Ethics Issues in Engineering Essay Example

Engineers are presented with dilemma situations when they handling issue related to the environment. At a point they are required to ensure that public safety to the surrounding is maintained or they just go ahead to pursue their interest from time to time. Therefore with such like situations there are ethical issues that face them and they have to choose between acting professionally or just pursuing their personal goals (Colby & Sullivan, 2008).

Always, engineers are required to ensure that the health, safety, and welfare of the general public is well protected, they should always ensure that they are working only on those areas that they are competitive, they are required to issue statements to the public if only they are truthful and objective manner, they should be acting as faithful agent, they should at all cost avoid deceptive acts, and lastly they are required to ensure that they conduct themselves in a responsible and honorable way to ensure that they enhance the reputation, honor, and usefulness of the engineering profession. However, observing this when undertaking different projects is not easy they had to balance between the interest of the public and that of the investors who had sent them there (Riley, 2008). Due to the required balance of the interests, ethical issues had to arise on the process.

An example of the ethical issue that faced them during undertaking the clean environment project in the Sahara desert was that of the engineers displacing some of the locals from their land so that the projects will be undertaken. At some point, the land that was being use was beneficial to the owners and it needed that they were to be made understand some of the reasons they were being displaced. However, engineers as the agents of those who were undertaking this projects at a point could lie on why they were undertaking that function. At some point some of the equipment used on the project presented a public threat. This was an ethical issue that they had to address. This was solved by the public education through giving them the right information.

Another ethical issue that arose on the course of undertaking the project is the kind of information that the locals could be given regarding the benefits that they could get upon completion of the project. In fact they were not aware of what the shareholders of the project were to let go to benefit the surrounding community. It became difficult as the locals were anxious to know as they felt that the resources that we were now using belonged to them. As engineers they could not give the false information and make the public have over expectations from the project at the end. Therefore, there was dilemma between upholding professionalism and just lying to the locals on the benefits that they could get upon completion of the project. However, the situation was solved through the consultation between the shareholders and the locals to make them understand the kind of benefits that they could get out of the project. The actions made the locals appreciate the project that was being undertaken.


Colby, A., & Sullivan, W., M. (2008). Ethics teaching in undergraduate engineering education. Journal of Engineering Education.

Riley, D., (2008). Ethics in Context, Ethics in Action: Getting Beyond the individual Professional in Engineering Ethics Education. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition, June 2008.