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An-Najah National University College of Engineering. Introduction to Civil Engineering and Professional Ethics − 10601100. Chapter 3. Engineering Ethics. Introduction. Ethics is fundamental to engineering. Ethics and ethical reasoning is vitally important in engineering It can be.

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Introduction to Civil Engineering and Professional Ethics − 10601100


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    1. An-Najah National University College of Engineering Introduction to Civil Engineering and Professional Ethics− 10601100 Chapter 3 Engineering Ethics Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    2. Introduction Ethics is fundamental to engineering Ethics and ethical reasoning is vitally important in engineering It can be A Matter of Life and Death Why? Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    3. Legal Legal & Unethical Legal & Ethical The Law and Ethics Relationship Unethical Ethical Illegal & Unethical Illegal & Ethical Illegal Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    4. Defining Ethics – In the Dictionary Ethics: • The principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group • A system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct • The rules that ought to be followed concerning right and wrong and good and bad Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    5. Professional Ethics • A professional person is the one engaged in a profession and may indicate as well the skilled professional • Professional ethics concerns the moral way the specialist knowledge should be governed and controlled when providing a service to the public Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    6. Professional Responsibility • The clients place trust in the professional on the basis that the service provided will be of benefit to them • However, it would be quite possible for the professional to use his authority to exploit the client • An obvious example is that of the dentist who carries out unneeded dental work on his patients in order to gain more money • It is likely that the patient will not have sufficient knowledgeto question what is being done, and so will undergo and pay for the treatment Professional/client relationship is unequal Potential for abuse of power Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    7. Codes of Practice • Most professions have internally enforced codes of practice that members of the profession must follow in order to: (i)prevent exploitation of the client and (ii) preserve the integrity of the profession • This is not only to the benefit of the client but to the benefit of those belonging to the professionby maintaining a high reputation of the profession Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    8. Codes of Practice Dr. Sameer Shadeed • For example, a business may approach an engineer to certify the safety of a project which is not safe • Whilst one engineer may refuse to certifythe project on moral grounds • The business may find a less conscientious engineer who will certifythe project for a bribe, thus saving the business the expense of redesigning

    9. Ethics and Morality • Morality: A set of beliefs and practices about how to live a good life and be a good person • Ethics: A conscious reflection on the adequacy of our moral beliefs • Thus we need to have universal objective principles for evaluating human behavior • The ability to interpret a decision when confronted by a moral dilemma can be a very difficult task Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    10. Moral Dilemma • We can have the satisfaction of being right, regardless of the damage done OR • We can aim for what seems to be the best outcome, regardless of what wrongs must be committed • This pattern of dilemma may be represented in the chart: Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    11. Moral Dilemma • Definition of ‘Dilemma’: “a choice between two equally unfavorable or disagreeable alternatives”. OR Not a pleasant choice Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    12. Moral Dilemma • Although sometimes we are up against a wall facing a choice between two undesirable alternativesand must choose one of them, we usually can find a better solution • Finding the better solution requires we become skilled in ethical problem-solving • This skill consists in arriving at a third alternative that answersboth sidesof the dilemma and resolves the conflict Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    13. Moral Dilemma • A, B: the two conflicting goals • A or B? Neither is desirable AA&B B • A & B: third choice that can answer both Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    14. Moral DilemmaThe Overcrowded Lifeboat • In 1842, a ship struck an iceberg and more than 30 survivors were crowded into a lifeboat intended to hold just 7 • As a storm threatened, it became obvious that the lifeboat would have to be lightened if anyone were to survive • The captain reasoned that the right thing to do in this situation was to force some individuals to go over the side and drown • If he did nothing, however, he would be responsible for the deaths of those whom he could have saved Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    15. Moral DilemmaThe Overcrowded Lifeboat Dr. Sameer Shadeed • Some people opposed the captain's decision • They claimed that if nothing were done and everyone died as a result, no one would be responsible for these deaths • On the other hand, if the captain attempted to save some, he could do so only by killing others and their deaths would be his responsibility; this would be worse than doing nothing and letting all die • If you had been in his situation, how would you have decided?

    16. Moral DilemmaSophie's Choice • A Polish woman, Sophie Zawistowska, was arrested by the Nazis and sent to the death camp • On arrival, she was told by a Nazi officer to choose which of her children will live as the other is taken and shot. He tells her that if she does not choose, both will be shot. • In an agony of hesitancy, she suddenly did choose. They can take her daughter, who is younger and smaller. Sophie hoped that her older and stronger son will be better able to survive, but she lost track of him and never did learn of his fate • Did she do the right thing? Years later, haunted by the guilt of having chosen between her children, Sophie committed suicide. Should she have felt guilty? Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    17. Moral DilemmaThe Fat Man and the Impending Doom • A fat man leading a group of people out of a cave on a coast is stuck in the mouth of that cave • In a short time high tidewill be upon them, and unless he is unstuck, they will all be drowned except the fat man, whose head is out of the cave • But, fortunately, or unfortunately, someone has with him a stick of dynamite • There seems no way to get the fat man loose without using [that] dynamite which will inevitably kill him; but if they do not use it everyone will drown Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    18. Moral DilemmaThe Fat Man and the Impending Doom Dr. Sameer Shadeed • What should they do? • Since the fat man is said to be leading the group, he is responsible for their jam and reasonably should volunteer to be blown up • The dilemma becomes more acute if we substitute a pregnant woman for the fat man. She would have been urged by the others to go first out of the cave

