Select Page

Ethics Paper

According to “Learning from Engineering Disasters” (Links to an external site.) the primary causes of engineering disasters are usually considered to be: human factors (including both ‘ethical’ failure and accidents) design flaws (many of which are also the result of unethical practices) materials failures extreme conditions or environments, and, most commonly and importantly, combinations of these reasons As you begin your engineering career, you will be expected to hold the “health, safety, and welfare of the public paramount.”  This means committing to less than “A” work, at times, might suggest a lapse in ethics, and more critically, might result in harm to others or the environment. We need to guard ourselves and others against sloppy work, shortcuts, and incompetence. Engineering is a field where the cost of a failure can be extremely high. The good news is: there are many resources and tools available; good design work typically includes reviews by other professionals.  The bad news is: not every design is reviewed; not every designer or reviewer is qualified; shortcuts are occasionally taken in the interest of time, money or other drivers; not every mistake is caught; tools may be mis-used or have shortcomings; and there are other ethical drivers beyond the engineering design. For this assignment, you will write a paper that will describe and analyze an engineering failure.  This paper will go through a plagiarism check, so it needs to include original content, and sources must be referenced.  Some expectations of the paper are as follows: The paper shall be not less than two, and not more than four pages of written content (does not include reference section, etc.).  Paper shall: have 1″ margins, use calibri or times new roman 12 point font, be double spaced. The paper shall reference at least 4 sources (in text citations and citations/reference list at the end of the paper). Wikipedia and other non-reliable sources (blogs, op-eds, etc.) should not be used, and will not count among the required sources. (Resource for generating citations: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) The paper shall, at a minimum, answer the following questions, in the order listed: ————————————————————————————— **What was the failure, and why was it an engineering or engineering-related failure? **What ethical issues played a role in the failure, or contributed to delaying the resolution? Did engineers contribute to the ethical issues, or were they management? **Who was at fault and why? How would you assign/allocate responsibility? **How could professionalism, conscientiousness, or stronger ethical conviction and actions have avoided the situation or led to better outcomes? **Have all of the ethical root causes of the failure been addressed such that these issues are unlikely to happen again? ————————————————————————————— You need to choose the engineering failure to research from the list below, or consult with the instructor (at least 3 days before assignment is due) if you have another failure you would like to use for your report: Space shuttle Colombia disaster (2003) Space shuttle Challenger disaster (1986) Freedom Industries chemical spill into Elk River in West Virginia (2014) Flint Michigan water crisis (2014) BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010) Oroville Dam spillway emergency (2017) Hyatt Regency walkway collapse (1981) New Orleans Levee and Floodwall failures due to Hurricane Katrina (2005) GM Ignition Switch (2014)