The Ethics of Engineering

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Ethics refer to those habits or standards that are considered to show good character and conduct. In the professional practice of engineering, engineers are confronted with different ethical issues and interpersonal conflicts. These cases could range from a small scale involving few people to larger conflicts where the outcome influences the engineering community and the society at large. Classically, engineering education does not duly address the needs for ethical education to be incorporated into the technical curriculum. However, it has become axiomatic that engineers must exhibit good ethical behavior because safety of the people and the environment rely on the quality of the designs/services that engineers provide. What makes up an ethical issue and its suitable resolution varies considerably from person to person. As an aspiring electrical engineer, I have outlined some instances that I believe could lead to conflict of interest in my engineering practice. I have also thought up ways I believe these conflicts could be resolved. 1. I am a leading member of a research and development team who are designing new printers for a leading company in my town. Additionally, the company I work for want to remove the environmental hazard present as a result of the dumping of inkjet. However, inkjet cartridges are produced in my hometown. If these new printers’ cartridges are not disposable, the factory in my town could shut down resulting in my friends and family losing their jobs. What should I do as a result of my position and power in the project and company? Solution: In this case, I could use my position to press for making a reusable inkjet cartridge that can be produced in my town’s factory. 2. The company I work for is biddi... ... middle of paper ... ... of matters confronting engineers. I believe that an electrical engineer must choose how to advance when the impact of new machinery is not completely predictable or understood. As an engineer, you have a pressing desire to extend our biological capabilities and address the burgeoning needs for energy, water, housing, transportation, etc. This desire, I believe, could result in a flawed sense of security about the functionality of a machine. This could further result in ignoring possible repercussions and side effects. Overtime, we have seen a myriad of engineering catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans Levee system and the Fukushima Reactor Meltdown. These examples enlighten me to the fact that I must pay critical attention to how my work as an engineer must be done without producing environmental alterations or harm to the society and environment.

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