engineers undertook repairs that were kept secret from the public until about twenty years after completion. William LeMessurier, the structural engineer, misleading reports were given to the media regarding the reasons for the retrofit (Kremer, 2010). None of the engineering, architectural and legal professional, contractors, or public official tasked within preventing the disaster came forward to correct what was clearly known to them as false news release or the misrepresentations given by Citicorp Officers, LeMessurier, and the Department of Buildings. This was contrary to the requirements of Canon 3 of the National Society of professional Engineers Code of Ethics which directs engineers to relay public statements in an objective and truthful manner (Kremer, 2010).
LeMessurier justified his action to withhold the public safety information by saying there was no need to spread terror to people who did not need to be terrorized. While the desire to avert public panic is in itself a legitimate reasons for choosing a course of action, keeping secret informs from a multitude of persons whose safety is questionable over such great length of time was not a genuine alternative (Kremer, 2010).

Code Of Ethics Development Engineering Essay

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Essay about Engineering Ethics - 807 Words

Reference List
American Society of Civil Engineers. Code of Ethics. Reston, Virginia, USA: ASCE Press.2010.
Retrieved 2011-12-07.
Layton, Edwin . The Revolt of the Engineers: Social Responsibility and the American
Engineering Profession. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.1986.
Martin, Mike and Roland Schinzinger .Ethics in Engineering .New York:McGraw-Hill, 4th edition. 2005.

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These codes of ethics may provide some moral guidance, but they are not thefinal answer in ethical dilemmas. Members of the ethics committees may bewilling to talk to you anonymously, but they cannot help you professionally orlegally. It is important to know that in general, the professionalsocieties will not defend their members. The professional members mayhelp prosecute their members, and force their members from their societies, butit is very unlikely that they will come to your defense. So while you mayfind some unofficial consoling from your respective professional society, donot expect official help from them.

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Ethics are of special importance to practicing professionals, includingengineers. Professions such as doctors, teachers, lawyers, and engineershave a greater responsibility to society to do their jobs ethically. Inorder to accomplish this though, it is important to understand what ethicsreally means. The actions that society finds acceptable versus theactions which society does not accept create the ethics by which a member ofsociety must abide. From this definition, ethical action on the part ofengineer can be partially simplified, (as it is in most codes of ethics fromengineering organizations,) as the simple mandate that an engineer's greatestresponsibility is to the public good. The following discussion iscentered around what responsibility comes with being an engineer, thechallenges an engineer faces, and some resources for helping an engineerfulfill his responsibility to do the public good.

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These two definitions give a lot of insight into the complexity of whatmakes up ethics. In order to understand ethics, we must accept theresponsibility and accountability of our actions. Further, we must have aright and wrong, a moral code. Most religions have a moral code ofconduct, and most cultures have a minimum code of conduct also. In thecase of society's code of conduct, its laws, it is usually a reflection of themoral values of a super majority of its population. Moral codes defineour rights and wrongs, and are usually cultural specific. Thiscombination, of determining right and wrong and being responsible for ouractions, creates the standards for ethical behavior.

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Importance Of Engineering Ethics - Essay by Hammerguy

How much is the cost of saving a life? Embedded engineers are oftencalled to design systems which are safety critical. For example, anotherhypothetical engineer is designing a medical system. This medical systemadministers medication to an intravenous drip at a specified amount and for aspecified period of time. You are the engineer on the design of thecontrol system for this medication system. You have added many safetyscreens to the user interface in order to make sure that the doctor or nursehas appropriately set the dosage. You also add a safety feature in whichthe device stops working after a certain period of time to make sure that ithas been calibrated in order to not deliver the incorrect dosage. Yourmanager puts a lot of pressure on you to remove the extra safetytime-out. He believes that the company could sell more units if thesafety lock out wasn't installed in the unit; the unit would cost less, and theusers won't have to confront a possibly annoying time out. What do youdo? Do you remove the lockout and simply advise in the documentation tocalibrate the unit periodically? What if you know that the unit willdrift out of calibration eventually? What happens if you leave the safetylock out in the device, and it stops working when it is supposed to bedelivering medication to a patient? It is difficult, especially whencreating safety critical systems, to know what is the right thing to do.