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Are engineers unethical?

I gave a talk on ethics using the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) ethical canons as a guide.

The first canon is,

1.Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable development in the performance of their professional duties.

Notice we are supposed to look out for the safety, health and welfare of the public.. When we ship a product to another country, for manufacturing, that has lower regulations covering the local workforce, do we violate this canon? Does fracking violate this canon?

Do we just have to worry about our own backyards?

The canon also states we should follow the principles of sustainable development…. Do we do this as engineers? For example, our use of finite energy sources, is it sustainable? Is our use of water supplies sustainable? Should engineers be leading the charge against global warming?

I’m not sure of the answers but I am a little worried engineers are not doing enough.

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Biggest bridge move in history?

Story here

Dish soap is invaluable when it comes to sliding a 3,400-ton span from its old supports onto new ones, as engineers in Portland demonstrated this Saturday while moving the Sellwood Bridge. Over the course of 14 hours, specialists from heavy-lifting company Omega Morgan used hydraulic jacks to push the Sellwood’s primary section as much as 66 feet to the side, proceeding at a glacial pace of 6 feet per hour. Unlike a certain other bridge project, this one went off without a hitch, and the slightly nudged Sellwood should reopen to traffic this week.

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel

From the ABC bridge engineer list, a cool engineer.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS (/ˈɪzəmbɑrd bruːˈnɛl/; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859), was an English mechanical and civil engineer who built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.



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Wikipedia – ABC of Bridge Engineers

Pages in category “Bridge engineers”

The following 131 pages are in this category, out of 131 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).







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The New World

This is an interesting article about the (possible) future of the middle class.

One of the things that bugs me as an engineer, is the fact that I don’t “make” anything. When I was in the precast business I could see our products and see how they were used in the city.

Now I have a hard time showing people what I make. Sure I designed that bridge but did I make it…..

I miss making physical things.

Getting the things you want is hard but for reasons I explain below, you now have no other choice.

The myth of corporate safety, of rising up through the ranks, of getting the gold watch, of getting applauded by your peers is over.
Not because the economy is bad.

But because innovation and the global economy are better than ever.

But don’t wait for shortcuts.
You can’t make money without selling something real. You can’t make something real without first imagination manifesting itself in your head.

You can’t have imagination without surrendering yourself to an idea that you want to create something of value to other human beings.

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ABC List of Engineers

David sat up all night and put together an ABC list of engineers. (thanks David!)

Who knew Mr. Bean is an electrical engineer!

A:Arup Ove, Ammann Othmann, Atkinson Rowan (Mr. Bean), Arafat Yasser, Armstrong Neal, Adams Scott (Dilbert), Archimedes
B: Brunel Isambard Kingdom & father Marc, Bell Alexander Graham, Bessemer Henry, Bertin Jean, Bezier Pierre, Bienvenu Fulgence, Berners Lee Tim, Bazalgette Joseph
C: Calatrava Santiago, Cross Hardy, Casagrande Arthur, Carter Jimmy, Cerf Vinton, Caquot Albert, Crapper Thomas
D: Darby Abraham, Davenport Alan, Diesel Rudolf
E: Eiffel Gustave, Edison Thomas, Eads James
F: Freyssinet Eugene, Ford Henry, Fabre Henri
G: Goddard Robert Hutchings, Heron of Alexandria
H: Hennebique Francois, Hitchcock Alfred, Hancock Herbie, Henry Beulah Louise, Hopper Grace Murray
I: Iacocca Lee, Imbault Georges Camille
J: Joy Bill
K: Kamen Dean
L: Lamarr Hedy, Lindenthal Gustav
M: Muller Jean, Mathivat Jacques, Maillart Robert, McCoy Elijah, Marconi Guglielmo, Michelin Andre, Malinowski Ernest
N: Nervi Pier Luigi, Nielsen Stuart, Nielsen Arthur, Nobel Alfred
O: Olsen Kenneth
P: Prandtl Ludwig, Pontist Happy, Perronet Jean-Rodolphe, Pauli Friedrich von, Peck Ralph
Q: ?
R: Roebling John, Rice Peter, Rennie John
S: Stephenson George, Smeaton John, Schlaich Jorg, Seguin Marc, Strauss Joseph, Sommeiller Germain, Saligny Anghel, Schubert Johan Andreas, Sinan Mimar
T: Terzhagi Carl, Timoshenko Stephen, Telford Thomas, Torvalds Linus
U: ?
V: Vinci Leonardo de, Virlogeux Michel, von Karman Theodor, Vauban Sebastien, Vian Boris, von Braun Wernher
W: Westinghouse George, Wosniak Steve, Wolfe-Barry Sir John
X: Xenakis Iannis
Y: Yeltson Boris, Young Neil
Z: Zeppelin Ferdinand von