Ethics refer to those habits or standards that are considered to show good character and conduct. In the professional practice of engineering, engineers are confronted with different ethical issues and interpersonal conflicts. These cases could range from a small scale involving few people to larger conflicts where the outcome influences the engineering community and the society at large. Classically, engineering education does not duly address the needs for ethical education to be incorporated into the technical curriculum. However, it has become axiomatic that engineers must exhibit good ethical behavior because safety of the people and the environment rely on the quality of the designs/services that engineers provide.
What makes up an ethical issue and its suitable resolution varies considerably from person to person. As an aspiring electrical engineer, I have outlined some instances that I believe could lead to conflict of interest in my engineering practice. I have also thought up ways I believe these conflicts could be resolved.
1. I am a leading member of a research and development team who are designing new printers for a leading company in my town. Additionally, the company I work for want to remove the environmental hazard present as a result of the dumping of inkjet. However, inkjet cartridges are produced in my hometown. If these new printers’ cartridges are not disposable, the factory in my town could shut down resulting in my friends and family losing their jobs. What should I do as a result of my position and power in the project and company?
Solution: In this case, I could use my position to press for making a reusable inkjet cartridge that can be produced in my town’s factory.
2. The company I work for is bidding for a very remunerative contract. I am in charge of the bidding, and my manager tells me to submit a bid that is far less than the cost of the project. I question how the company could regain cost and my manager tells me to include some errors in my design of the project. My manager explains that the company would reclaim cost by means of frequent change orders. As I express my disapproval, my manager tries to explain to me that it is the norm and also reminds me of the importance of the contract to our company.
Solution: I would insist to my...