    19. Moral DilemmaHappening upon Money Dr. Sameer Shadeed • You are living with your family in a scarce, poverty-stricken country. Where you live, there is no food bank, and you and your family are starving to death. • One day, you are out trying to find some sort of food to nourish your family, when something miraculous occurs. • You find a huge sack full of money that has fallen off the back of a truck. • You realize this would be a fortune to your family, but there is one obvious catch. • This money has to belong to someone else, and to take it and use it for your family would be stealing.

    20. Moral DilemmaHappening upon Money Dr. Sameer Shadeed • You could explain your situation to the rightful owner of the money, but how can you know he will be a generous person? • Would you: • Return the money to its rightful owner or • Take the money and use it to help your family

    21. What Stops Us Doing What We Ought to Do? • Ignorance or fear • Material interest (greed?) • Self interest • Sectional or group interest • Material constraints (resources?) • Organizational constraints Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    22. Whistle-Blowing • Whistle-blowing is the act where one who reveals wrong-doing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority • One who discloses information about misconduct in their workplace that they feel violates the law or endangers the welfare of others • Always whistle-blowing is the last resort and it indicates serious problems Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    23. Moral Guidelines to Whistle-Blowing • It is morally permissible for engineers to engage in whistle-blowing concerning safety: • If the harm that will be done by the product (outcome) to the public is serious and considerable • If they make their concerns known to their superiors • If getting no satisfaction from their immediate superiors, they exhaust the channels available within the corporation, including going to the board of directors Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    24. Moral Guidelines to Whistle-Blowing • In order for whistle-blowing to be morally obligatory however, two further conditions should be considered: • There must be documented evidencethat would convince a reasonable, impartial observer that the view of the situation is correct and the company policy is wrong • There must be a strong evidence that making the information public will in fact prevent the threatened serious harm Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    25. Examples of Problems that Might Warrant Whistle-Blowing • Incompetence • When a civil engineer fails to assign and compute the acting forces for a system • When requesting a newly-graduated engineer with limited experience to take a major role in a huge project • When making incorrect assumptions regarding the population size to be serviced by a water distribution network • When wrongly carry out material tests Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    26. Examples of Problems that Might Warrant Whistle-Blowing • Criminal behavior • When a concrete test shows that the concrete does not meet the standards yet the engineer approved this though there will be a probability for a building collapse (school for instance or a hospital) • When intentionally to reduce the amount of concrete to reduce the expenses • When a manufacturing engineer creates the product (tires) with hidden gaps to smuggle drugs • An engineer due to his authority he steals from the assets of his company Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    27. Examples of Problems that Might Warrant Whistle-Blowing • Unethical policies • When an engineer has a self interest in that he orders unnecessary material to get a bonus (percentage) from the supplier • Forging and imitating products • Reporting results when actually no analysis was carried out • When a food engineer adds to the diet an ingredient that is forbidden by the religion without pointing this out Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    28. Examples of Problems that Might Warrant Whistle-Blowing Dr. Sameer Shadeed • Unethical policies • When the senior engineer at a municipality decides on paving a road because he lives in that area though there are other areas that are in dire needs for such pavement • Discriminating between employees (in salaries and benefits) • When competing with other engineering firms, you dishonestly attempt to spread exaggerated rumors • Paying bribes to affect the decision of a chief engineer for approving the quality of an engineering product

