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Citizen Engineer: A Handbook for Socially Responsible Engineering

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Citizen Engineer: A Handbook for Socially Responsible Engineering


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  • Systematically addresses crucial business, legal, environmental, and societal issues engineers were never taught about in school - but can now make or break their careers
  • Offers powerful insights into topics ranging from eco-responsibility to intellectual property to privacy
  • Description

    • Copyright 2010
    • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
    • Pages: 272
    • Edition: 1st
    • Book
    • ISBN-10: 0-13-714392-3
    • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-714392-4

    “Engineers create many of the inventions that shape our society, and as such they play a vital role in determining how we live. This new book does an outstanding job of filling in the knowledge and perspective that engineers must have to be good citizens in areas ranging from the environment, to intellectual property, to ensuring the health of the innovation ecosystem that has done so much for modern society. This is exactly the sort of book that engineers and those who work with them should read and discuss over pizza, coffee, or some other suitable, discussion-provoking consumable.”

    —John L. Hennessy, president, Stanford University

    Citizen Engineer is the bible for the new era of socially responsible engineering. It’s an era where, as the authors show, engineers don’t just need to know more, they need to be more. The work is an inspiration, an exhortation, and a practical how-to guide. All engineers concerned with the impact of their work—and that should be all engineers—must read this book.”

    —Hal Abelson, professor of computer science and engineering, MIT

    “Code is law. Finally, a map to responsible law making. This accessible and brilliant book should be required of every citizen, and especially, the new citizen lawmakers we call engineers.”

    —Lawrence Lessig, director, Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, and cofounder, Creative Commons

    Being an engineer today means being far more than an engineer. You need to consider not only the design requirements of your projects but the full impact of your work—from an ecological perspective, an intellectual property perspective, a business perspective, and a sociological perspective. And you must coordinate your efforts with many other engineers, sometimes hundreds of them. In short, we’ve entered an age that demands socially responsible engineering on a whole new scale: The era of the Citizen Engineer.

    This engaging and thought-provoking book, written by computer industry luminaries David Douglas and Greg Papadopoulos, focuses on two topics that are becoming vitally important in the day-to-day work of engineers: eco engineering and intellectual property (IP). Citizen Engineer also examines how and why the world of engineering has changed, and provides practical advice to help engineers of all types master the new era and start thinking like Citizen Engineers.


    Related Article

    Towards Socially Responsible Innovation: An Interview with the Authors of Citizen Engineer

    Author's Site

    Please visit the author's web site at citizenengineer.org.

    Sample Content

    Online Sample Chapter

    Beyond the Black Cloud: Looking at Lifecycles as a Citizen Engineer

    Sample Pages

    Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 4 and Index)

    Table of Contents

    Preface xv

    Acknowledgments xix

    About the Authors xxi

    Introduction: While You Were Busy Debugging… xxiii


    Part I: Advent of the Citizen Engineer 1

    Chapter 1: “Citizen Engineer” Defined 5

    Responsibilities of the Citizen Engineer 7

    Knowledge Base of the Citizen Engineer 8

    Chapter 2: How Engineering Got Its Paradigm Shifted 13

    Changes in the Nature of Engineering 13

    Engineering on a Whole New Scale 13

    Externally Driven Changes in Engineering 19

    Perspectives on an Engineering Transformation 24

    Part I Summary, and What’s Next 25

    Part II: Environmental Responsibility 27

    Chapter 3: Environmental Impact: The Big Picture 31

    Eco-Responsible Engineering: An Enormous

    Opportunity 32

    Core Challenges of Eco-Engineering 34

    Chapter 4: Beyond the Black Cloud: Looking at Lifecycles 37

    The “Cradle to Cradle” Vision 40

    Chapter 5: A Pragmatic Approach to Lifecycle Analysis 45

    A Basic Lifecycle Model 45

    Additional Lifecycle Considerations 46

    Embodied Energy and Embodied Carbon 52

    Starting a Top-Level Assessment 56

    Chapter 6: Setting Priorities, Requirements, and Goals 61

    Knowing the Law 62

    Business Requirements and Opportunities 64

    Areas of Greatest Impact 65

    Quick Wins and Low-Hanging Fruit 66

    Chapter 7: Energy and Emissions 69

    Common Sources of Energy 70

    Calculating Energy and Power 73

    Energy Impacts: Finding the Cleanest Source of Power 75

    Energy and GHG Emissions 76

    Putting a Value on Carbon (Dioxide!) 80

    Heat, Noise, Light, and Radio Emissions 81

    Process-Related GHG Emissions 82

    Energy Efficiency in Product Design 83

    An Example: Energy Efficiency in Data Centers 86

    Chapter 8: Chemicals, Materials, and Waste 93

    Chemistry and the Law 93

    Packaging and Documentation 96

    Waste and Renewal 98

    Chapter 9: Water and Other Natural Resources 105

    Social Considerations 105

    Business Considerations 106

    Calculating the Water Footprint 106

    Trading Virtual Water 107

    Other Natural Resources 108

    Chapter 10: An Example of Eco-Engineering: Interface, Inc. 111

    An Aggressive Initiative with Very Specific Goals 111

    Chapter 11 Eco-Engineering: The Grass Is Always Greener 117

    Carbon Neutrality: Good Start but Not Enough 117

    Greenwashing and Green Noise 120

    Measuring and Sharing with OpenEco 123

    Part II Summary, and What’s Next 125

    Part III: Intellectual Responsibility 127

    Chapter 12 Intellectual Property Law Fundamentals 131

    IP 101: Core Concepts 131

    Patents 134

    Copyright 141

    Trademarks 147

    Trade Secrets 148

    Nondisclosure Agreements 150

    Employment Contracts and IP Ownership 151

    Tip Sheet: Inbound and Outbound IP 157

    How to Protect Your IP in Emerging Markets 159

    Back to Patent Protection: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 161

    Chapter 13: Open Source Software: Licenses and Leverage 165

    “Free” Software Licenses 166

    Nonfree but Free-Sounding Software Licenses 169

    A Closer Look at the GPL 169

    Contributor Agreements 171

    Software Indemnity 175

    Chapter 14: Creativity and Control 179

    Maximizing the Cycle of Innovation 179

    How We Got Here 181

    Control over Interfaces 184

    Innovation Commons 186

    The Economics of Open Source 187

    Beyond Software 189

    Building an Open Source Community: Practical

    Advice from a Pro 194

    Chapter 15: Protecting Digital Rights 199

    Digital Rights Management 199

    Is “Open DRM” an Oxymoron? 201

    Fair Use and Other Concepts for Reducing

    Restrictions 202

    Part III Summary, and What’s Next 204

    Part IV: Bringing It to Life 205

    Chapter 16: Education of the Citizen Engineer 207

    Updating Engineering Curricula 208

    Advice for Engineering Students 211

    Advice for Engineering New Hires 212

    Chapter 17: Citizen Engineers in Action 215

    Appendix 219

    Lifecycle Phase Checklists 219

    Required Reading for Citizen Engineers 223

    Notes 225

    Photo Credits 233

    Index 235


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