EEE6010: which deal with an engineer’s role in society and the application of ethical principles to engineering practice with regard to the professional responsibility: Professional Practices in Power Engineering Essay, SIT, Singapore

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University Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
Subject EEE6010: Professional Practices in Power Engineering

You are required to write an essay on the following 3 cases which deal with an engineer’s role in society and the application of ethical principles to engineering practice with regard to the professional responsibility of an engineer to public safety; the impacts of engineering

activity: economic, social, cultural, environmental, and sustainability.

For each case, discuss your courses of action, with reference, but not limited, to
(a) The Professional Engineers (Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics) Rules, and the Professional Engineer’s Pledge;

(b) Rules for Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics, the Institution of Engineers, Singapore;

(b) Statement of Ethical Principles, the Royal Academy of Engineering.
You may make reasonable assumptions where required. A good discussion should include, but not be limited to:

• Analysis of the causes, consequences, and implications of the possible incident(s);

• Identification of the primary (direct) and secondary (indirect) stakeholders involved, their issues, their roles, and their affected interests in the case;

• Discussion of ethical issues from the engineers’ perspective;

• Analysis of your alternative courses of action, the consequences from various
perspectives;

• Your decision for a course of action.

(1) Case A

Imagine that you are an electrical engineer working for an international turnkey contractor in Singapore. You have recently been successful in becoming a registered professional engineer with the Professional Engineers Board, Singapore. You are also a young member of the Institution of Engineers, Singapore to take opportunities of the life-long learning programs to further develop your carrier.

Your company was successful recently in securing a major infrastructure project for a land transportation hub. Your company is overall responsible for the design, build, and delivery of the turnkey project. You are put in charge of the electrical project under a senior electrical project manager.

Your company engaged a main electrical contractor to undertake the detailed electrical design and construction. The electrical distribution system comprises a 66 kV intake substation and low voltage electrical installations. Particular requirements involve earthing, EMC, and lightning protection which you only have limited knowledge of. Your project manager directed you to coordinate with the electrical contractor and to verify the design as a professional engineer. To save cost, an external high voltage LEW was engaged to endorse the electrical design for submission purposes.

The project is under a rather challenging time schedule for delivery. Often, you found there was insufficient time for you to go over the design before you were pressurized to sign with your PE chop for submission. Besides, you are not familiar with the specialist topics, including EMC and earthing, notwithstanding that the HV LEW has been easy-going in endorsing the submission whenever you have signed as the verifier/checker. Discuss your courses of action.

(2) Case B

Tenants of an apartment building sue the owner to compel him to repair many defects in the building which affect the quality of use. The owner’s lawyer hires Engineer A to inspect the building and give expert testimony in support of the owner. Engineer A discovers serious structural defects in the building which he believes constitute an immediate threat to the safety of the tenants. The tenants’ suit has not mentioned these safety-related defects.

Upon reporting the findings to the lawyer, Engineer A is instructed by the lawyer to remove information on structural defects from his report. The lawyer reminds him to keep this information confidential because of the ongoing lawsuit. Engineer A complies with the request of the lawyer.

Was it ethical for Engineer A to conceal his knowledge of the safety-related defects in view of the fact that it was a lawyer who told him he was legally bound to maintain confidentiality? What should Engineer A do?

(3) Case C

You are the facility engineer in charge of a chemical plant located at a neighboring country. This country is rather relaxed in its enforcement of environmental regulations.

You recently found out that the plant’s liquid discharge is causing adverse health, safety, and environmental (HSE) impacts. To improve the HSE quality, you have to cease your plant production for a few weeks.

You discussed the HSE issues with the Production Superintendent and requested an immediate plant shut-down in order for your team to carry out the rectification work.

Your request was rejected by the Production Superintendent who explained that the proposed production shutdown will cause a missing delivering schedule for a large order and the associated financial losses. How would you handle such a situation where there is a conflict between commercial consideration and professional conduct and ethics?

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