The Unwritten Laws Of Engineering Essay example

The Unwritten Laws Of Engineering Essay example

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The Unwritten Laws of Engineering was first published in 1944 in three separate articles in the periodical Mechanical Engineering by W. J. King. The current edition was edited by James G. Skakoon in 2001. The three original articles are combined as three chapters in the book. James G. Skakoon notes in the preface that the laws still hold true after all this time. The book focuses on different phases in the career of many engineers in the first two chapters. The final chapter deals with personal issues and advice that pertains to both engineers and engineering managers
Chapter one is titled “What the Beginner Needs to Learn at Once”. The first section of chapter one deals with a young engineer’s relationship with his job. Personally I note the consul to “Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements”. The novice, well-meaning engineer is tempted to give an answer to a question when the truthful answer is “I do not know”. In my first job out of college I worked at a glass plant. The level of molten glass in the furnace was read using an instrument that was mounted on the wall of the furnace. The process engineers had become skeptical of the reading the level detector was generating. My first task as a beginning engineer was to design a new bracket to hold the level detector. Asked in a meeting if I could design a bracket that would ensure no movement of the detector due to the 1700 oF heat from the glass furnace I spouted out “Yes!” My engineering manager pulled me aside afterwards and counseled me not to make any statements like that in meetings again. Reading this book prior to my employment at the glass plant may have prevented my brash remark. Reflecting after reading the book, a better response would h...


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...r must give an honest evaluation of themselves to ensure they want to move into management or stay an engineer. Mentoring a successor is part of a manager’s job and evaluating who would be best fit to be a manager is part of the managers responsibilities.
All the laws presented in the book can be correlated to the codes of conduct. The actions and results the laws intend can be used to support ethical theories. Reviewing The Unwritten Laws of Engineering I think if an engineer remembers one word from the code they will seldom err. That word is “serve”. Engineering is a career of service. Through the engineer’s talent, abilities and education they serve. Another tenured engineer told me, remember many problems in the company will be solved by the engineering department. We are the ones who are expected to have the skills and knowledge to serve in that regard.

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