vii
Contents
Foreword xv
Preface xvii
Part I
An Ethics Foundation
Chapter 1
A Personal Engineering Ethics Threshold
A Real World Example 4
What Is Engineering Ethics? 6
Ethical Theories 7
Utilitarianism 9
Duty Ethics 10
Rights Ethics 11
Virtue Ethics 12
Engineering Ethics Codes 13
NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers 13
IEEE Code of Ethics 13
Code Effectiveness 14
Professional Responsibility 14
Protection of Public Safety 14
Technical Competence 15
Timely Communication of Negative & Positive Results
to Management 15
Ethical Dilemmas 16
Public Safety & Welfare 16
Data Integrity & Representation 17
Trade Secrets & Industrial Espionage 17
Gift Giving & Bribery 17
Principle of Informed Consent 17
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viii Contents
Conflict of Interest 18
Accountability to Clients & Customers 18
Fair Treatment 18
Determining Your Personal Engineering Ethics Threshold for
Action 18
What Is Your Personal Threshold? 19
References 20
Questions for Discussion 20
Chapter 2
Options for Action When an Engineering Ethics
Threshold Is Reached
Departure 23
Whistleblowing 24
The Employee Conscience 25
Employee Protection Legislation 26
Employee Protection Procedures 28
Employee Protection Examples 29
The Observer Conscience 30
Observer Protection Legislation 30
Observer Protection Procedures 31
Observer Protection Examples 32
Conclusion 33
References 33
Questions for Discussion 34
Part II
National Case Studies
Chapter 3
1978: Ford Pinto Recall
The Reported Story 39
The Back Story 39
Automobile Safety 39
Ford Subcompact Car Project 41
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Pinto Investigations 45
Pinto Lawsuits 46
Applicable Regulations 47
An Engineering Perspective 49
References 50
Questions for Discussion 51
Chapter 4
1981: Kansas City Hyatt Regency Skywalk
Collapse
The Reported Story 53
The Back Story 53
Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel Design 53
Hyatt Project Hierarchy 54
Original Box Beam Hanger Rod Design
and Modifications 55
Atrium Roof Collapse 57
Walkway Investigation 57
Administrative Hearing Actions 58
Applicable Regulations 59
An Engineering Perspective 59
References 59
Questions for Discussion 60
Chapter 5
1986: Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion
The Reported Story 63
The Back Story 63
The Space Shuttle Design 63
Early Problems 67
Launch Delays and Subsequent Launch 68
Presidential Commission Investigation 69
Commission Recommendations 70
Applicable Regulations 71
An Engineering Perspective 71
References 73
Questions for Discussion 74
Contents ix
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Chapter 6
1989: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
The Reported Story 75
The Back Story 75
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System 75
Oil Spill Preparedness 78
The Last Voyage of the Exxon Valdez 79
Oil Spill Cleanup 80
Oil Spill Investigation 81
Lawsuits 82
Applicable Regulations 82
An Engineering Perspective 85
References 86
Questions for Discussion 87
Chapter 7
1989: San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Earthquake
Collapse
The Reported Story 89
The Back Story 89
Transportation in the Bay Area in the 1920s 89
Bridge Design and Construction 90
Railway Retrofit 91
Loma Prieta Earthquake 93
New Bridge 94
Applicable Regulations 95
An Engineering Perspective 96
References 97
Questions for Discussion 97
Chapter 8
1994: Bjork-Shiley Heart Valve Defect
The Reported Story 99
The Back Story 99
Heart Valves 99
The Bjork-Shiley Heart Valve 100
x Contents
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Bjork-Shiley Valve Complications & Investigations 101
U.S. Government Intervention 104
Other Lawsuits 104
Applicable Regulations 105
An Engineering Perspective 107
References 107
Questions for Discussion 108
Chapter 9
1999: Y2K Software Conversion
The Reported Story 109
The Back Story 109
The Millennium Bug 109
Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology
Problem 110
Interim Assessments 110
Day One Preparation 112
Y2K Aftermath 112
Applicable Regulations 114
An Engineering Perspective 116
References 116
Questions for Discussion 117
Chapter 10
2002: Bell Laboratories Scientific Fraud
The Reported Story 119
The Back Story 120
The History of Bell Laboratories 120
Nanotechnology 123
Jan Hendrik Schon’s Bell Labs Work 124
Bell Labs Investigation 126
Aftermath 128
Applicable Regulations 128
A Scientific Perspective 130
References 130
Questions for Discussion 131
Contents xi
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