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Professional Engineering And Ethical Issues


We always need professional engineers. They play a crucial role in society by designing, constructing, and maintaining the infrastructure that supports modern life. Their importance lies in several key areas, including infrastructure development, safety and stability, and environmental sustainability.

Professional engineers have a huge job to do. They also have to be wary of ethical issues that may arise. They can affect clients and the environment in various ways. If you are considering a career in engineering, here are some ethical issues you should keep in mind.

Environmental Justice

Engineers are involved in a number of projects that impact the environment. They deal with projects such as designing oil wells. Oil wells are important, as they provide fuel to help transport vehicles and keep people warm. However, they can damage land and water resources. Also, burning oil contributes to climate change, which can lead to natural disasters.


Engineering students of color often complain about racist behavior. Racial discrimination may be overt, but it may consist of more subtle behaviors. A white person may interrupt a person of color or challenge their ideas for no apparent reason. When racist behavior is determined, a company needs to decide on the right course of action, such as proper punishment. Some employees are fired. Companies also need to decide how to prevent similar behavior in the future.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is not usually an issue for men, since they make up most of the engineering workforce. However, when it does happen, it often goes unacknowledged due to gender bias.

Women get the short end of the stick. As many as 50% of women in engineering colleges experience sexual harassment. This harassment often continues as women enter the workforce.

Sexual harassment poses various ethical issues. Many victims do not report it because they fear retaliation. In fact, many women have been fired for reporting it. It’s also hard to investigate harassment in the first place. Many instances are “he said, she said” scenarios with limited evidence. While engineering companies can hire a third party to examine harassment, this raises the possibility of an information leak.

Privacy Rights

Many professional engineers sign non-disclosure agreements when working for companies. Their clients may ask them for information covered in their agreements. However, If they disclose this information, they will violate their agreement and risk their company’s right to privacy. At the same time, if they withhold their information, they risk losing their client. It’s a Catch-22 situation that can involve ethics.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Professional Engineers Licensing Lawyer

Professional engineers do a lot for the environment but need to be mindful of how their work affects clients and others. They need to be wary of how ethics may be involved.

Facing an ethical dilemma? A Tampa professional engineers licensing lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can help you keep your license. I have represented more than 100 professional engineers before the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. Call (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.