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Ethics for the Practicing Engineer—Engineering Responsibilities. SWEDE Conference San Antonio 11 May 2007. Texas State Board Rules. Continuing Education Program— Jan. 2004 The 78th legislature passed SB277 mandating a CEP program administered by State Board

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swede conference san antonio 11 may 2007

Ethics for thePracticing Engineer—Engineering Responsibilities

SWEDE Conference

San Antonio

11 May 2007

texas state board rules
Texas State Board Rules
  • Continuing Education Program—Jan. 2004
    • The 78th legislature passed SB277 mandating a CEP program administered by State Board
    • Based on self-determination of activities and content, and accounting by the license holder
    • Requires 15 PDH (professional development hours) to include 1 PDH professional ethics, each year
    • Carry-over of up to 15 PDH is allowed
    • Required for renewal after March 2005
    • http://www.tbpe.state.tx.us/downloads/131.139%20-%20Adopted.htm

Engineering Responsibilities

responsible
“Responsible”
  • Responsible:
    • 1) liable to be called on to answer; liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties;
    • 2) able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations; able to choose for oneself between right and wrong... (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)

Engineering Responsibilities

one philosophy of responsibility
One philosophy of responsibility
  • Cicero’s Creed: "Salus populi suprema est lex," Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 - 43 BC
    • “The safety of the public shall be the[ir] highest law" (Broome 1986)
    • An early statement of the engineer’s responsibility

Engineering Responsibilities

the primary responsibility of engineers
The primary responsibility of engineers…
  • The engineer is responsible for making sure his work does not harm the public health, safety or welfare (?)
  • The engineer is responsible for protecting the public health, safety and welfare (?)
  • The engineer is responsible for protecting the public health, safety and welfare, to the extent that his work affects these (?)

Engineering Responsibilities

ways in which harm can be caused
Ways in which harm can be caused
  • Negligently--by failing to exercise due care
  • Recklessly--acting in a way that we recognize might cause harm
  • Intentionally--not common for professionals to cause harm by intent

Engineering Responsibilities

responsibilities of engineers
Responsibilities of engineers
  • Legal responsibilities: Not to cause harm; to compensate when harm is caused; to practice in accord with Engineering Practices Act
  • Moral responsibilities: To recognize and discharge our duties while satisfying our obligations to the public; understand and adhere to a Code of Ethics

Engineering Responsibilities

the engineering practices act a code of ethics for the texas pe
The Engineering Practices Act--a Code of Ethics for the Texas PE
  • Engineers Shall Protect the Public
  • Engineers Shall Be Objective and Truthful
  • Engineers\' Actions Shall Be Competent
  • Engineers Shall Maintain Confidentiality of Clients
  • Engineers\' Responsibility to the Profession
  • Action in Another Jurisdiction

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers shall protect the public
Engineers Shall Protect the Public
  • Shall be entrusted to protect the public (anyone who might be affected)
  • Shall not perform any function which might endanger
  • Shall notify parties or Board of any practices which might endanger
  • Should examine the environmental impact of their actions and projects

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers shall be objective and truthful
Engineers Shall Be Objective and Truthful
  • Shall issue only objective and truthful statements, and not mislead
  • Disclose any possible conflict of interest
  • Properly seal his/her work; modify other engineers’ work only in prescribed situations

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers actions shall be competent
Engineers\' Actions Shall Be Competent
  • Shall practice only in their area of competence, when qualified by education and/or experience
  • Shall not express an opinion in a legal forum contrary to generally accepted engineering practice without disclosing basis and rationale for that opinion.

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers shall maintain confidentiality of clients
Engineers Shall Maintain Confidentiality of Clients
  • Shall act as faithful agents for clients or employers
  • Reveal confidences and private information only when…
    • consent is given,
    • required by court order, or
    • if undisclosed, the information constitutes a threat to the public

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers responsibility to the profession
Engineers\' Responsibility to the Profession
  • Shall engage in professional and business activities only in honest and ethical manner
  • Shall endeavor to meet all applicable professional practice requirements, statutes, regulations, laws, etc.
  • Exercise reasonable care to prevent conduct by associates or employees contrary to the Act

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers responsibility to the profession cont d
Engineers\' Responsibility to the Profession, cont’d...
  • Exercise reasonable care to prevent association of your name, etc., with any venture that might be fraudulent, dishonest, or illegal…

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers responsibility to the profession cont d1
Engineers\' Responsibility to the Profession, cont’d...
  • Conduct affairs in a manner respectful of the client, employees, involved parties…
    • honest billing practices, do not perform unnecessary work, avoid unprofessional language, harassment, intimidation…
    • do not aid or abet an unlicensed person in the unlawful practice of engineering
    • do not maliciously injure the reputation of another or retaliate against someone who gives an unfavorable reference in good faith

