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Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering

by: Lina Vandervort

Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering CVEN 1317

Marketplace > University of Colorado at Boulder > Civil Engineering > CVEN 1317 > Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering
Lina Vandervort

GPA 3.72

Angela Bielefeldt

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Angela Bielefeldt
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lina Vandervort on Thursday October 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CVEN 1317 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Angela Bielefeldt in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see /class/231884/cven-1317-university-of-colorado-at-boulder in Civil Engineering at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 10/29/15
Ethics Objectives 1 What are ethics 2 What ethical theories and frameworks can impact our analysis of ethical behavior examples to demonstrate these frameworks you are already learning 3 Professional ethics Engineers shall hold paramount the safety health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties ASCE Code of Ethics 1 What are ethics Ethics a set of values or group of moral principles that are right and good a code or principles of behavior or conduct governing an individual or group Engineering Ethics activity or discipline aimed at understanding the moral values that should guide engineering practice only since late 1970s has systematic attention to ethics been devoted by engineers and others as spurred by a national engineering ethics project sponsored by the Us Government NSF NEH in 19781980 Why study ethics to increase your ability as engineers to responsibly confront moral issues raised by technological activity not always in short term best interest and bring longterm into decision making ethics are imprecise complex and in a given situation may con ict vague which moral considerations to apply to a situation and in what hierarchy con icting moral reasons are common resulting in a moral dilemma disagreement over how to interpret apply and balance moral reasons in particular situations Illustrative Thinking Exercise You and your best friend graduate from high school and decide to take a cruise the summer before starting college at Yale University in the fall While on the boat tragedy strikes and the boat begins to sink Your friend is severely injured but you both manage to get into a life boat You oat in the ocean with only a little water and sharks circling Your friends asks you to promise that if for some reason you are rescued that you will see that all their money is donated to the local Country Club You agree Your friend dies and as you wait to die you begin to see life differently By a miracle an oil tanker rescues you You make it back but decide to donate the money to the Burn Ward at the local children s hospital instead Was your decision ethical Why or why not Questions to ask yourself to determine Is a Decision Ethical Is it legal Does it conform to policies and codes Is it honest Does it pass the benefitharm test Whom does it harm Whom does it benefrt Can these be justified gt costbenefit analysis risk assessment Does it treat everyone equally equitably If not can the differences be justified think about affirmative action American Disabilities Act Does it deny anyone his or her rights sometimes these collide Can I live with my decision Does it rest comfortably on my conscience Can it pass the test of public scrutiny Could I disclose it fully without hesitation to my supervisor my family or to a reporter from the New York Times d0 ethicalprmcrples apply to nonhumans 7 Environmental Ethics Aldo Leopold s Land Ethic A thing is right when The Valdez Principles to modify company policies to incorporate environmental ethic 2 Ethical theories and frameworks that can impact an analysis of ethical behavior examples to demonstrate these frameworks you are already learning Four Principal Ethical Theories 1 Rights Ethics act is morally right when it respects rights relevant to a situation Examples rights for life liberty pursuit of happiness other rights private property privacy freedom of speech fair trial human rights and nonhuman rights 2 Duty Ethics act it right when it conforms with duties Examples uphold promise be fair respect personal freedom duty to protect the weak duty to comply with laws duty to do job to best of ability 3 Utilitarianism right action consists entirely in producing good consequences Interpretation good intentions outcomes results ends justify means Example most good for most people is optimal 4 Virtue Ethics persons are morally good when their character is virtuous and expressed in action attitude and relationships oldest prominent in classical Greek thought and religion Example Virtues honesty fairness conscientiousness etc Note that you may or may not agree with all of the above ethical theories More specifically you may generally agree with the overall theory but individuals often