7. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
I have learned about engineering ethics in many of my internships thus far, but it has also emphasized in my degree program. In my project planning course, we were assigned a research paper to complete on the subject of legal and ethical issues in the engineering practice. This involved literary reviews on popular ethical issues in the field of engineering. This helped me understand the importance of ethics in the engineering field and helped prepare me for a future role in the professional world.
In my senior design class, a local consulting engineer came and gave a presentation on engineering ethics and the importance to always be honest. He went over the Fundamental Canons, which are shown below. He said even though most of them may seem like common sense, the reason we have the Code of Ethics is because engineers keep breaking it.
- Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
- Perform services only in areas of their competence.
- Issue public statement only in an objective and truthful manner.
- Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
- Avoid deceptive acts.
Something I learned from this presentation that I had not previously considered is that engineers are not considered employees. They act as a faithful agent and adviser to their employer.