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Lecture 1 Engineering Management II The Role of Engineering in Society 1.

0 Introduction

The practice of engineering does not exist outside the domain of societal interests. That is, the practice of engineering has an inherent (and unavoidable) impact on society. Engineering is based upon that relationship with society (inter alia). The primary role of science is to develop knowledge and understanding of the physical universe. The utilization of scientific knowledge over time establishes that some of the knowledge is immediately relevant to societal needs. Engineering is the creative application of scientific knowledge to analyse, design, construct and operate the products and services of societal needs. Engineering is identified as the profession in which knowledge of mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgement to develop ways to utilize, economically, materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. 2.0 VEEN DIAGRAM

Veen diagram shows the relationship of engineering to societal need, scientific knowledge, analysis and creativity.

Each sector represents the following:

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Section A:

purely analytical talents within engineering domain. The ability to model complex systems and predict their response to various inputs under numerous conditions creative capacity within the engineering domain. This is viewed as those sudden intuitive leaps that can result in revolutionary advances in technology. the intersection of knowledge and need for both creative and analytical capabilities. This is engineering design, the ability to work at real world problem solving. the culmination of societal need, analysis, knowledge and creativity. This is the ideal role of engineering and individual engineer.

Section B: Section C:

Section D:

The Venn diagram illustrates that engineers need to acquire analytical skills in order to be productive and creativity. 3.0 Role of Engineering a Research Searches for new knowledge and the practical application for the new knowledge Development Produces a working model based on newly discovered idea or working concept

4.0

Role of Engineers to the Society

In society, the role of an engineer is to solve societal problems technologically. This is done by: building the necessary infrastructure (roads and bridges), by contributing towards the industrialization of the country (electrical and industrial production) and by connecting the world (telecommunications). Engineers build structures, machines, systems and devices. They are very important because virtually every part of our lives involves some machine, device, system or the other. 5.0 SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF ENGINEERS

What does having social responsibilities mean? A commitment to place the public safety and interest ahead of all other considerations and obligations. Take into account and show due regard for the consequences of their conduct for the well-being of others as well as for the impact of their work on society and the citizenry. The engineer to make determined efforts to discover all of the relevant facts concerning the design, development, and deployment and all of the possible
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outcomes of the choices available that may positively and negatively affect/impact society and the citizenry 5.1 Examples of Social Responsibilities

Examples of social responsibilities are: Ensure the safety and well-being of the public Ensure that societys funds and resources concerning technology are well used Individual and organizational concern about the impact of engineering projects on society Contributing ones services to worthy, non-profit groups and projects Provide expert advice to non-experts Voluntarily assume the task of educating the public about important consequences of various technological and scientific developments Commitment of engineering professions and organizations to principles of social responsibility Commitment of risk assessment experts to ethical risk/safety assessments Actively promote the ethical development and use of technology Commitment of engineers to design and develop sustainable technologies Take part in democratic procedures for technology decision making and policy management Explicit care and concern about technologys impact on Nature and the Environment Abiding by the principles of sustainable development when thinking about engineering designs Abiding by the precautionary principle when thinking about engineering designs In engineering design, engineers have practiced social responsibility by applying factors of safety to their designs and by building in redundancy Social activism of engineers in the public Interest Refusing to work on a particular project or for a particular company with integrity issues Speaking out publicly against a proposed project with integrity issues. Blowing the whistle on illegality or wrong-doing 6.0 DEFINING ENGINEERING

Concern for social well being and humanity are part of the very definition of engineering. The following definitions of Engineering illustrate that engineering roles in society. Scientist discovers that which exists. An engineer creates that which never was. Theodore von Karman (1881-1963)

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Engineering is the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. --Engineers Council for Professional Development (1961/1979) Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and the convenience of people. In its modern form engineering involves people, money, materials, machines, and energy. It is differentiated from science because it is primarily concerned with how to direct to useful and economical ends the natural phenomena which scientists discover and formulate into acceptable theories. Engineering therefore requires above all the creative imagination to innovate useful applications of natural phenomena. It seeks newer, cheaper, better means of using natural sources of energy and materials. (Science and Technology Encyclopedia, McGraw Hill). Engineering is a great profession. There is a fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge, through the aid of science, to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs home to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comfort of life. That is the engineer's high privilege.To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope Herbert Hoover (US mining engineer & 3ist President of the US) (1874 - 1964)

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Do Engineers Have Social Responsibilities?


By Deborah Johnson

The Concept of Responsibility


Role Responsibility

Engineering Practice

Deducing the Social Responsibilities of Engineers

Three Levels of Analysis

Ordinary Morality Comparison To other Professions

Social Contract 1. Individual role responsibility 2. Rules of the profession 3. Highest goods and Principles

Social Responsibility Questions: (1) Does the American engineering system assign responsibility to engineers? (2) Should society assign special social responsibilities to engineers? (3) If so, on what ethical foundations?

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