Engineering Responsibilities

engineers responsibility to the profession cont d2
Engineers\' Responsibility to the Profession, cont’d...
  • Conduct affairs in respectful manner, cont’d...
    • do not give or promise any gift, favor or commission to secure work
    • do not accept compensation from more than one party for the same work
    • do not solicit work with false or misleading advertising
    • do not submit competitive bids (cost) to any state governmental entity

Engineering Responsibilities

action in another jurisdiction
Action in Another Jurisdiction
  • Do not practice or offer to practice engineering in violation of any laws in other jurisdictions

Engineering Responsibilities

some issues with the texas state board
Some issues with the Texas State Board...
  • Industrial exemption--State Board has stated an intention of terminating the industrial exemption
  • Who is bound by the Engineering Practices Act?
    • Professional Engineers
    • Engineer employees?

Engineering Responsibilities

missouri city antenna tower collapse
Missouri City Antenna Tower Collapse
  • For more details, see:
    • http://ethics.tamu.edu/ethics/tvtower/tv3.htm#analysis

Engineering Responsibilities

scenario
Scenario
  • Antenna & 1000 ft. tower designed by engineer
  • Contractor (rigger) awarded erection contract

Engineering Responsibilities

tower erection method
Tower erection method

Tower (about 1000 ft)

Gin pole

Tower sections (40 ft)

Antenna Section

Engineering Responsibilities

scenario cont d
Scenario, cont’d...
  • During erection, rigger realizes lifting points on antenna sections can’t be used without fouling antenna baskets
  • Rigger asks to remove baskets and replace them after erection
  • Engineer denies riggers’ request (the last contractor who removed baskets caused expensive damage to antennas)

Engineering Responsibilities

scenario cont d1
Scenario, cont’d...
  • Rigger develops a plan to mount extension on antenna section to lift it
  • Rigger asks engineer to review the plan
  • Engineer declines to review riggers’ plan to mount extension on antenna, citing increased liability

Engineering Responsibilities

scenario cont d2
Scenario, cont’d...
  • Rigger proceeds with lift of antenna
  • Extension boom fails, antenna falls (striking stay cable?), tower falls, seven workers are killed

Engineering Responsibilities

free body diagram of antenna section during lift with rigger s extension boom
Free body diagram of antenna section during lift, with rigger’s extension boom

Engineering Responsibilities

antenna section after collapse
Antenna section after collapse

Engineering Responsibilities

extension boom and failed u bolts
Extension boom and failed u-bolts

Engineering Responsibilities

wreckage of antenna and crane
Wreckage of antenna and crane

Engineering Responsibilities

some questions
Some questions...
  • Were the engineer’s actions the right actions?
  • No, seven workers died.

Engineering Responsibilities

some questions1
Some questions...
  • What model of responsibility did the engineer follow?
    • Minimalist model?
    • Reasonable care model?
    • Good works model?
  • Should the engineer’s moral responsibility take precedence over his legal responsibility?

Engineering Responsibilities

some questions2
Some questions...
  • Was the engineer’s responsibility for a safe and workable design met?
  • ...with lifting lugs that could not be used by the rigger?

Engineering Responsibilities

were the riggers morally responsible for this accident
Were the riggers morally responsible for this accident?
  • Did they recognize that the modification they attempted required engineering skills to accomplish?
  • Could they be expected to know this?
  • Did they ask an engineer for assistance?

Engineering Responsibilities

what could the engineer have done differently
What could the engineer have done differently?
  • Agree to review the riggers’ plans?
  • Allowed riggers to remove antenna baskets?
  • Offer to design a better extension boom?
  • Decline to review the plans, but suggest to the riggers that they should hire an engineer to review their plans?

Engineering Responsibilities

three models of professional responsibility
Three models of professional responsibility
  • Minimalist or Malpractice model
  • Reasonable Care model
  • Good Works or Supererogation model

Engineering Responsibilities

minimalist or malpractice model of responsibility
Minimalist or Malpractice model of responsibility:
  • Engineers have a duty only to adhere to accepted standards of practice, fulfill only basic duties prescribed by terms of employment.
  • Those who would follow this model might be most concerned with not doing anything “wrong”.

Engineering Responsibilities

reasonable care model of responsibility
Reasonable Caremodel of responsibility:
  • Adhere to accepted standards of practice, and...
  • Take reasonable care to ensure that mistakes are prevented and the public welfare is protected
  • Exercise and apply skill, ability and judgement reasonably and without neglect
    • keep abreast of evolving changes in knowledge and practice
    • recognize when minimal standards of practice might not be sufficient to prevent a harm, and take additional actions to prevent such a harm in those cases

Engineering Responsibilities

characteristics of the reasonable care model
Characteristics of theReasonable Care model
  • Concern for preventing harm, rather than trying to prevent causing harm
  • Oriented towards the future, toward avoiding problems and protecting the public
  • Attitude of concern or caring about public, client, environment...