disagree about what are specific rights duties and virtues Four Secondary Theories 1 Ethical Egoism act is correct when it maximizes one s own interests 2 Corporate Egoism act is acceptable when it maximizes the interest of a corporation 3 Ethical Relativism act is right when it is approved by a group conforms to laws 4 Divinecommand ethics act is correct when it is approved by God Situational ethics vs Absolutism Situational ethics means that depending on the specific circumstances different rights duties values etc may apply Absolutism implies that regardless of a situation the basic ethical foundations remain the same For example most people would agree that killing is wrong unethical However absolutism implies that it is always wrong Therefore a person who was absolutist would not be in the military and would not use deadly force to defend themself Alternatively situational ethics would allow that killing in some situations IS ethical For example the idea of justifiable homicide such as in selfdefense Or defense of ones country in time of war Again neither view is either right or wrong Ethical theory can support either argument Stages of moral development It is generally recognized that people tend to transition between different levels of moral understanding throughout their lifetime As small children we don t innately understand right from wrong do not know what laws govern society etc As we learn our views evolve over time These socalled stages of moral developmen are often classified as follows obedience or punishment 2 marketplace morality 3 conformity 4 law and order 5 social contract 6 universal human rights 7 integrity whole environment ethic Alternatively Kohlberg grouped moral development into 3 MAIN levels preconventional self benefit avoid punishment defer to authority or power conventional conform blindly to societal norms or customs postconventional autonomous reasoned positions beyond self interest Steps to confront moral dilemma 1 Identify relevant moral factors and reasons what are the con icting responsibilities competing rights and clshing ideals involved 2 Gather all available information that is relevant to the moral factors involved 3 Rank the moral considerations in order of importance if possible 4 Consider alternative courses of action to resolve the dilemma considering the FULL implications of each 5 Talk with others to get alternative perspectives on the dilemma 6 Arrive at a reasoned judgment by weighing all moral factors on the basis of your information Ethics of Rules and Rights vs Ethics of CARE Case Studies 1 What would a person at each stage of moral development do 2 What do societal values require in this case 3 What do professional ethical standards require in this case 4 What would you do To solve case study homework problems you must be willing to tolerate some uncertainty in making difficult moral judgmentsbut be able to adequately express and defend your views Also realize that in your career as an engineer you should aim to integrate your personal convictions into your professional activities 3 Professional Ethics This section discusses some of the key facets of professional ethics Specifics for each of these areas are provided in the professional codes of ethics from the National Society of Professional Engineers NSPE and the American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE Duty to the Public and Clients Being ethical also means being honest In carrying out large and complex assignments we confront issues that aren t purely technical There are business and financial ramifications to consider in our projects and sometimes we must suppress our engineering egos in favor of the client s interests Joel Cerwick vice president Bum s amp McDonnell Avoid con ict of interest no favoritism based on personal biases during engineering practice This can include things such as in uencing decisions that will yield personal gain The Architecture and Engineering Firm and its client cannot forget their duty to the general public We design facilities that are used by people who rely on the engineer s skill diligence and ethics for their safety Sometimes governmental organizations are our clients which means that the pulbic at large is our ultimate client John Riley vice president Bum s amp McDonnell Do not perform a task for which you are not qualified It is important not to fake knowledge What you don t know could result in a failure of your project loss of human life cost overruns etc Engineering disasters in history have frequently been linked to ethical judgments regarding the balance of safety and risk Challenger Exxon Valdez oil spill 3 Mile Island Chernobyl asbestos use Chemical plant in Bhopal cigarettes Key professional ethics are 1 hold paramount the safety health and welfare of the public perform services only in areas of competence issue public statements only in objective and truthful manner act in professional manner for each client and avoid con icts of interest not compete unfairly with others act in a manner to uphold and enhance the honor integrity