Reflection 3: Responsibility in Engineering


(What did I know about responsibility and engineering before this?)

When our team was presented with this assignment I taught that I knew a good bit about responsibilities and been responsible for your actions.

I did ask my self a question though “ What do I really know about responsibility and been a responsible engineer? ”

Well, been a parent with over 10 years work experience on different jobs plus time spent in the army taught me a good bit about responsibility. Having done a good research when preparing our second presentation opened my eyes to a prospect of life where been responsible engineer is not as easy as everyone taught in the first place. Being responsible person does not necessarily means that you are going to automatically become responsible engineer.

I presume that everyone thought about how much people these days depend on engineers to be responsible and moral in their everyday life. How we all depend on “simple” things like buses, cars etc. things that we take for granted.


(Why is responsibility important for engineers?)


When I try to answer this question to my self I always think about the difference between the moral responsibility and the legal responsibility. Confusion occurs in any many cases and in some of this cases engineers are presented with tough decisions to make and they have to be able to distinguish between the two and make the correct decision in the end of the day. The moral responsibility refers to the general values of humanity, dignity and of the quality and the improvement of the human life.

On the other hand, the legal responsibility derives from the legislation in force in a certain country.

It is limited and lack of legality is possible to act in illegal way. A clear example is the advances in genetic engineering, biotechnology and information technologies.

In relation to my thoughts I would just ask you to imagine living in a world where engineers are not necessarily responsible.

What would life look like then?


(What specifically did I learn from the case studies and from my classmates?)

In class we were presented with the Carter Racing case study where we had around 20 min to decide if the team is going to race or not.

We, as a team and individuals decided that the Carter team will go ahead and race without too much consideration of the data we were presented with.

We didn’t know if we were right or wrong but at the time we didn’t even know how to think as a responsible engineers and to evaluate all the facts and data available when making final decision.

This small exercise taught me a great lesson of the impact of the decisions made by engineers in different areas. In relation to that we looked at the Challenger disaster and the impact it had on all people around the world.

Personally I think that as future engineers it is our duty like it or not to obey save practices and to follow the code of ethics.

As we have seen from all great engineering disasters in the last 50 years, competence and responsibilities are the most important in our future life as engineers.

From my classmates I learned that as a team we could off prepared a lot better for our second presentation and to spare a few blushes to our teammate presenter.


(What will I bring from this experience into my future engineering practice?)


Completing the case study in class and preparing our second presentation gave me a good hint what would be expected from my colleagues and me in our future as engineers.

We as engineers have to vigorously test any product that is going to be released for use by the public and make sure that we follow the moral code of conduct as well as the professional code in order to prevent any harm that we may cause indirectly to the society or environment.

This all boils down to common sense and being a human before everything else. In all modern societies where money dictates all new trends we have to think outside the box and not be influenced when making decisions by money, fame and so on.

As a team we work very efficiently together and we are able to split the workload among all team members so we can all have equal contribution in the end of the day.

I think that this is very important for a group of young developing engineers.

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