What is Ethical Engineering and How Does it Work?

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Drones can be used in engineering to help harvest better crops. Technologies like Flux help collect data using the blockchain. How can we ensure our future engineers are trained with ethics in mind?

Engineering is the method of developing efficient mechanisms that will quicken or ease tasks using limited resources and technological aid. Engineers study this specific field that includes taking our scientific understanding of our natural surroundings and using this knowledge to design, invent and create things that will solve our problems and achieve a practical goal. This involves the development of cars, roads, planes, bridges, computers, processes, machines and tools. Ethics are principles that are accepted by society and connected to the honor of human beings. When an engineer has ethics, they contribute to, and help, society in a better way. This is where ethical engineering comes into the equation. Today, we will be taking a closer look into what ethical engineering is and how it works.

Importance of Ethics

When it comes to learned professions, engineering is incredibly important. Those who study for this profession are expected to display the highest standards of integrity and honesty. An engineer has the power to make a vital and direct impact on the quality of life of any person. This is where the code of ethics for engineers comes into the profession. In order to have a positive impact on the people they are working with and for, engineers must be honest, fair and open-minded. They also need to be dedicated to protecting the health, welfare and safety of the public. Engineers must be willing to implement a degree of specialized behavior that compels them to abide by the topmost principles of ethical conduct. This will protect everyone involved in the process.

The Fundamental Canons

Now we know why ethical engineering is so important, it is time to take a look into the fundamental canons of ethical engineering. While engineers fulfil their professional duties, they must follow a set of rules in order to be morally correct. First, they must ensure the welfare, health and safety of the public is their top priority. They must only perform services in their areas of competence. Any statements issued to the public have to be made in a truthful and objective manner. Each client or employer must be treated faithfully and deceptive acts must be avoided. Finally, an ethical engineer should conduct themselves as an honorable, ethical, lawful and responsible individual in order to maintain the profession’s reputation, usefulness and honor.

Rules of Practice

The fundamental canons are just the starting point of ethical engineering. The rules of practice take a closer look into the above and explain them more thoroughly. This helps engineers who are working towards an ethical standard to understand the rules they need to follow in order to fall into this category, and includes the documents and reports that they must acquire and get their clients or employers to fill in, to protect them and themselves. The level of education and experience required is also listed in these sectors, as a number of areas in which engineers can work require a specialized qualification in order for them to carry out the job correctly. When it comes to avoiding deceptive acts, engineers are told that they must not fake or misrepresent their qualifications.

Their Professional Obligations

Professional obligations are a set of rules that are aimed at maintaining order and there will be a number of duties that an engineer must abide by. For ethical engineers, this involves acknowledging their error and not altering the facts. They should advise their employers or clients when they think a project is unachievable. Engineers should not accept other employment to the impairment of their fixed work or interests. If outside work is accepted, then the employer must be notified. Misleading or false pretenses should not be used to attract outside engineers. They should not push their own interests at the expense of the integrity and dignity of the profession, and no one should be discriminated against. This is just a handful of the professional obligations that ethical engineers must abide by.

Studying the Concept

In order to fully understand ethical engineering, existing and aspiring engineers have the opportunity to study engineering ethics. Engineering ethics is the study of values, decisions and policies that are virtuously desirable in engineering research and practice. Ethical engineers are most wanted during states of emergency. For example, if a bridge collapses, or a plane crashes, a team of government agencies, safety inspectors and engineers (preferably ethical engineers) will be called to the scene in order to piece the events together and isolate the cause. If you would like to understand more about studying ethical engineering in your own time, then you should look into learning more about it at Kettering University Online. Research and learning are key to understanding engineering ethics.

The Ethical Issues

For ethical engineering to exist, there needs to be a number of ethical issues in the first place. There are a number of case studies on engineering ethics, which highlight the issues that exist in the real world. One example is quality assurance when it comes to shipping potentially defective products. An engineer will have to decide whether shipping a product that may be defective is the ethical thing to do. Another example is copyright concerns when working with computers. The main cause of this issue is when a computer start-up company puts themselves at risk of violating copyright laws if it reuses a code that is actually the property of a different company. As mentioned previously, you can learn more about this concept by taking a look at Kettering University Online.

Ethical engineers must abide by a number of rules, regulations and obligations in order to treat everyone they work with in the correct way. This will ensure they form strong relationships, maintain a good reputation for the profession, and produce safe, accurate and high-quality products. Ethical engineering works by improving the morals and standards of engineers to benefit the client or employer and the overall product. Many people will agree that is an essential component of the profession and must be learned by all.

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