Good Example Of Engineering Ethical Case Study Case Study

Type of paper: Case Study

Topic: Engineering, Ethics, Project, Profession, Professionalism, Engineer, Safety, Education

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/02


Engineering is one of the professionals that focus on improving lives. The National Society of Professional Engineers (NPSE) is an established professional society based in United States. NSPE is a known society of Engineers that provides legislatures that govern the action of the profession to ensure all engineering works in the country are ethical. Members of NSPE must understand the underlying rules and policies governing the practice of Engineering and adhere to this regulation in all their professional activities. On the other hand, Engineering is a very respected and learned professional therefore; members are expected to demonstrate highest standards of integrity, impartiality, equity, fairness and honesty (National Society of Professional Engineers, 2015).
In order to ensure the public receives Engineering services in a fair, honest, and equitable manner, NSPE has laid down a number of fundamental canons as a way of ensuring ethical practices from al members. Engineers shall follow the following in fulfillment of their professional duties should; perform services in areas where an individual is competent, hold paramount the safety, welfare, and health of the public, and be truthful at all times while issuing public statements. Additionally, NSPE canons of code of ethics require the engineer to act as a trusted and truthful agent while serving an employer or a client, and avoidance of deceptive acts. Finally, engineers should conduct themselves responsibly, honorably, ethically, and lawfully to enhance the usefulness, reputation, and honor of the profession (National Society of Professional Engineers, 2015).

Engineering Dilemma cases

Wayne Davidson, a software engineer in the aerospace division, is tasked with building prototypes for operation safe skies. The project was very crucial in the aviation industry because it was expected to assist the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). Occidental Engineering needed the win the contract and ended up bidding very low amount that would not be enough to produce quality work as expected. The project was underfunded and understaffed to meet the budget. Occidental Engineers was awarded the contract and begun implementing the project immediately. The project team worked all day long to ensure they meet FAA deadline to avoid huge penalties and losing project tenders in the future. When the prototype was completed, it was taken to Wayne for testing. Wayne went ahead with all tests and proved the system was working accordingly, but he discovered one major problem associated with safety of the Operation Safe Skies project. Wayne realized the system lost track whenever there were a lot of aircrafts in the sky. The forgotten aircrafts would cruise without any trace, and that may lead to a collision and avoidance of other safety tests.
Wayne took the report to the project boss, Deborah Shepherded. He claimed that he project was not safe, and the team should consider designing new software for the safety of the travelers. Deborah realized the deadline for submission of the tests was near and could not risk failing to deliver the project on time. She commanded Wayne to sign the system passed tests unless he wanted to lose his job. She also claimed that she knew people at FAA and was sure the project would eventually pass. Wayne released the results and tests to FAA but later took an earlier retirement because he thought the action was unethical (McFarland, 2014).
In another scenario, Rogue was also tasked with designing a power supply for the manufacturing unit. He also had less knowledge about electricity and electrical engineering but continued with the work in order to confirm his engineering abilities. When the power supply was taken to UL for testing, results indicated the system did not meet the specifications and should be redesigned. Rogue was in a state of confusion because the company management had offered a timeline for project completion. Risking losing his job, Rogue went to the project manager and explained the issue. He explained how he thought the project would work but, unfortunately, the UL testing team could not approve the power supply. Additionally, Rogue gave the project manager alternative to the problem and accepted he had taken a great risk designing the component without any supervision from a qualified electrical engineer. The manager accepted Rogue’s apology and asked him to work in the recommended approach. Eventually, the system was approved by UL testing department.
Engineering ethics involves the study of moral values and decisions that individual make while engaging in engineering activities. Engineers are expected to demonstrate high standards of character, morals and values in all their activities. In the first scenario, Wayne understood his roles as a software engineer and did not want to be responsible for the failure of the program. According to NSPE’s canons of the code of ethics, an engineer should be truthful at all times while issuing statements. Secondly, the engineer should hold paramount safety, welfare, and health of the public. Wayne followed the above canons. Firstly, he realized the program had a problem and would not be ethical realizing it to the real aircraft because of safety. On the other hand, he was truthful to his findings which made him retire from his position and decided to write a book on engineering ethics.
In the second scenario, Rogue happened to understand engineering ethics. When Rogue realized that the power supply could not meet the agency requirements, he decided to report the issue to the relevant authority for advice. An engineer is expected to be truthful at all times while performing engineering activities. Additionally, the engineer should act as a trusted and truthful agent while handling clients. Rogue did not hide his failure to the management.


Engineers are expected to demonstrate the highest degree of responsiveness and ensure the safety of the public at all times. Engineering ethics involves many aspects that aim at ensuring services offered by engineers to the public are worth and safe. The major components of engineering ethics are moral reasoning, engineers responsible for public safety, responsibility to employees, and right of engineers. In the first case scenario, the project manager’s only concern was money and fame. She made Wayne go against engineer’s ethics by doing unlawful and unethical act of lying to FAA that the software was ready for use. Engineers are supposed to report to relevant professional bodies any violation of the Engineer’s code of ethics in order to get the relevant assistance. All engineers have a duty to follow the Engineering code of ethics and fundamental canons of their respective professional bodies to ensure they offer quality products and services to the society.


McFarland, M. (2014). Occidental Engineering. Occidental Engineering Case Study: Part 1.
Retrieved March 26, 2015 from
National Society of Professional Engineers. (2015). NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers.
Retrieved March 26, 2015 from

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