    29. Examples of Problems that Might Warrant Whistle-Blowing • Threat to public safety • When the engineer knows that the design of a certain element in a plane (or a car) is not safe yet he approves that to avoid economic losses without considering public safety • A food engineer approves a product for human consumption yet the product includes poisoning material • Dumping toxic and poisonous material while manufacturing a product • When intentionally designing a festivity hall that cannot withstand the expected number of invitees Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    30. Examples of Problems that Might Warrant Whistle-Blowing • Injustices to workers • When an engineer directs his workers to do illegal activities yet he is unwilling to bear the consequences and expose the workers to legal punishment (for instance, imprisonment) • Workers are under dangerous environment in their work yet they are not supplied with necessary precautions (helmets for instance) • Workers are treated as slaves, are not given sufficient salaries, minimum rest, no insurance, long working hours, no payment for overtime work, etc. Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    31. Professional Values • Competence • Informed consent (be aware of all risks due to the action) • Privacy and confidentiality • Truth and honesty • Human dignity (The quality of being worthy of esteem or respect) Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    32. Engineering Code of Ethics • Some professional organizations have addressed the complexity of moral issues in their fields by developing codes of ethics • Professional codes of ethics consist primarily of principles of responsibility that delineate how to promote the public goodwhile maintaining the high level of technicalities Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    33. Example: The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of ethics Engineering Code of Ethics • In general, your goals as engineers are spelled out in engineering professional codes Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    34. NSPE Code of Ethics for EngineersPreface • Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. • Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. • Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct. Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    35. NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers Fundamental Principles • Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: • Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public • Perform services only in areas of their competence • Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner • Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees • Avoid misleading acts • Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    36. Why to Have an Engineering Code of Ethics? • To define accepted/acceptable behaviors • To promote high standards of practice • To provide a benchmark for members to use for self evaluation • To establish a framework for professional behavior and responsibilities • As a mark of occupational maturity Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    37. A General Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice • Engineers shall adhere to the principles with regard to the following: • Public interest • Client and employer • Product • Judgement • Profession • Colleagues • Self Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    38. Public Interest • Engineers shall act consistently with the public: • Accept full responsibility for their own work • Approve the outcome only if they have a well-founded belief that it is safe • Disclose any actual or potential danger to the user • Cooperate in efforts to address matters of fears to public caused by the outcome • Avoid deceptionin all statements concerning the outcome Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    39. Client and Employer • Engineers shall act in a mannerthat is in the best interests of their clients and employers consistent with the public interest: • Provide service in their areas of competence • Do not use any property of the client or employer in unauthorized way • Keep private any confidential information consistent withthe public interest and the law • Not use the outcome if it is obtained or retained either illegally or unethically • Document and report to the client or the employer promptly and periodically • Accept no outside work harmfulto the work they perform for their primary employer Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    40. Product (Outcome/Design) • Engineers shall ensure that their productsmeet the highest professional standards possible: • Try to make products of high qualityat an acceptable cost • Work to follow professional standards • Ensure proper and achievable goals for any project • Ensure adequate testing of the outcome • Use only accurate data derived by ethical and lawful means Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    41. Judgment (Professional Opinion) • Engineers shall maintain honestyand independence in their professional judgment: • Only approve documents either prepared under their supervision or within their areas of competence • Disclose to all concerned parties those conflicts of interest that cannot reasonably be avoided or escaped Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    42. Profession • Engineers shall enhance the integrityandreputation of the professionconsistent with the public interest: • Ensure that the engineers are informed of the standards before being held to them • Offer fair and just wage (salary) • Not punish anyonefor expressing ethical concerns about a project or an outcome Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    43. Colleagues • Engineers shall be fairto and supportive of their colleagues: • Credit fully the work of othersand refrain from taking unjustified credit • Give a fair hearing to the opinions, concerns, or complaints of a colleague • In situations outside of their own areas of competence, call uponthe opinions of other professionals who have competence inthat area Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    44. Self • Engineers shall participate in lifelong learning regarding the practice of their profession: • Further their knowledge • Improve their ability to create safe, reliable, and useful quality outcomes • Improve their ability to produce accurate, informative, and well-written documents Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    45. Conflict of Interest • Interest: A reason for wanting something done • Conflict of interest: A situation in which a public official's decisions are influenced by the official's personal interests • In cases of conflict of interest we have competing interests • Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill the duties impartially • A conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidencein the person and profession Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    46. Conflict of Interest • What is Conflict? “In many ways, conflict is not a bad thing. It can, in fact, be a healthy display of each individual’s uniqueness, free will and boundaries. Conflict can helps us learn and grow. Peace is not always the absence of conflict, but rather our ability to handle conflict in a positive way.” Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    47. Common Forms of Conflict of Interest • Self-dealing, in which public and private interests collide • Engineer A works as the equipment purchaser for a company. He gets a bonus proportionate to the amount when he is under budgetby year end • However, this becomes an incentive for him to purchase inexpensive, substandard equipment • Therefore, this is counter the interests of those in his company who must actually use the equipment Dr. Sameer Shadeed

    48. Common Forms of Conflict of Interest Dr. Sameer Shadeed • Outside employment, in which the interests of one job contradict another • Engineer A owns a private lab for carrying out specific engineering analyses. However, Engineer A works as well at a university where he runs the same analyses but using the university’s lab where this lab provides public services. Engineer A is in charge of this lab as well • A request for an offer was given to the two labs • There is an apparent conflict of interest where Engineer A may give a higher offer on behalf of the university compared to his own lab

    49. Common Forms of Conflict of Interest Dr. Sameer Shadeed • Family interests, in which a spouse, child, or other close relative is employed (or applies for employment) or where goods or services are purchased from such a relative or a firm controlled by a relative • For this reason, many employment applications ask if one is related to a current employee • If this is the case, the relative could then be excluded from any decisions

    50. Common Forms of Conflict of Interest Dr. Sameer Shadeed • Gifts from friends who also do business with the person receiving the gifts • Such gifts may include non-tangible things of value such as transportation and lodging