INTRODUCTION TOENGINEERING ETHICSProf Dr Ahmad Kamal Ariffinislam and engineering 1wintersemester 2010/2011

References National Society of Professional ican Society of Mechanical Information/Podcasts.cfm#Ethics Bowen, Richard W., Engineering Ethics, Outline of anAspirational Approach, Springer, 2009. Moriarty, G., The Engineering Project, Its Nature,Ethics and Promise, The Pennsylvania State UniversityPress, 2008 Seebauer, E. G., and Barry, R. L., Fundamentals ofEthics for Scientists and Engineers, Oxford, 2001.2

Engineering – What is it? Engineering is the profession in which aknowledge of the mathematical and naturalsciences, gained by study, experience, andpractice, is applied with judgment to developways to utilise, economically, the materialsand forces of nature for the benefit ofmankind.3

The Engineer –who is he/she? Engineers turn ideas into reality; i.e. they createuseful products and systems (through design andmanufacturing/construction) Engineers apply creativity - playing with imaginationand possibilities, leading to new and meaningfulconnections and outcomes while interacting withideas, people, and the environment. This is whatengineers do (another possible definition ofengineering) - in regard to the man-madeenvironment.4

The Engineer Is an important and learned professional Is expected to exhibit the highest standards ofhonesty and integrity Has a profession that has a direct and vital impacton the quality of life for all people5

Expectations Services provided by engineers require honesty,impartiality, fairness and equity, and must bededicated to the protection of the public health,safety, and welfare Perform under a standard of professionalbehaviour6

Therefore . adherence to the highest principles of ethical conductby engineers.7

INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS Definitions: see for example Introduction:An Introduction to Ethics Islamic ext.asp?type article&aid 75 Further reading

Introduction - definition Ethics - also called moral philosophy the disciplineconcerned with what is morally good and bad, rightand wrong. The term is also applied to any system ortheory of moral values or principles.from Encyclopedia Britannica9

What do we mean by ethics? morality is the right or wrong (or otherwise) of anaction, a way of life or a decision ethics is the study of such standards as we use orpropose to judge such things Example: abortion may be moral or immoralaccording to the code we employ but ethics tells uswhy we call it so and how we made up our minds.10

On the contrary Moral and ethical statements – distinguished frometiquette and law.11

Why study ethics? everyone is engaged in ethical thought at most timesin their lives, knowingly or otherwise each day we are confronted with ethical problemsand have to make ethical decisions12

History ethics is universal therefore many thinkers in the pastput forward their ideas and tried to improve on whatcame before them many conceptions of ethics in the ancient world werebased on or influenced by the Greeks, particularlyPlato and Aristotle (also, later we will discuss further about Islamic ethics)13

Where do ethics come from? From God Islam teaches that:“whoever saves the life of one, it shall be as ifhe had saved the life of all mankind.” (Qur’an,5:32) From an abstract world where concepts existin some way From agreement between people From a consideration of duty, or virtue From a consideration of the consequences ofvarious actions14

Engineering code ofethics their origins not just a personal preference established andgoverned by the individual engineer companies and professional societies have draftedcodes of ethics to which their members are requiredto commit the codes tend to be very similar15

The Hammurabi Code If a builder has built a house for aman and has not made his worksound, and the house he has builthas fallen down and so caused thedeath of the householder, thatbuilder shall be put to death. If itcauses the death of thehouseholder’s son, they shall put thebuilder’s son to death .(Babylon, 1758 B.C.)16

Examples of Code of Ethics The NSPE – National Society of ProfessionalEngineers The ASME – American Society of MechanicalEngineers The IEEE17

Engineering EthicsCode of Ethics for Engineers (excerpt of NSPE)I. Fundamental CanonsEngineers, in the fulfillment of their professionalduties, shall:–Hold paramount the safety, health andwelfare of the public18

–Perform services only in areas of theircompetence.–Issue public statements only in an objectiveand truthful manner.–Act for each employer or client as faithfulagents or trustees.19

–Avoid deceptive acts–Conduct themselves honorably,responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as toenhance the honor, reputation, andusefulness of the profession.20

Ethical Issues are Seldom Blackand WhiteConflicting demands:Loyalty to company and colleaguesConcern for public welfarePersonal gain, ambitionEthical standards are usually relative andpersonal, there is seldom an absolutestandard21

From the internet. Engineering is our profession, not just a job. Study of engineering ethics can guide us inresolving the moral dilemmas we mightencounter. Being responsible is what a professional is allabout. Our goal must be to become morallyautonomous in the performance of our duties.Quote from Armando B. Corripio, Ph.D., P.E.22

Personal Ethics - everydayexamples Software piracyCopying of homework or testsIncome taxes“Borrowing” nuts and bolts, office suppliesfrom employer Copying of Videos or CD’s Plagiarism Using the copy machine at work23

Study of engineering ethics can guide us in resolving the moral dilemmas we might encounter. Being responsible is what a professional is all about. Our goal must be to become morally autonomous in the performance of o