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Engineering Ethics

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By dsmith13793
Words 1631
Pages 7
Major Essay

Engineering is a very diverse field consisting of many different disciplines, methods of education and cultures. What is similar across all disciplines of engineering is the desire to design and create technology that will benefit humanity. In particular civil engineering is concerned with the design and construction of large scale infrastructure such as dams, bridges, roads and railway. Mostly all civil engineering projects have a significant impact on the public and the environment. It is therefore necessary for engineers to make morally responsible decisions that will result in the most positive outcome for the public and environment. Three concepts that must be analysed by engineers to ensuring a positive outcome are: safety, environmental impact and cultural consideration. A number of cases will be presented to illustrate the complex nature of engineering decision and to offer potential ways in which morally responsible engineers should act.

Engineering requires a high level of knowledge and expertise. As well as having a high level of technical knowledge, engineers are required to make important moral decisions which may have significant future impacts. A morally responsible engineer is an engineer who goes out of their way to make sure they are doing their job to the best of their ability. This not only includes applying their skills to make an effective product, but making sure their end product has a positive impact both on the users and the environment. An example of an engineer who may be considered morally irresponsible is someone who only completes the minimum requirements for a project. Morally responsible engineers are encouraged to exceed this minimum level of expectation. This can be illustrated in the following hypothetical case. John, a structural engineer is given the task of producing a design for a pedestrian bridge across a...

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