Engineering Codes of Ethics
View the "Engineering Code of Ethics" from your discipline. Compare it to Codes from other closely related engineering disciplines. The Codes of individual disciplines frequently stress unique ethical issues related to the performance of that discipline's normal professional duties.
Each of these Codes of Conduct relates to the interaction of an engineer to others: clients, society, employers, employees, and to the engineering profession. For engineers, Engineering Ethics is not a topic separate from engineering, it is part of the essence of engineering as it pertains to the professional responsibilities that the engineer has with society.
- Moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior.
- A theory or system of moral values.
- The basic concepts and fundamental principles of decent human conduct. It includes the study of universal values such as the essential equality of all men and women, human or natural rights, obedience to the law of land, concern for health and safety and, increasingly, also for the natural environment.
Ethics and the Design Process
It is important that engineers first approach ethical, safety, liability, environmental, quality, and communications issues in the first step of the design process, rather than allowing the design to proceed without regard to these issues.
This allows engineers to address and analyze each element of the problem from the problem statement to the release of the product or service to the customer.
This allows engineers to integrate (naturally) the consideration of ethical and other concerns directly into the design process and to expand the alternative designs to potentially eliminate or reduce problems, rather than simply to react to the problems.
Now is a good time to ask ourselves...
What do we truly believe about right and wrong? What is moral and ethical? Is morality relative? If you believe so, then how much of it is? What is subject to individual judgment and what is not? Ethical conduct is the foundation of cooperation and civilization. What responsibility do we have to maintain a just and civilized society? What is your choice in a landscape where other engineers ignore ethics and get ahead? If you want change, You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Fundamental Ethical Canons of Professional Engineers
(National Society of Professional Engineers)
Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:
- Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
- Perform services only in areas of their competence.
- Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
- Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
- Avoid deceptive acts.
- Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.
Obligations of Professional Engineers
Obligations of Professional Engineers:
- Engineers shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
- Engineers shall at all times strive to serve the public interest.
- Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public.
- Engineers shall not disclose, without consent, confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer, or public body on which they serve.
- Engineers shall not be influenced in their professional duties by conflicting interests.
- Engineers shall not attempt to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by untruthfully criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods.
- Engineers shall not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice, or employment of other engineers. Engineers who believe others are guilty of unethical or illegal practice shall present such information to the proper authority for action.
- Engineers shall accept personal responsibility for their professional activities, provided, however, that engineers may seek indemnification for services arising out of their practice for other than gross negligence, where the engineer's interests cannot otherwise be protected.
- Engineers shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.
Ethics is an important element in all professional training!
Serious ethical misconduct may result in the loss of professional status
as well as professional income!
The links below provide engineering ethics examples, case studies, and various professional codes of conduct. Use these links to help with ethics assignments or just to educate yourself about professional ethical expectations.
|Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism||See the 'Ethics Resources' link for ethics seminars, case studies, and more ...|
|Onlineethics.org||The Online Ethics Center for Engineering & Science|
|National Society of Professional Engineers||NSPE Ethics Reference Guide, NSPE Code of Ethics, Case studies, Consolidated Table of Contents to the Opinions of the Board of Ethical Review, Subject Reference Guide to NSPE Code of Ethics.|
|Ethics Resource Center||Articles, case studies, ethics toolkit, webcasts|
|Centre for Computing & Social Responsibility||Use the search box at the top of the page for access to lots of applied ethics articles|
|Ethics in Computing||Extensive resource covering computer ethics in commerce, social justice, computer abuse, intellectual property, speech issues, privacy, risks as well as many basic ethics articles.|