An Introduction to Ceramic Engineering Design (#G067) by David E. Clark, Diane C. Folz, Thomas D. McGee

By David E. Clark, Diane C. Folz, Thomas D. McGee

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Important professional decisions such as detailed in our example should never be made without input fiom qualified, objective sources. PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES AND CODES OF ETHICS Almost all fields of engineering have a professional society that they can look to for guidance in a number of areas: technological advancements, career advice, employment trends, current issues in design, etc. The major professional engineering societies go a step further in the field of ethics and provide their members with ethical guidance in the form of formal codes, discussion forums, Ethical Issues in Design case studies (including real world examples), and general guidance for possible ethical dilemmas that an engineer may encounter.

This is why it is so important to remember that engineering professional societies have a large number of objective experienced engineers on hand who have either faced similar situations or know someone who has. Before making an ethical decision that could result in either professional censure or a lawsuit, it is critical to remember the testing and evaluation stage of an ethical decision and talk to someone. Ethical Issues in Design SAFETY AND RISK Four thousand years ago in Babylon, in some of the earliest known written professional codes, engineers were given very clear instructions on their ethical and professional responsibilities in the Code of Hammurabi, ‘Yf a builder build a house for a man and do not make its constructionfirm, and the house which he has built collapse and cause death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death.

Many other countries do not have the stringent environmental and occupational health and safety standards that are required of companies in the United States. S. companies have built industrial complexes overseas. Is it ethical then to build a plant in a foreign nation with reduced safety measures because this is a cultural norm? This relativistic attitude caused the deaths of thousands in Bhopal, India when lacking safety measures in a Union Carbide plant caused the accidental release of cyanide gas into the surrounding community.

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