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CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND ETHICS

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CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND ETHICS Team Leader David Johnston, PhD Senior Fellow Billy Williams, PhD Junior Fellow Phil Lewis, PhD Student Civil & Construction ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND ETHICS


1
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND ETHICS
  • Team Leader
  • David Johnston, PhD
  • Senior Fellow
  • Billy Williams, PhD
  • Junior Fellow
  • Phil Lewis, PhD Student

2
Civil Construction Engineering
  • Building the Physical Environment
  • Project areas include
  • Environmental
  • Geotechnical
  • Structural
  • Transportation
  • Water Resources

3
Ethical Concerns for Public
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Welfare
  • Stewardship

4
Construction Research
  • Does not
  • Test on humans
  • Test on animals
  • Look for next great breakthrough
  • Does
  • Refine current techniques methods
  • Promote advancement of industry
  • Educate practitioners

5
Engineering as a Social Experiment (Martin
Schinzinger, 1989)
  • Engineers are researchers
  • Clients (humans) are subjects
  • Subjects must be aware of risk exposure from
    researchers
  • Researchers faced with many moral and ethical
    decisions

6
Ethical Issues in Engineering (Koehn, 1993)
  • Incompetence Misrepresentation
  • Conflict of Interests
  • Discrimination/Favoritism/Harassment
  • Misuse of Resources
  • Failure to Protect Health, Safety, Welfare
  • Improper Relations with Professionals

7
Ethical Issues, cont.
  • Improper Community/Political Involvement
  • Mishandling Sensitive Information
  • Failure to Deal with Employee Concerns
  • Alcohol/Drug Abuse
  • Failure to Protect Environment
  • Poor Quality Control

8
Theories for Ethical Decisions
  • Commonly Accepted Ethical Theories
  • Egoism
  • Virtue Theory
  • Utilitarianism
  • Moral Rights

9
Egoism
  • A person should do what is in their personal best
    interest.
  • Example I will focus on my personal goals.

10
Virtue Theory
  • A person should do what their group considers to
    be good.
  • Example I will be a responsible and law-abiding
    citizen of my community.

11
Utilitarianism
  • A person should do what is in the best interests
    of the community, greatest good for greatest
    number.
  • Example I will consider how my actions affect
    the most people.

12
Moral Rights
  • A person should have respect for other peoples
    moral rights.
  • Example I will not harm another person to gain
    benefits for me or others.

13
Framework for Ethical Decisions Code of Ethics
  • Vesilind (1987) suggests three objectives
  • Enhance the image of the profession
  • Clarify rules of conduct in the profession
  • Promote the public good

14
Civil Engineering Code of Ethics
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Code of Ethics
  • (www.asce.org/professional/ethics/)

15
Case Study
  • What Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse
  • Where Kansas City, Missouri
  • When July 17, 1981
  • Why Negligence
  • How Much 114 Deaths
  • 200 Injured
  • Numerous Lawsuits

16
The Plan
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
    (Marshall et al. 1982)

17
The Design
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
    (Marshall et al. 1982)

18
The Change
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
    (Marshall et al. 1982)

19
The Result
  • www.ethics.tamu.edu

20
The Culprit
  • www.ethics.tamu.edu

21
What Happened
  1. Engineer designed continuous rod support
  2. Contractor requested double-rod support
  3. Engineer approved, but did not re-analyze revised
    design
  4. Fourth floor box beam carried the load of two
    floors (2nd and 4th)
  5. Collapse
  6. Two engineers at the design firm had their
    licenses revoked

22
Ethically Speaking
  • It wasnt a matter of doing something wrong,
    they just never did it at all. Nobody ever did
    any calculations to figure out whether or not the
    particular connection that held the skywalks up
    would work. It got built without anybody ever
    figuring out if it would be strong enough. It
    just slipped through the cracks.
  • Patrick McLarney
  • Attorney for Missouri Licensing Board
  • (Levy and Salvadori, 2002)

23
Ethical Theory Applications
  • Egoism
  • If I had checked the design, I would still have
    my license.
  • Virtue Theory
  • If I had checked the design, then I would not
    have reflected poorly on the engineering
    community.

24
Ethical Theory Applications, cont.
  • Utilitarianism
  • If I had checked the design, then all of those
    people would not have been killed.
  • Moral Rights
  • I must always check the design because everyone
    who enters the building has the right to health,
    safety, and welfare.

25
Questions
26
References
  • Koehn, E., (1993). Ethical Issues Experienced
    by Engineering Students and Practitioners.
    Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering
    Education and Practice, Vol. 119, No. 4, October,
    pp. 402-408.
  • Levy, M. and Estate of M. Salvadori (2002). Why
    Buildings Fall Down, W.W. Norton Company, New
    York, N.Y.
  • Marshall, R.D., Pfrang, E.O., Leyendecker, E.V.,
    and Woodward, K.A. (1982). Investigation of the
    Kansas City Hyatt Regency Walkways Collapse.
    National Bureau of Standards, Washington D.C.,
    May.
  • Martin, M.W. and Schinzinger, R. (1989). Ethics
    in Engineering, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill Book Co.
    New York, N.Y.
  • Roddis, W.M.K., (1993). Structural Failures and
    Engineering Ethics. Journal of Structural
    Engineering, Vol. 119, No. 5, May, pp. 1539-1555.
  • Vesilind, P.A., (1995). Evolution of the
    American Society of Civil Engineers Code of
    Ethics. Journal of Professional Issues in
    Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 121, No.
    1, January, pp. 4-10.
  • www.asce.org
  • www.ethics.tamu.edu
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