Engineering ethics

In December 2010 in Amsterdam I had the privilege of conducting a workshop for emerging leaders in about 10 engineering organisations.  On of those, one was the ASME which requires ethical practice by each of its members and has a code of ethics. The mission statement itself is an ethical statement: “To serve diverse global communities by advancing, disseminating and applying engineering knowledge for improving the quality of life; and communicating the excitement of engineering.”

The Fundamental Principles
Members are required to:
I. use their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare;
II. be honest and impartial, and serve with fidelity their clients (including their  employers) and the public; and
III. strive to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession.

The Fundamental Canons     Engineers shall:

  1. Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties.
  2. Perform services only in the areas of their competence; they shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others.
  3. Continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional and ethical development of those engineers under their supervision.
  4. Act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents  or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of  interest.
  5. Respect the proprietary information and intellectual property rights of others, including charitable organizations and professional societies in the engineering field.
  6. Associate only with reputable persons or organizations.
  7. Issue public statements only in an objective  and truthful manner and shall avoid any conduct which brings discredit upon the profession.
  8. Consider environmental impact and sustainable development in the performance of their professional duties.
  9. Not seek ethical sanction against another engineer unless there is good reason to do so under the relevant codes, policies and procedures governing that engineer’s ethical conduct.
  10. Endeavor to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws and Policies of the Society, and they shall disclose knowledge of any matter involving another member’s alleged violation of this Code of Ethics or the Society’s Conflicts of Interest Policy in a prompt, complete and truthful manner to the chair of the Committee on Ethical Standards and Review.

More details can be found here