The Shocking Truth About Ethical Choices Faced by Engineers

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The Shocking Truth About Ethical Choices Faced by Engineers

The Shocking Truth About Ethical Choices Faced by Engineers 2017-08-22T11:51:43+00:00

Course Number: SEM-ET-2006

Length of Course: 2 hours

Seminar Location: This seminar is available for on-site training


In The Shocking Truth About Ethical Choices Faced by Engineers, you’ll learn …

Topics

  • How ethical choices can be influenced by pressures placed on the professional engineer by those around him
  • How to deal with issues concerning inside information, trade secrets and non-disclosure agreements when a professional engineer changes employment
  • How your obligation to protect the safety and welfare of the public goes beyond meeting the “minimum” regulatory requirements

Overview

So, what is the SHOCKING TRUTH about ethical choices faced by engineers?

The shocking truth is that ethical choices are often VERY difficult decisions and that even GOOD engineers sometimes make bad choices because of external influences.

In this seminar, you’ll watch a compelling 39-minute video presentation entitled Incident at Morales, which was produced by the National Institute for Engineering Ethics. At several points in the video, webinar participants will engage in discussions about the difficult decisions faced by Fred, a young professional engineer responsible for designing a new plant to manufacture paint stripper.

It’s evident from the video that Fred is a principled man. But, he struggles with his conscience, as well as his obligations as a professional engineer when faced with some very tough issues:

  1. Fred is hired by Phaust Chemical to design a new paint stripper plant. Phaust asks Fred to use knowledge gained from his previous employer, Chemitoil (a competitor of Phaust), when designing the new Phaust plant
  2. The plant must be designed and constructed in record time, otherwise Phaust risks losing market share. Fred has to figure out how to take shortcuts without compromising quality and safety
  3. Phaust chooses to locate the plant in Mexico because of less stringent environmental rules. Fred must decide whether to line the evaporation ponds to prevent seepage of hazardous substances into the groundwater, although local regulations don’t require the ponds to be lined
  4. Fred must find ways to cut construction costs when Phaust’s parent company in France slashes the project budget by 20%
  5. Fred recognizes that the brand of controllers used by Phaust on previous projects are very expensive. But, the VP of Engineering at Phaust has a brother-in-law who is the U.S. distributor for that controller brand. And Fred learns that cheaper controllers offered by competing companies have a tendency to fail
  6. Given the mandate to reduce costs, Fred must choose between a high pressure alloy for the piping and equipment and a lower grade alloy which is marginal for the process conditions
  7. When the competitor’s new paint remover is released on the market, the chemists at Phaust determine that a new formulation of its paint remover will be needed. The plant will require higher operating temperatures and pressures than originally designed for
  8. The automatic controllers fail during commissioning of the plant. And leakage is observed at some of the pipe joints. Fred must decide whether to allow the plant to startup using manual control of the process combined with a maintenance program to address the leaky pipe joints

The compelling story told in the video will hit home with many engineers. In talking though the problems faced by Fred, you will begin to examine and refine your own decision-making process and how that process becomes the linchpin to the protection of the public.

Did Fred make the right decisions? Would you make the right decisions in the same situation? Reserve your seat right now to learn the answer to both of these questions.

Take away and learning objectives

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • How ethical choices can be influenced by pressures placed on the professional engineer by those around him
  • How to deal with issues concerning inside information, trade secrets and non-disclosure agreements when a professional engineer changes employment
  • How your obligation to protect the safety and welfare of the public goes beyond meeting the “minimum” regulatory requirements
  • How project cost and schedule constraints can lead to very difficult ethical choices for the professional engineer
  • How the impact of a conflict of interest can extend far beyond the participants who are directly involved
  • What to do when significant changes to the project design basis are made after the project design has matured
  • How to respond when the demands of a project, employer, client or coworker run counter to your obligations as a professional engineer

Speak to a Representative to Schedule a Seminar

For more information contact:

Ken Hudspeth, General Manager
Phone 1-877-PDHengineer (1-877-734-3644)
Email: ken.hudspeth@PDHengineer.com