and dignity of the profession enhance personal development of self and others 8995 there are under peer review for people found to have blatantly violated the code of ethics economic penalties associated with the kinds of sanctions that the profession can apply In extreme cases the engineering society can remove an engineer from the society and when the word gets out they will basically be blacklisted Stratmoen S The Ethics of Engineering Iowa Engineer March 1991 p 1819 Three Principles There are three different principles that engineers sometimes use to guide their decision making Different engineers subscribe to different principles None of these is exclusively right or wrong just different points of view 1 Engineers should not impose their moral views on society they should let society decide what projects are undertaken guns for hire view should weaccept the hazards of pesticides in order to feed hungry people Stop building a dam and thus protect an endangered sh These are political questions it isa little frightening to see citizens abdicate their responsibilities by assigning them to the realm of engineering ethics each person is entitled to legal representation is it not equally important the each legitimate business entityshould have access to expert engineering advice engineers will sometimes labor on behalf of causes in which they do not believe 2 Engineers should refuse to work on projects which con ict with their moral values engineers should not be neutralrefuse to work on certain projectsuse their skills only for projects of positive value to humanity implies that moral values are personal and not professional may therefore be disagreements about what is good for humanity 3 Engineers should refuse to work on projects that increase risk unless the public is informed about the risk and given the opportunity to consent to the project engineering as social experimentation and always involving risk adequately informing the public neither the extreme views of one or two secrecy in engineering the building of atomic weapons decision making such as the Ford Pinto even given full disclosure can the public fully appreciate the balance of costsbenefits risksrewards that enter in to engineering decisions Ethical Issues Associated with WhistleBlowing loyalty to a corporation is a nonissue what is good about loyalty is it always good to be loyal if not when what should you do if loyalties con ict NSPE Code states will serve with devotion his employer his clients and the public these sometimes DO con ict WhistleBlowing the act by an employee of informing the public on the immoral or illegal behavior of an employer or supervisor obligation to public overrides obligation to employer may be other better solutions to the problems than whistleblowing problem how to maximize safety or reduce unsafety to a minimum preclude the need for whistleblowing On a scale of l to 7 rank the frequency you believe these ethical issues arise for practicing engineers Where l never and 7 very frequently On a scale of l to 7 rank the seriousness of these problems 1 not serious at all 7 extremely serious Compare your ratings to the average results when consulting engineers w re polled Your ratings Consulting Engineers Ethical Issue Frequency Serious Frequency Serious Rating Rating Rating Rating Technical Incompetence or 414 5 95 misrepresentation of competence Con icts of interest 370 560 Failure to protect public health 288 612 safety or welfare Improper relations with clients 312 540 contractors etc Poor quality control or quality 472 569 of work Failure to protect the 319 536 environment Koehn E Ethical Issues Experienced by Engineering Students and Practitioners 1992 JPIEEP Vol 1194 402408 References Atchison GJ 1991 Environmental Science U St 223 Iowa State University Class Notes Baum R 1 Ed 1980 Ethical Problems in Engineering Volume 2 Cases Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy NY Bench Mark Aug 1990 Burns and McDonnel Ethics Bovay HE 1992 Ethics ANecessary Foundation ofa Professional The Bent Summer 1992 p 2125 Johnson D G 1991 Ethical Issues in Engineering Prentice Hall Killingsworth R A and D I Twale 1994 Integrating Ethics into Technical Curricula I of Prof Issues in Engr Edu and Practice 1201 5869 Koehn E 1994 Ethical Issues Experienced by Engineering Students and Practitioners J of Prof Issues in Engr Edu and Practice 1194 402408 Madsen P The Ethics of Teaching Engineering Notes from presentation at the NSF Engineering Education Scholars Workshop Martin MW and R Schinzinger 1996 Ethics in Engineering Third Edition McGraWHill Companies Inc McCuen R H 1994 Constructivist Learning Model for Ethics Education I of Prof Issues in Engr Edu and Practice 1203 273278 Nair I 1997 Ethics in Engineering II Materials presented at the NSF Engineering Education Scholars Workshop Carnegie Mellon University Porter JC 1993 Ethics in Practice J of Prof Issues in Engr Edu and Practice 1191 4650 Stratmoen S The Ethics of Engineering Iowa Engineer March 1991 p 1819


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