L7_ECE4001_Fall_2008 - Obligations of an Engineer An...

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Slide #1 ECE 4001 L7 © 2008 Lecture 7 Ethics in Engineering Slide #2 ECE 4001 L7 © 2008 Obligations of an Engineer An engineer has obligations to three principal entities: • Society (the public) • Employers and Clients • Other Engineers These obligations are further described in the NCEES code of ethics as well as codes of ethics of other engineering organizations such as IEEE. Many companies also have a code of ethics which all employees are required to follow. NCEES – National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Slide #3 ECE 4001 L7 © 2008 Ethical Systems • Engineers have different cultural backgrounds and world-views due to such factors as: – Parental guidance and example – National origin and ethnic background – Political, moral, and religious views • Different world-views may result in different approaches to engineering design and implementation • Since most engineers work in teams, it is important to appreciate these differences Slide #4 ECE 4001 L7 © 2008 Ethical Systems • Utilitarian – Emphasis is on result; do the most good for the greatest number of people • Duty-Based – Emphasis is on the person making the decision; relationships to people are important; no action should violate the obligations of others • Rights-Based – Emphasis is on those affected; no action should violate the rights of others • Virtue-Based – Emphasis is on values: generosity, honesty, kindness, etc. Different backgrounds can result in different moral theories, or ethical systems, for justifying ones actions Ethics-related decisions are usually based upon a mixture of these paradigms
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Slide #5 ECE 4001 L7 © 2008 Ethical Systems Example Engineer #1: “We should not make the repairs at our expense because we will lose money on the job and hurt our small company. The customer can better afford the repairs.” Engineer #2: “We should make the repairs because the customer contracted with us in good faith to perform the job and expects us to do it no matter what it takes.” Engineer #3: “We should make the repairs because the customer’s project engineer will look bad and maybe get fired if the customer has to pay for the repairs.” Engineer #4: “We should not make the repairs because they aren’t in the specifications or the contract, and thus we aren’t required to make them.” Four engineers are part of a team working on a system upgrade at a customer’s facility. They learn that the machine being upgraded needs critical repairs that were not part of the quotation because they were overlooked during the initial site visit and the customer didn’t notify them of the problems. Should the supplier make the repairs at their expense, or charge the customer for them? Utilitarian
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This note was uploaded on 06/09/2009 for the course ECE 4001 taught by Professor Frazier during the Fall '09 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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L7_ECE4001_Fall_2008 - Obligations of an Engineer An...

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