Overview of engineering ethics
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Overview of Engineering Ethics. G. Scott Rutherford, Professor Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Washington. (Original Notes by Dr. Ron Buckman, Affiliate Professor, CEE, UW). Definition of Key Terms. Stakeholders Conflict of Interest

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Overview of Engineering Ethics

G. Scott Rutherford, Professor

Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Washington

(Original Notes by Dr. Ron Buckman, Affiliate Professor, CEE, UW)


Definition of Key Terms

Stakeholders

Conflict of Interest

Significant Professional Relationship

Family Members

Insider Trading

Confidential or Proprietary Information

Outside Employment

Bribes

Kickback

Harassment


I – INTRODUCTION

A. ETHICS VS. MORALS

Morals and ethics often used interchangeably


II – THE ETHICAL ENGINEERA. PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF THE PROFESSIONS

  • 1990 Survey of Executives of 200 National Companies

  • Question: Which of the following types of professionals do you think is the most ethical?


Results

  • Engineers37%

  • Certified Public 26% Accountants

  • Doctors19%

  • Lawyers 9%

  • Dentists 8%

  • Investment Bankers 1%


As a Result of the Results

  • More is expected of Engineers by the public.


B. CORE ETHICAL VALUES FOR ENGINEERS


III - RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY

  • A. “RIGHTS” due to law & tradition

  • B. RESPONSIBILITY for what you do

  • C. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY IN PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE- Loyalty

    - Perform to best ability- Focus on goals


IV - NINE BASIC STEPS TO ETHICAL DECISION MAKING

  • A. Step 1 Practice ethical behavior actively (ethical awareness training)

  • B. Step 2 Beware of “new ethics” (Postmodernism)

  • C. Step 3 Define the ethical problem when it arises

  • D. Step 4 Formulate and list alternatives


IV - NINE BASIC STEPS TO ETHICAL DECISION MAKING

  • E. Step 5 Evaluate the alternatives

  • F. Step 6 Seek additional assistance

  • G. Step 7 Choose ethical alternative

  • H. Step 8 Implement the action

  • I. Step 9 Monitor the outcome

  • Examles: Oil Business & Forecasting


Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Nov 7, 1940


Tacoma Narrows Bridge

40 MPH Wind


Tacoma Narrows Bridge


NEWTacoma Narrows Bridges


Ethical Issues??

  • First, designed by State Engineer

    • Conventional 25 ft girders, $11 Million

  • Next, fancy NYC Eng. Moisseiff (Golden Gate Bridge)

    • 8 Ft I Beams Total cost $8 Million


Kansas City Hyatt Disaster

  • July 17, 1981 Walkways in Hyatt Fall

  • 114 dead & 200 injured (most ever)

  • Design detail changed by fabricator

  • Dispute on approval by structural firm

  • Huge loses, lost PE licenses, bankruptcy


Kansas City Hyatt Disaster


Kansas City Hyatt Disaster


Kansas City Hyatt Disaster


Kansas City Hyatt Disaster


Hyatt Ethical Issues

  • Who is responsible for reviewing shop drawings?

  • Who is responsible for meeting building codes?

  • What can we do to avoid these problems in the future?

  • Avoid 442 page court rulings!!


Minneapolis Bridge Collapse


Minneapolis Bridge Collapse


Minneapolis Bridge Collapse


Minneapolis Bridge Collapse


Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

2006 Inspection Report


Bridge Collapse Issues

  • Steel Bearings

  • Steel Gusset Plates

  • Construction Vibrations

  • Construction Truck Loads

  • Secret CIA Sponsored Research at UM

  • Train Vibrations

  • Deck…..


Ethics Warm-up

You and 9 others have been held captive by FARC rebels for 2 months in the jungles of Columbia. You have paid a guard to smuggle you out but he can only take 6 people total. Since you paid it’s up to you to pick who goes. The others will be tortured, raped and executed when they become aware of the escape.


Ethics Warm-upWho Will You Pick??


Ethics Case Studies

  • Thursday 10/11/08

  • Assemble in groups

  • Choose two case studies previously assigned

  • Pick a: group manager

    time manager

    note taker

    other


Ethics Case Studies

  • Read and discuss two case studies.

  • What are the major ethics issues?

  • What would you do?

  • What should the person in the case study do?

  • Prepare Business Memo to Professor

  • Reference where you got format of memo


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