Code Of Ethics In Engineering: Humanity Essay

Questions:

1. What is engineering?
2. What are the Code of Ethics in Engineering?
3. What is professionalism in engineering?
4. What else is considered in these codes of ethics?

Answers:

1. Engineering is the innovative procedure of creating and using the experience and knowledge of humanity to provide safety, wellbeing and health to all individuals in society, with due concern to the surroundings in which they live and the availability of the resources they use (Lollino, 2014). Individuals in the Organization of Engineers, Australia are bound by similar values to support engineering and enhance its knowledge for the greater good based upon certain principles. This values include; competent performance, innovative practice, engineering excellence, sustainable development, equality of opportunity, and social justice. The society entrusts its integrity and decision of individuals to enhance the above ethics and to work in a professional way that focuses on the interests of the society above personal or sectional interests (Cameron & O'Leary 2015).

2. The code of Ethics gives a list of guidelines which have been stipulated by the board of the organisation as the basis upon which individuals shall perform their work in order to gain the trust of the community. In addition, it is the structure from which principles of conduct are created. Over time, this code of ethics are subject to changes. Therefore, it is important to periodically inform the society about the changes in the code of ethics. In 1994, there was a revision of the code of ethics that enhanced changes in perceptions of the society and the greater responsibility of the organisation in people’s activities (Stappenbelt 2013).The principle has a part which gives specific guidelines on the applicability of the values to manage the needs of the communities. According to Whitebeck, members are supposed to follow the guidelines as highlighted in order to be involved in the activities of the institution. Most importantly, all participants are supposed to provide continuous support to the proper control of practice, employment and qualifications in engineering (Whitebeck, 2015). It is significant to note that the members working according to the guidelines are supported fully by the Institution (Harris, 2015). The extent of the support will depend on the Council’s decision on the achievements of every case.

3. Harris suggests that Engineers working as self-employed consultants are usually dependent on the decision of the clients and that decision is determined on how they perceived in order to work according to the requirements of the client (Harris, 2015). Hence, engineers who do not work according to the client’s instructions are less likely to be given contracts in future. In most areas the number of potential clients is minimal and consultants facing problems due to social responsibility will easily be identified. Moreover, if an engineer suspects that the project does not affect the health, welfare, and safety of the society they have an obligation to work on the project unless themselves would negatively impacted by the project. However, engineers are expected to work according to the interests of the community. At a minimal level, the code of ethics should limit an engineer from creating a good Engineering Information System (EIS) for the employer if there is a possibility of endangering the welfare of the community.

If the engineers entirely depend on ethical values for moral reasoning then there is no doubt that they should consider the interest of their clients in creating an EIS unless they will be directly impacted by the project. This is because majority of the engineering principles also include a tenet that requires them to use their knowledge and skills according to the instructions of the employer (Oladinrin & Ho 2014). The code of ethics does not include the environment in the tenet which has contributed to an ongoing debate with the Australian Institution of Engineers. This leaves the contracted engineers to make a decision on whether environmental protection is an important part of society welfare. Regarding their responsibility in creating EISs, majority of engineering contractors highlight a different form of moral reasoning, they suggest that they have integrity and hence their EIS report are not only focused on the client. In general, engineering code of ethics tenets. For instance, all engineers are required to act with honesty, good faith and fairness. However, most contractors creating an EIS will not consider making a decision based on scientific credibility as being dishonest and unfair. It is common to find most engineers manipulating an EIS in order to provide a reasonable outcome and that they are mostly concerned with integrity than ethical behavior. Therefore, engineering consultants than attain a reputation with the community for distorting and manipulating an EIS will affect those clients who want to gain community approval for their construction (Baillie & Levine 2013). On the contrary, contractors who create an EIS that gives the community an opportunity to reject the project would not get more work in future. Integrity for engineering contractors involves being careful while preparing a favourable EIS without biasness on both parties. This means that you should be within the range of scientific credibility (Cropley 2014).

4. Additionally, emphasizing on individuals ethics, which is a professional code, tends to focus on ethics that surrounds single projects. In particular, an EIS targets individual projects which has a minimal impact on the environment. Mostly it is the continued effect of such construction that deteriorates the environment. Hence, a contractor working on a certain EIS may feel guaranteed that the project will not impact the environment, therefore, it is important for the engineer to be aware of cumulative effect of those projects. Clearly, the institution of Engineers, Australia have doubts that this possible (Dyehouse, 2017). They have highlighted that EISs cannot estimate the additional effects of projects on the environment and that it was wrong to consider the Environmental impact assessment to assess the long-term sustainability problems. To conclude, an EIS is not an accurate tool for assessing environmental affects and excessive environmental problems does not suggest that the project will not be commissioned. Furthermore, the ethic of sustainable development is that development which meets the current needs without affecting the ability of future individuals to meet their own needs.

References

  1. Abdul-Rahman, H., Hanid, M., & Yap, X. W. (2014). Does professional ethics affect quality of construction–a case in a developing economy?. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 25(3-4), 235-248.
  1. Baillie, C., & Levine, M. (2013). Engineering ethics from a justice perspective: A critical repositioning of what it means to be an engineer. International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace, 2(1), 10-20.
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  1. Whitbeck, C. (2011). Ethics in engineering practice and research. Cambridge University Press.
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  1. Dyehouse, M., Weber, N., Fang, J., Harris, C., David, R., Hua, I., & Strobel, J. (2017). Examining the relationship between resistance to change and undergraduate engineering students’ environmental knowledge and attitudes. Studies in Higher Education, 42(2), 390-409.
  2. Cropley, D. H. (2014). Engineering, ethics and creativity: N’er the twain shall meet. The ethics of creativity, 152-169.
  3. Ho, C. M. F. (2014). Strategies for improving codes of ethics implementation in construction organizations. Ethics.

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