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Be a Responsible Person

Published on: November 16, 2016 | Views: 1894

On November 11, 2016, University of Pittsburgh’s Dr. Larry Shuman came to our institute to deliver a speech about engineering ethics. Doctor Shuman is a Swanson School of Engineering Distinguished Service Professor, an honor that recognizes excellence.

Doctor Shuman talked about engineering responsibility and why it is important. An engineer should be responsible for the public, the employer, the client and even himself or herself. As an ethical engineer, it is very important to know what you know and what you don’t know. Being responsible and respectful is necessary, too.

Doctor Shuman cited an example about the Flint Michigan Water Crisis which led to a public health emergency. Officials did not immediately solve this problem and it became a serious problem and the public complained about the water quality. This problem sounded an alarm to the tech team. In the end, it cost a lot of money and time to solve. In another example, Doctor Shuman described the keyless ignition system’s fatal flaw. If there were too many keys on the key chain, the ignition system would activate. In cars, a cheaper airbag would lead to high injuries and death, an issue that cannot be ignored by engineers. Moreover, whether the VW Diesel Engine is clean or dirty is also a big question in the world.  Harmful nitrogen oxide from the engine can cause disease and waste. In professor’s opinion, the engineers made an ethical decision regarding the engine in order to succeed. Similarly, another car corporation used incorrect data to promote their car. A short question and answer session followed the presentation.

Doctor Larry Shuman’s unique views not only enriched our kno