EE111Lect4EthicsF06

EE111Lect4EthicsF06 - EE 111 Introduction to Electrical...

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EE 111 Introduction to Electrical Engineering Ethics Fall 2006
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Why Engineering Ethics? Ethics: (Webster) 1 the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. 2 a : a set of moral principles or values b: a theory or system of moral values c: the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group d: a guiding philosophy Purpose: To increase the awareness and understanding of the professional and ethical obligations and responsibilities in engineering practice.
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Examples of Engineering Ethics Issues in the Real World
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Ethical Decisions? From “Engineer’s Toolkit, A First Course in Engineering” Engineering Ethics by C. Mitcham and R. Duvall, Prentice Hall 2000.
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Relative vs. Absolute? From “Engineer’s Toolkit, A First Course in Engineering” Engineering Ethics by C. Mitcham and R. Duvall, Prentice Hall 2000.
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Ethical Decisions for Students From “Engineer’s Toolkit, A First Course in Engineering” Engineering Ethics by C. Mitcham and R. Duvall, Prentice Hall 2000.
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Responsibility and Blame From “Engineer’s Toolkit, A First Course in Engineering” Engineering Ethics by C. Mitcham and R. Duvall, Prentice Hall 2000.
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Whistle Blower From “Engineer’s Toolkit, A First Course in Engineering” Engineering Ethics by C. Mitcham and R. Duvall, Prentice Hall 2000.
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Ford Pinto: Cost to Fix Gas Tank vs. Human Lives • The Ford Pinto was produced from 1971 – 1980 • In the early 1970s, the gas tank was discovered to be vulnerable to explosions in read-end collisions at >20mph • Ford managers and engineers performed a cost comparison study – Cost for damages: 180 burn deaths ($200,000 each), 180 burn injuries ($67,000 each), 2,100 burned vehicles ($700 each) = $49.5 million total – Cost to repair: 12.5 million vehicles ($11 each) = $137 million total • Ford decided to pay damages and forego safety repairs to save lives • A California jury awarded $128 million to accident victims • Ford Motor Company was prosecuted on criminal homicide charges (later acquitted) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Ford_Pinto.jpg
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The Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster (January 28, 1986, FL) • Caused by a failure in the joint between the two lower segments of the right solid rocket motor • The failure was due to a faulty design which is unacceptably sensitive to a number of factors, such as temperature, physical dimensions, the character of materials, etc.
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A Moral Exemplar: The William LeMessurier Story • William LeMessurier is one of the nation’s most distinguished structural engineers • He served as the design consultant of Citicorp headquarters tower, which was completed in 1977 in New York
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The William LeMessurier Story • After construction, he accidentally discovered that the building may be structurally deficient for quartering (on the diagonal) winds – thus serious danger might be possible • Wind tunnel testing was conducted again using new calculations
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EE111Lect4EthicsF06 - EE 111 Introduction to Electrical...

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