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1-2 Engineering Ethics

Most engineers are employed by private companies that provide wages and benefits for their services. The company earns profits for its shareholders, and engineers must provide a service to the company by maintaining and improving these profits. Engineers are responsible for minimizing losses and providing a safe and secure environment for the company's employees. Engineers have a responsibility to themselves, fellow workers, family, community, and the engineering profession. Part of this responsibility is described in the Engineering Ethics statement developed by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE), shown in Table 1-1.

Table 1-1. American Institute of Chemical Engineers Code of Professional Ethics

Fundamental principles

Engineers shall uphold and advance the integrity, honor, and dignity of the engineering profession by

  1. using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare;
  2. being honest and impartial and serving with fidelity the public, their employers, and clients;
  3. striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession.

Fundamental canons

  1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties.
  2. Engineers shall perform services only in areas of their competence.
  3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
  4. Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest.
  5. Engineers shall build their professional reputations on the merits of their services.
  6. Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity, and dignity of the engineering profession.
  7. Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision.
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