Engineering Responsibilities

good works supererogation model of responsibility
Good Works (Supererogation) model of responsibility:
  • “...above and beyond the call of duty.”
  • Example: A consulting engineer offers to design a parking lot for her church at her cost, with no charge for her time.
  • Example: Peter Palchinski, the Marxist mining engineer who promoted improvements to workers’ living conditions, and was executed by Stalin.

Engineering Responsibilities

responsibilities of engineers1
Responsibilities of engineers
  • Legal responsibilities: Not to cause harm; to compensate when harm is caused; to practice in accord with Engineering Practices Act
  • Moral responsibilities: To recognize and discharge our duties while satisfying our obligations to the public; understand and adhere to a Code of Ethics

Engineering Responsibilities

a hypothetical scenario
A hypothetical scenario...
  • Suppose an airline maintenance engineer contacts an airframe manufacturer with a question about a new maintenance procedure that his crews have proposed, indicating that his crews have experimented with this procedure and have demonstrated that it can significantly reduce maintenance time and costs.

Engineering Responsibilities

a hypothetical scenario cont d
A hypothetical scenariocont’d...
  • The procedure in question involves the removal of jet engine & pylon as a unit for replacement of a spherical bearing which served to support the engine/pylon.
  • Manufacturer’s recommended procedure is to remove the engine, then the pylon.
  • Maintenance personnel wish to remove the engine & pylon as a unit, supporting the engine with an engine stand mounted on a forklift, positioned at the cg of the engine/pylon unit.

Engineering Responsibilities

engine and pylon assy
Engine and pylon assy...

6 ft

1,865 lb (pylon)

Engineering Responsibilities

13,477 lb (pylon + engine)

in pairs discuss and answer the following questions
In pairs, discuss and answer the following questions...
  • How would the manufacturer respond if he follows...
    • minimalist model of responsibility?
    • reasonable care model?
    • good works model?
  • What responsibilities do you think the airframe manufacturer’s engineer has? How should he/she respond to this request?

Engineering Responsibilities

the case isn t hypothetical
The case isn’t hypothetical...
  • In 1979, improper servicing procedures during maintenance of a American Airlines DC-10 caused undetected fractures in the bulkhead supporting the pylon.
  • Eight weeks later on 25 May, during takeoff from Chicago O’Hare, AA Flight 191 lost the No. 1 engine from the left wing, severing hydraulic control and power lines near that pylon, and causing loss of control, crash, and 273 deaths.

Engineering Responsibilities

dc 10 case continued
DC-10 case, continued...
  • American Airlines maintenance crews were using forklifts to remove the DC-10 engines for pylon mounting bearing replacement, a shortcut that reduced service efforts by 200 man-hours per engine.
  • McDonnell-Douglas (the manufacturer) knew that AA and Continental were using this non-standard procedure, and suspected that this might increase the risk of airframe damage.

Engineering Responsibilities

dc 10 case continued1
DC-10 case, continued...

References:

NTSB Report on the 1979 Chicago Crash WASHINGTON, D.C. 20594, December 21, 1979

(found on web at...http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/Incidents/DOCS/ComAndRep/OHare/NTSB/COPY/ohare-full.html)

Engineering Responsibilities

where do professional responsibilities lie
Where do professional responsibilities lie?
  • The reasonable care model is the best model for engineers.
  • Codes demand it (...accept responsibility in making engineering decisions consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment...IEEE Code of Ethics)
  • Public expects it
    • Principle of Proportional Care: Those who have a greater ability to cause harm also have a greater obligation to prevent harm.

Engineering Responsibilities

duty ethics what is our duty
Duty Ethics: What is our “duty”?
  • The distinction between these three models of professional responsibility can be clarified if we could agree on a definition of our “duty”.
  • “Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.” Robert E. Lee’s definition of duty is broad.

Engineering Responsibilities

kantian duty ethics
Kantian Duty Ethics
  • Kant argues that duty ethics is based on the fundamental duty to respect others
  • This leads to more specific statements of our duty, such as duty not to cause injury or harm, duty to deal with other fairly, etc.

Engineering Responsibilities

some impediments to responsibility
Some impediments to responsibility
  • Self-interest
  • Fear
  • Self-deception
  • Ignorance
  • Egocentric tendencies
  • Microscopic vision
  • Uncritical acceptance of authority
  • Antagonism toward outside regulation
  • “Groupthink”
  • Cumbersome business organizations

Engineering Responsibilities

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