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: Koay Geok Hwa

Student ID : 1002B77917
7. Very often codes of practice suggest discretion of engineering judgement. There are
merits and demerits of international codes of practice and standards as opposed to
national documents within the context of the Malaysian industry and practices.
Discuss by giving examples of engineering judgement whereby such decision does
not conform to an international (?) code of practice and how it is justified. Is
international conformity always desirable?

Engineering judgement is a process of forming opinion or evaluation, which

characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of engineering
knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation by discerning and
comparing. To make an engineering judgement, decisions are usually based on
technical information and public impact. There are few factors that can develop the
judgement such that academic training, professional experience, professional
development and mistakes.
In the society nowadays, engineers play an important role to ensure the safety of life,
which is important to maintain and improve the quality of the world. Engineers
independently address and reconcile a broad range of complex engineering problems,
which may or cant be adequately assessed and determined, from measurement or
observation alone. They deal extensively with controversial economic and public
policy issues that are likely to hinder progress of construction or operating permits.
Besides that, engineers can represent department with authority on technical
engineering matters to develop procedures and standards for multiple engineering
projects that are significantly technical and complex. Engineering judgement is
important because engineers apply professional judgment where a variety of
conflicting engineering related conditions present a major problem.
One thing that cant be neglected is codes and practices often suggest discretion of
engineering judgement. There are merits and demerits of international codes of
practice and standards as opposed to national documents within the context of the
Malaysian industry and practices.

For example, Engineer A, employed by the XYZ Manufacturing Company, is

assigned to an internal task force composed of engineers to develop a job description
and qualifications for a supervisory engineering position and to prepare a list of
qualified engineers for the position. The task force interviews a number of candidates,
eliminating some and advising them that they are no longer under consideration. At
the conclusion of its interviews the task force members all agree that none of those
considered is of the quality desired. The other members of the task force, however,
tell Engineer A that they believe he is highly qualified and suggest that he resign from
the task force so that he may be considered for the position as being in the best
interest of the company.

From the example above, its clearly shown that the decision of Engineer A does not
comfort to Code of Ethics-Section 8 and Section 11. Code of Ethics-Section 8 states
that The Engineer will endeavor to avoid a conflict of interest with his employer or
client, but when unavoidable, the Engineer shall fully disclose the circumstances to
his employer or client.. I assume that those in management who appointed Engineer
A to the task force would know the facts when and if As name were presented for the
higher position, there will be no ethical problem regarding his relationship with his
employer. As has often been noted in the past, a conflict of interest between an
employed engineer and the employer occurs only when the circumstances are such
that an advantage to the engineer would be at the expense of the employer. Even if
that were the case, however, an employer may waive the conflict when it is to his or
her advantage to do so.

There may be some implication that Engineer A had some hidden role in the
determination of the task force members, including him, that none of the other
candidates was acceptable for the higher position. If Engineer A were improperly
motivated to influence an adverse conclusion on the other candidates he could have
had in mind the result that the other members of the task force would turn to him. But
this is a highly conjectural approach, without supporting evidence, and I assume under
these conditions that the other members of the task force could not so easily have
been led to that result.
The ultimate ethical issue under the above assumption is whether Engineer A had
competed unfairly with other engineers by attempting to obtain advancement by
"improper or questionable methods." If there were any reasonable basis to support a
suspicion that Engineer A had, in fact, used his position on the task force to achieve
the position for himself, that would be a clear violation of Section 11 of the code.
Thus, I suggest that Engineer A should resign from the task force and permit himself
to be considered as a candicate so that it would be ethical.

Theres another example. Engineer B had been retained by the prime professional
engineer to provide mechanical and electrical engineering services for a large housing
project. The project was completed and occupied four years later, and Engineer B was
fully paid for his services. Approximately seven years after the original occupancy,
ownership of the facility changed. The new owner informed Engineer B he had
retained Engineer C to make an engineering inspection of the facility, and there were
problems associated with the wiring. At the owner's request, a joint inspection of the
wiring was made by the two engineers and the city wiring inspector. The inspection
did not reveal any defects in the wiring. The owner advised Engineer C of his
complaint concerning the plumbing and heating systems. Engineer C thereafter
conducted a further study and filed a report with the owner. The report noted there
was no problem with the design of the plumbing system, but concluded there were
design inadequacies in the original sizing of the equipment for hot water and heating.
Engineer C recommended the installation of equipment of higher capacity. Engineer B
thereafter filed a complaint with the state engineering registration board alleging that
Engineer C had acted improperly in that the report was not objective and did not
include all pertinent information, and further alleged that the actions of Engineer C

were self-serving at the expense of the dignity and reputation of Engineer B. Engineer
B requested the registration board to find Engineer C guilty of "misconduct" in that
Engineer C had obtained employment by a questionable method of criticizing
Engineer b without his knowledge.
The Engineer Bs decision does not comfort the Code of Ethics Section 12 and
Section 12(a). Section 12 states that "The Engineer will not attempt to injure,
maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects,
practice, or employment of another engineer, nor will he indiscriminately criticize
another engineer's work. If he believes that another engineer is guilty of unethical or
illegal practice, he shall present such information to the proper authority for action".
Section 12(a) states that "An Engineer in private practice will not review the work of
another engineer for the same client, except with the knowledge of such engineer, or
unless the connection of such engineer with the work has been terminated."

In this particular set of facts, it is apparent that Engineer B knew that Engineer C had
been retained to make an engineer's inspection of the facility and that the resulting
evaluation would necessarily entail a review of the original designs. Also, it is equally
clear that the connection of Engineer B with the project had been terminated some
years earlier. By considering whether the work of Engineer C was for the same client,
it may be helpful for future guidance to again point out that the purpose of 12(a) is to
provide the engineer whose work is being reviewed by another engineer the
opportunity to submit his comments or explanation for his technical decisions, thereby
enabling the reviewing engineer to have the benefit of a fuller understanding of the
technical considerations in the original design in framing his comments or suggestions
for the ultimate benefit of the client. On the basis of the information submitted to us,
there is no showing that Engineer B had undertaken his review and subsequent report
with the intent to injure the professional reputation or practice of Engineer A. The fact
that Engineer B concluded that some changes were needed in the equipment originally
specified cannot alone constitute the kind of actions barred by 12. Otherwise, there
would be no point in an owner's retaining another engineer to review the original
design in an attempt to resolve current problems with the facility. In conclusion, I
think it is not ethical for Engineer C to take the assignment and in rendering the report
to the owner.
( 1378 words)