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A lot of engineering codes of ethics globally press engineers to consciously put the interest of the public above of all other interests. This appears to operate counter the market ideology that the interest of the public will be attained by the persons chasing their self-interest. The latter ideology is what is in the spirit of sustainable development with its accent on the economic instruments and economic valuation to attain environmental protection (Anon 2008) found out.
Policies of sustainable development normally symbolize an economic determinism with regard to the technological changes. It evades ethical issues and assumes that economic and environmental purposes are compatible. Yet currently, engineers are struggling with ethical impasses created by day to day conflicts between the environmental and economic requirements of their profession.
In the past disagreement between public interest and self-interest was a rare predicament for the engineers because engineering purposes were more or less synonymous with the human development (Robert 2009). Presently, environmental concerns have established a divergence among employer interest, self-interest, public interest and professional interest. Yet how pragmatic is it to anticipate engineers to demonstrate higher ethical values than those generally anticipated by the community as a whole.
The contemporary engineering code of ethics compels engineers to consider the public interest before business interest and professional interest. At the beginning of the discussion, I will illustrate that business interest and professional interest was aligned and that the code of ethics have been established to serve the professional interest within this aspect. In the second part of this paper, with the use of Laura’s case study, I will demonstrate the alignment of professional interest and business interests and the disagreements between the public interest and self-interest are intensified by environmental controversies and how as a consequent of this the environment suffers inevitably.
Case study: Environmentally interest
According to Robert (2009), for a long time, a mixture of remnants of law, religious beliefs and a background of ethical egoism has fairly served western society. The living standards have grown and the nations have become powerful and wealthier. But in the contemporary times environmental concerns have developed a conflict among the employer interest, self-interest and the interest of the public. Laura’s case study will demonstrate some of the issues engrossed.
Laura who is working for Kentride Consulting Engineers is a graduate of Stoneybrook University and is a qualified environmental engineer. Her employer is engaged in civil engineering structure designing. Within the company, they are the 2 environmental engineers. Her responsibility is the examine the environmental effects of the organization’s projects and conduct appropriate liaison with a couple of stakeholders to make sure that the environmental concerns are sufficiently examined and checked both at the design and implementation stages.
In the past 7 months, she has been engaged on the Risdon Underpass Project. The venture is to outline a road underpass that will accommodate the Goldray Freeway below the Environmental Park of Risdon State for an estimated distance of 850 meters. This initiative has received a strong support from the Minister of Highways, Mr. Ted Power who perhaps by chance is an elected representative of the constituents where the project is meant for. According the statements made by the minister, the entire freeway is supposed to be finished in 5 years time period, however, twelve months since the work began, there are apparent signs that a lot of sections of the project are behind the time frame.
The Park is particularly a sensitive environmental site. It is a habitat to a huge colony of koalas and perhaps the single known site of the yellow throated giant earth worm. At the start, it was expected that underpass would be developed through the cut and cover system, in which case, the digging is done in the earth for the concrete passageway, the concrete passageway is developed, thereafter the tunnel will be covered with soil and reverted to its former condition. The environmental lobby factions rapidly pilled pressure on the Government and it was consented that the underpass will be excavated below the existing forest ground by the use of (TBM), tunnel boring machine.
The structural plan for the tunnel has located the tunnel top roof approximately 4 meters beneath the existing earth surface. The tunnel positioning was established after a series of test excavations long the tunnel alignment and the assessment of the environmental impact by Laura. Excavation indicated that the tunnel would be dug through a dense clay ground as appose to the rock. The assessment by Laura of home for the yellow throated giant earthworm established that the worm colonies occurred on a 1.5 meter depth.
On attending a workshop on invertebrate organisms she found that these worms could extend their existence to greater depth in the soil. This new development has brought a lot of concern to Laura since the yellow throated giant earthworm habit could be adversely affected if this information comes to be true and this passageway is located 4 meters beneath the ground surface.
Laura as convened a meeting and discussed this new development with her boss Keith, who has suggested that Laura as a matter of urgency investigates the matter further since if they information is accurate the project has to be redesigned before they proceed. The design manager Frank Cluey angered on hearing this new development and said that ‘the tunnel design was too advance to consider any redesign’ and that ‘if the colony of these bloody worms was wiped out, that was too bad!’
Later, the GreenWorld president Mr. Lou Bandock called Laura and complained seriously that Laura had provided them false information since. They have established that vibrations resulting from the TBM operating on dense clay soil could be harmful to the koalas’ health and th.............
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