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Engineering Ethics: The Basics

Arthur E. Schwartz, CAE Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel National Society of Professional Engineers Alexandria Virginia Alexandria, aschwartz@nspe.org

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Engineering Ethics
Overview of Session
1. 2. 3. Discussion of Ethical Obligations Engineering Ethics: You be the Judge Other Ethics Exercises

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Engineering Ethics

Among g the universal ethical values are honesty, integrity, promise-keeping, fidelity, fairness, respect f p for f others, responsible p citizenship, pursuit of excellence and y accountability. Michael Josephson

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Engineering Ethics

Black and White Areas Easy Right vs. Wrong Gray Areas Tougher Right g vs. Right g Lesser of the Evils/Dilemma Other Factors Time/Money Family Career Reputation
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Engineering Ethics

Professional Maturity Emotional Intelligence Learning to Be Comfortable with Ambiguity Path to Clarity? y More than One Answer to the Same Question Sometimes One Answer is Not Entirely Correct

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Engineering Ethics

Data Information Facts Knowledge g Expertise Wisdom

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Engineering Ethics

Why Study Engineering Ethics?


To Understand the Standards Governing What is Acceptable Behavior in the Practice of Engineering Personal Injury/Property Damage Di i li Disciplinary A Action ti Impact on Reputation, Employer, Clients, Profession Possible Loss of Job, Business, etc.
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Wh P Why Practice ti Engineering E i i Ethically? Ethi ll ?


Engineering Ethics

All products of technology present some potential dangers, dangers and thus engineering is an inherently risky activityEngineering should be p p process. It is not, , of f viewed as an experimental course, an experiment conducted solely in a laboratory under controlled conditions. Rather, i is it i an experiment i on a social i l scale l involving i l i human subjects
Martin and Schinziger, Schinziger Ethics in Engineering

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Engineering g g Ethics

Engineering Ethics:
Among the Most Important Issues Facing the U.S. Engineering Profession - NAE Public Perceptions Recent Honesty and Ethics Poll Good News !!!
Engineers considered among the most ethical professionals after nurses (82%), pharmacists (66%), and p physicians y ( (65%) %) 62% believe engineers very high or high honesty and ethical standards.
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Engineering g g Ethics

Professional Codes of Ethics


A code of professional ethics results when a field organizes itself into a profession. The resulting code is central to advising those professionals h t how to conduct d t themselves, th l to t judge j d their th i conduct and to understand the profession.

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Engineering Ethics

Hierarchy of Ethical Obligations Primary: y Ethical Obligations g to the Public Secondary: Ethical Obligations to Employer or Client Tertiary: Ethical Obligations to Other Professionals and Other Parties
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Engineering Ethics

Three Basic Ethical Obligations (1) Public, (2) Employer/Client and (3) Other o ess o a s... Professionals...
Never Mutually Exclusive - Reciprocal Not A Zero Zero Sum Game Game All Need To Be Considered At All Times Should Be Complementary to Integrated With One Another To The Fullest Extent Possible Ethical Integration = Professional Integrity
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Engineering Ethics

Seven Principles Impacting Each Obli i Obligation


1. 2 2. 3. 4 4. 5. 6. 7. Protecting The Public Health, Safety and Welfare D Demonstrating i P Professional f i l Competence C Maintaining Objectivity/Truthfulness Addressing Conflict of Interest Preserving Confidentiality Receiving g and Providing g Valuable Consideration Emerging Areas/Emerging Challenges

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Engineering g g Ethics
1 Protecting 1. P t ti The Th Public P bli Health, H lth Safety S f t and d Welfare W lf
- Conformance with Applicable Standards - Approval/Signing pp g g and Sealing g of Engineering g g Drawings - Responsible Charge/Responsible Control - Judgment Overruled - Awareness of Safety Violations - Awareness of Illegal Practice

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Engineering Ethics
2. Demonstrating Professional Competence - Education, Experience, Qualifications
- Acceptance of Assignment - Signing and Sealing of Work - Coordination of Work - Scope of Practice

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Engineering Ethics
3. Maintaining Objectivity/Truthfulness/NonD Deception i - Inclusion of All Relevant Information
- Issuance of Public Statements - Disclosure to Interested Parties - Expression of Technical Opinions - Reviewing Work of Another - Sales and Marketing Practice

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Engineering Ethics
4. Addressing g Conflicts of Interest
Faithful Agent and Trustee Avoid vs. Disclosure Appearances Appearances Acceptance of Compensation from More Than One Party Serving on Public Bodies Accepting Contracts from Government Bodies Part-Time Engineering Work Contingent g Fee Arrangements g Representing Adversary Interests Consent

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Engineering Ethics
5. Preserving Confidentiality
- Business or Technical Affairs of Employers/Clients - Proprietary Proprietar Information/Files - Arranging for New Employment or Business pp Opportunities - Consent

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Engineering Ethics
6. Receiving and Providing Gifts and Other Valuable Consideration
- Accepting Consideration from Suppliers for Specifying Product - Accepting Commissions/Allowances Directly from Contractors - Political Contributions - Bribery

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Engineering Ethics
7. Emerging g g Areas/Emerging g g Challenges g - Technology - Use of Internet and Electronic Practice - Sustainable Design/Development - Environmental Considerations - Alternative Al i P Project j D Delivery li - Integrated Project Delivery - Building Information Modeling - Design/Build

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Engineering Ethics
ISO 26000 Social Responsibility

In 2010 the International Standards Organization published Guidance for Social Responsibility This document is not a standard, but a voluntary framework to aid organizations in moving closer to socially responsible behavior

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Engineering Ethics
ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Seven Principles p of Social Responsibility p y
(1) Accountability, (2) Transparency, (3) Ethical Behavior, ( (4) ) Respect p for Law, (5) ( ) Respect p for Stakeholders Interests, (6) Respect for Human Rights and (7) Respect for International Norms of f Behavior h i

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Engineering Ethics
ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Seven Core Subjects j of Social Responsibility p y
(1) Labor Practices, (2) Human Rights, (3) Organizational g Governance, (4) ( ) Fair Operating p g Practices (5) Consumer Issues, (6) The Environment and (7) Community Involvement and d Development l

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Engineering Ethics
The social responsibility of business is to increase profit within the bounds of the law which is to say, engage in open and free competition, without deception or fraud
Milton Friedman

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Engineering Ethics
I am the captain of my fate...I am the master of my soul...
Nelson Mandela

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Engineering Ethics
Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm...
Abraham Lincoln

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Engineering g g Ethics

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour
Japanese proverb

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Engineering Ethics

Good Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws laws Plato

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Engineering Ethics

Always do Al d the h right i h thing hi this hi will ill gratify if some and astonish the rest
Mark Twain

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Engineering Ethics

A A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right right Thomas Paine

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Engineering Ethics

Sweat Sweat saves blood blood, blood saves lives and brains save both General G l George G Patton P tt

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Engineering Ethics

The The brain may devise laws of the blood, blood but a hot temper leaps o'er a cold decree... Portia P ti in i "Merchant "M h t of f Venice" V i " (William Shakespeare)

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Engineering Ethics

Life Life is about not knowingdelicious knowing delicious ambiguity Gilda Radner

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Engineering Ethics
In In so many aspects of life, life you need to be a long-term long term optimist, but a short term realist. You need to know what you know and what you don dont t knowWe know We need to try to do the right thing every time because we never know k what h t moment t in i our lives li we will ill be b judged on - Captain Chesley Sullenburger

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Engineering Ethics

Questions & Answers

Arthur E. Schwartz, CAE Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel National Society of Professional Engineers Alexandria, Virginia aschwartz@nspe.org

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