Engineering Ethics: Real World Case Studies

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9780784414675: Engineering Ethics: Real World Case Studies
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How do you handle conflicts of interest? Have you ever been offered a kickback or asked for a "voluntary" contribution to a cause? Are there cases where we can - and should - act against an important principle to achieve an even-more-important benefit? To tweet or not to tweet? Entrusted by the public to provide professional solutions to complex situations, engineers can face ethical dilemmas of all forms. In Pursuing Engineering Ethics through Real-World Case Studies, Starrett, Lara, and Bertha provide in-depth analysis with extended discussions and study questions of case studies that are based on real work situations. Important concepts such as rights and obligations; conflict of interest; professionalism and mentoring; confidentiality; whistleblowing; bribery, fraud, and corruption; and ethical communication with the public in a social media world are discussed in practical and approachable terms. Organized by the canons of the ASCE Code of Ethics, this book is intended for practitioners, consultants, government engineers, engineering educators, and students in all engineering disciplines.

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Conflicts of interest? Breaches of confidential information? Ill-advised tweets? A book on recent political happenings? To the contrary, this is a highly practical and germane collection of case studies in engineering ethics culled from actual situations involving practicing engineers. Engineering Ethics, written by three people with extensive experience in both ethics and engineering and published by ASCE Press, is expressly intended to serve as a companion to ASCE s Code of Ethics. In addition to encouraging readers to read the code in its entirety before delving into the case studies, the book s authors have organized their chapters to correspond to the seven canons of the code. In this way students, practitioners, educators, and others can explore the ramifications of particular ethical dilemmas, and the situations deal with such obligations as holding safety paramount, upholding the honor of the profession, acting as a faithful agent, and continuing one s professional development. A discussion of each canon of four to six pages is followed by three illustrative case studies, additional discussion where necessary, and suggested questions for exploration. An additional chapter examines two lengthier case studies in which a number of issues overlapped. The book covers a wide range of situations, the ethical lapses including kickbacks, payments for expert witness testimony, failing to properly document safety issues, and divulging amounts in competitive bids. The case study dealing with Twitter (or other social media) is contained in the chapter dealing with the obligation to make only truthful and objective public statements. It examines the issues involved in posting information on a personal account that is meant to be humorous but is predicated to some extent on information gleaned through one s position as an engineering professional. Regardless of the topic, the crisp and clear descriptions, even when the ethical issue in question is more aptly described as murky, make Engineering Ethics an extraordinarily practical guide for engineers in any specialty area. --Reviewed by Ray Bert, a contributing editor to Civil Engineering Volume 87, Issue 7, September 2017

With backgrounds in engineering, philosophy, and a combination of both engineering and philosophy, the authors bring a wealth of experience to the topic of practical applications of engineering ethics. The text commences with a brief introductory chapter describing three theories of ethical reasoning: character-based ethics, principle-based ethics, and consequence-based ethics. In turn, the subsequent chapters focus on each of the canons from the ASCE Code of Ethics and present three short (typically three paragraphs or less) case studies that highlight ethical quandaries pertaining to the canon in question. While the cases are brief, the raised issues are important and the authors analyses thought provoking. A discussion section follows each case study, analyzing the issues involved using the ethical theories presented in the introduction. Discussion questions are included to facilitate further dialogue. At the book s conclusion, two complex cases involving multiple canons from the Code of Ethics are presented. The case studies, along with the depth of discussion, make this a suitable text for civil engineering undergraduate and graduate students alike. --M. Roberts, Southern Utah University, reviewer for Choice connect

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