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Engineering ethics


Engineering ethics is the field of applied ethics and system of moral principles that apply to the practice of engineering. The field examines and sets the obligations by engineers to society, to their clients, and to the profession. As a scholarly discipline, it is closely related to subjects such as the philosophy of science, the philosophy of engineering, and the ethics of technology.

As engineering rose as a distinct profession during the 19th century, engineers saw themselves as either independent professional practitioners or technical employees of large enterprises. There was considerable tension between the two sides as large industrial employers fought to maintain control of their employees.

In the United States growing professionalism gave rise to the development of four founding engineering societies: The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) (1851), the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) (1884), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) (1880), and the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME) (1871). ASCE and AIEE were more closely identified with the engineer as learned professional, where ASME, to an extent, and AIME almost entirely, identified with the view that the engineer is a technical employee.

Even so, at that time ethics was viewed as a personal rather than a broad professional concern.

When the 19th century drew to a close and the 20th century began, there had been series of significant structural failures, including some spectacular bridge failures, notably the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster (1876), Tay Bridge Disaster (1879), and the Quebec Bridge collapse (1907). These had a profound effect on engineers and forced the profession to confront shortcomings in technical and construction practice, as well as ethical standards.



Ethical Decision Making
Code of Ethics
Act, Bylaws and Code of Ethics
EGGP Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics (See link on front page.)
Code of Ethics of Engineers
The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer
Software Ethics - A Guide to the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the University Community of the University of Western Ontario
Ethical principles of engineering profession
Code of Ethics
Anti-Corruption Action Statement
Royal Charter, By-laws, Regulations and Rules
Professional ethics and the IET
Statement of Ethical Principles
Online Ethics Center of the National Academy of Engineering
Onlineethics.org
Code of Ethics
Board of Ethical Review and BER Cases
Ethics Resources and References
Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics
Standards of Professional Conduct for Civil Engineers
Code of Ethics
The Obligation of an Engineer
Code of Ethics
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: "We, the members of the IEEE, … do hereby commit ourselves to the highest ethical and professional conduct and agree: 1. to accept responsibility in making decisions consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment;"
  • Institution of Civil Engineers: "Members of the ICE should always be aware of their overriding responsibility to the public good. A member’s obligations to the client can never override this, and members of the ICE should not enter undertakings which compromise this responsibility. The ‘public good’ encompasses care and respect for the environment, and for humanity’s cultural, historical and archaeological heritage, as well as the primary responsibility members have to protect the health and well being of present and future generations."
  • Professional Engineers Ontario: "A practitioner shall, regard the practitioner's duty to public welfare as paramount."
  • National Society of Professional Engineers: "Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public."
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers: "Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties."
  • Institute of Industrial Engineers: "Engineers uphold and advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the engineering profession by: 2. Being honest and impartial, and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients."
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers: "To achieve these goals, members shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and protect the environment in performance of their professional duties."
  • American Nuclear Society: "ANS members uphold and advance the integrity and honor of their professions by using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare and the environment; being honest and impartial; serving with fidelity the public, their employers, and their clients; and striving to continuously improve the competence and prestige of their various professions."
  • Relationships with clients, consultants, competitors, and contractors
  • Ensuring legal compliance by clients, client's contractors, and others
  • Conflict of interest
  • Bribery and kickbacks, which also may include:
    • Gifts, meals, services, and entertainment
  • Treatment of confidential or proprietary information
  • Consideration of the employer’s assets
  • Outside employment/activities ()
  • Gifts, meals, services, and entertainment
  • Alford, C.F. (2002). Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power, Cornell University Press.
  • Fleddermann, C.B. (2011). Engineering Ethics, Prentice Hall, 4th edition.
  • Glazer, M.P. (1991).Whistleblower, New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Harris, C.E., M.S. Pritchard, and M.J. Rabins (2008).Engineering Ethics: Concept and Cases, Wadsworth Publishing, 4th edition.
  • Huesemann, Michael H., and Joyce A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, Chapter 14, “Critical Science and Social Responsibility”, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, , 464 pp.
  • Martin, M.W., and R. Schinzinger (2004). Ethics in Engineering, McGraw-Hill, 4th edition.
  • Van de Poel, I., and L. Royakkers (2011). Ethics, Technology, and Engineering: An Introductio, Wiley-Blackwell.
  • L'Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ)
  • Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE)
  • List of links to various professional and scientific societies' codes of ethics
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Wikipedia

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