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More Engineering Ethics Cases

Thomas Mason, PE

Course Outline

Twelve cases are presented, they are as follows:

ETHICS CASE 1  - High Voltage Lines

ETHICS CASE 2  -  Trench Boxes

ETHICS CASE 3  -  ASME vs. Hydrolevel Corp.

ETHICS CASE 4  -  Mt. Dioxin

ETHICS CASE 5  -  Free Engineering

ETHICS CASE 6  -  Design / Build Bid Error

ETHICS CASE 7  -  Radiation from Cellular Phones

ETHICS CASE 8  -  Missile Explosion

ETHICS CASE 9  -  E-Mail Encryption

ETHICS CASE 10  -  The Aberdeen Three  - No Request for Clean-up Funds

ETHICS CASE 11  -  Toaster Short-Circuit

ETHICS CASE 12  -  Use of Another’s Project Study

ETHICS CASE 13  -  Airline Mechanic

The course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course the student will have knowledge and insights into the following:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers, supervisors architects, project managers and construction managers interested in complying with the law and participating in safe projects and sleeping well at night.

Decisions by design firms and professionals is the vehicle and details of design, research and aircraft maintenance are included. 

There is also a wealth of general information which might be of interest to most persons.

Benefit to Attendees

It is intended that persons who participate in this course will be better prepared to address technical and ethical questions that come up in their jobs.

Course Introduction

Most courses in engineering ethics discuss principles.  That is a valuable approach.  This course discusses specific instances of ethical problems faced by  realistic design firms and professionals.  They are taken from published cases paid for by the National Science Foundation, and other sources.  The real-world outcomes are presented, when available but not offered as the right answers.  The purpose of the course is to help the student address the questions objectively and rationally, before he or she encounters them in an emotionally heated personal crisis.

Course Content

In this lesson, you are required to download and study the following course content in PDF format:

More Engineering Ethics Cases

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

This course presented thirteen realistic cases in engineering firm decisions and the hard choices of licensed professionals.  A rigid structure was followed to assure that questions, alternatives, decisions, consequences and analysis could be identified and would certainly be included.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.