Classic Ethics and Engineering - An Audio Course
Thomas Mason, PE
This two hour online
audio course presents the concepts and examples of use of engineering ethics.
The concepts are referenced to sources which you can review independently. The
examples are from recent engineering catastrophes and less serious failures
which may illustrate the consequences of different choices.
The course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.
At the conclusion of this course, the student will:
This course is intended for architects, project managers, engineers, contractors and construction managers who must make daily engineering decisions. The initiating force was the New Mexico 2006 requirement for 2-pdh in ethics for PE renewal, though there is nothing specific to New Mexico in the content (per private communication with the NM Board of Registration). Interested technical persons will get value for insights into how philosophy interacts daily with engineering design and construction.
Benefit to Attendees
Some questions do not lend themselves to easy answer. The value is created by identifying the stakeholders, carefully thinking through consequences and making and documenting the most acceptable rational and emotional decision. This course does not present "right" answers, but does present some tools to assist in analysis of the questions.
The study of ethics is simple: Do good. Avoid evil. Or, Pursue right. Avoid wrong.
The study of ethics is complex; stakeholders include the innocent (naive) public, each business trying to profit from the construction, public services, politicians seeking re-election, muckrakers, whistle-blowers and mis-informed partisans. Each group defines right and wrong differently.
There are a wide range of acceptable ethical decisions, but we must work from a single set of facts.
These are the things
we will discuss and demonstrate in this course. I hope that you will be able
to participate in each of the various viewpoints and use the experience to help
you make better ethical decisions.
This audio course
consists of the following three (3) modules (files) in MP3 format. You may click
on and listen to each module online using Microsoft Windows Media Player (free
download) or RealPlayer (free
download). You may also download these files to your computer or save them
to an audio CD for personal use. The audio CD can be played in any CD player
capable of playing MP3. A copy of the lecture notes is also available below
in PDF format.
of speaker (0.5 MB)
Section 1 of Content (42 MB)
Section 2 of Content (26 MB)
The lecture notes for this course are contained in PDF format as follows. You may open or download this document for reference and further study - for personal use only.
Classic Ethics and Engineering (PDF Content File).
You need to open or download this document to study this course.
You may need to download Acrobat Reader to view and print the document.
Ethics are as real
as every design decision you make. On the other hand, guides available are absolute,
in a world of probable future outcomes rather than clear consequences. There
are legal and licensing liabilities to wrong design decisions but also life-safety
consequences. Unfortunately, there are also commercial and career continuity
consequences. This course attempts to present the guides available and real-world
interpretations. The goal is that you are in a better position to justify and
live with the decisions you have to make.
These sources are offered for reference and educational value. None of the products is particularly recommended by the author or PDHonline.
Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.