Professional Engineering Ethics Essay

805 Words 4 Pages
Today, development of the engineering industry to foreign countries is necessary and practically an unavoidable conclusion in order for firms to flourish. Although such endeavors and projects deliver new and thrilling technical challenges, they also present a different set of ethical challenges. The question is how professional engineers should respond when faced with practices different than those to which they are accustomed.
The term “ethics” is defined as accepted rules of conduct by society. Ethics are essential to the arrangement of a dynamic society. Ethics are what give us as humans the aptitude to function correctively in our behavior, and retain us from having anarchy. Ethics is dealing with what is good and bad and using moral principle
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These concerns include local standards/codes, local licensing practices and contact with government officials. However, the first two pose nearly as much of a dilemma as the last one. Even within the United States, engineers are confronted with unpredictable standards and codes in different geographical locales. For example, seismic codes are more rigid in California, energy efficiency is more important in the Northeast and fire protection requirements are more stringent in an urban setting than rural. Engineers adapt their designs as necessary. While practicing in foreign countries, engineers must follow the pertinent local codes just as they would do in the U.S. Yet, the Rules of Practice do state that an engineer 's "primary obligation is to protect the safety, property and welfare of the public." With that principle held paramount, engineers are required to bring to the attention of local officials, any codes which in their opinion risk these safety and health tenets and to only stamp drawings which provide an satisfactory level of safety. On this point, there can be no …show more content…
It is agreed that in many foreign countries the practice of offering gifts is rooted in the local customs and is ordinary when managing business. Since such a practice is largely taboo in this country, U.S. engineers are faced with a true ethical predicament. But here the Rules of Practice are quite clear - engineers “shall not offer any gift or other valuable consideration in order to secure work.” It is clearly not ethical for a professional engineer to contribute in this business practice. It merely crosses the standard line recognized under the Professional Obligations section of the Code. Engineers cannot support the “highest standards of integrity”, while joining such practices. A token gift of nominal value on the occasion of the start or finish of a large assignment is acceptable, but nothing

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