IET promotes ethical engineering

18 September 2009

From the extravagance of MP’s expenses, to undeserved bonuses for bankers, newspapers and the public are levelling a higher degree of scrutiny across all sectors. The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) has responded with a campaign designed to promote professional ethics in the engineering sector.

At the heart of the campaign is a new site that will include a range of interactive case studies, designed to help users practice exercising their judgement in ethically challenging situations.

Chris Earnshaw, president of the IET, recently commented that members face both professional and ethical challenges in all they do from designing software to developing the fuels of the future. He said: "As professionals we owe a duty of care to members of the general public who come into contact with our work. This duty arises because the public rely on our expertise. It is important that we maintain the highest standards to ensure public safety and do not undermine their trust."

The case studies will be based on the real-life experiences of engineers and real situations. Various issues are tackled on this new web resource, such as, to what extent one’s own moral views may affect one’s professional judgement as an engineer within the defence industry?

Earnshaw continued: "There are a number of major challenges facing the world today, such as stabilising the global economy, countering terrorism threats, energy supply and climate change. The science, engineering and technology community will be a major player in facilitating solutions for all these areas. However, in finding the solutions, we are likely to face both corporate and personal, moral and ethical dilemmas. It is important that we maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and in this respect, the work which the IET does with its members, ensures a professional and ethical way of working is at the core of everything it does."

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