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Engineer in Society

Dr. Eng. Palitha Bandara

Focal Point- Natural Resources and Environment
Asian Development Bank
16 Aug 2017
Engineer in Society

Social Responsibility
Moral Conduct
Professional Integrity
Gender Issues
Poverty and Poverty Alleviation
Social responsibility
Social responsibility is an ethical theory, in which
individuals are accountable for fulfilling their civic
duty; i.e. the actions of an individual must benefit
the whole of society by maintaining a balance
between the economy and the ecosystems.
to the society

Environment Economic
Protection Development
Social responsibility: actions of an individual that
benefit the society.
Conducting stakeholder awareness programs from
planning stage to the O & M stage of a project

Disclosing project information to the interested

parties/General Public (Displaying hoardings,
Leaflets, Information center, Observation Gallery)
Disclosing project EIA reports to General Public for
30 days in all three languages for objections, if any
Conducting HIV awareness programs to public living
in the vicinity of the project, by project staff
Taking care on public/community safety and sanitary
(e.g. Traffic control, Barricades, Sign Boards, Safety
fences, dust control measures, Noise control)

Taking adequate measures on environmental

protection (e.g. not discharging hazardous effluent to
environment, reinstatement of disposal yards and
borrow pits, Habitat protection)

Social responsibility covers its relationship with the

external world.
e.g. how an organization relates with the well-being
of the society.
Ethics is a more general term that covers both internal
relationships (i.e. within the organization) and
external relationships (i.e. the society).

i. Conduct HIV awareness program for both public

and employees
ii. Taking care of safety and sanitary for both public
and employees
iii.Taking adequate measures on environmental
sustainability within and outside the organization
iv.Grievance Redress mechanism for society as well as
v. Employee welfare as well as social welfare
Studying on Ethics?
Study of how our decisions affect other people by
learning societal Values, Rights and Norms

Values: When a person value something, either the

person wants it to happen because it will give
him/her a gain.

Some one wants to buy that car because it gives you
a comfortable journey.

Every one wants peace to happen to avoid conflicts.

Rights: a persons freedom to take a particular action.

Human Rights are the rights that all human beings

should have regardless of nationality, place of
residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color,
religion, language, or any other status.

Fundamental Rights are rights that are awarded to

all citizens as per the legal system of the country
and awarded through the countrys constitution.
i.e. all people fall under the jurisdiction of the
constitution are granted these rights.
e.g.Act on Right to access to information - Act No. 12
of 2016
Norms are the rules of behavior that are
considered acceptable in a group or society. Norms
change according to the environment or situation
and may change or be modified over time.

Shake hands when you meet someone.

Have direct eye contact with the person you are
speaking with.
Do not curse in polite conversation
Never use a cell phone in a class room
Never read other material during class.
Moral rules and Moral Conduct

Moral rules are concerned with the principles/rules

of right conduct (i.e. you should understand the
distinction between right and wrong)
Moral conduct is the process of promoting moral
i.e. The principle of human behavior that promotes
orderly and peaceful existence in a community.

Trying to find threshold for goodness of your

activities is rather difficult. Refraining from doing bad
things is rather practical
Moral rules and Moral Conduct

Being engineers, we should maintain the

professional standards (code of practices, safety
factors) to facilitate safe, efficient, effective, and
sustainable operations, in all our Engineering
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices.
Case 1
1.DC 10 Jumbo Jet- The cargo door was developed
by a sub-contractor Ms Convair for McDonnell
Douglas, the main contractor in 1972.
2.Convairs senior engineer Dan Applegate had informed
the vice president of his company the cargo-door could
burst open and will lead to crash of the plane. Hence the
door that to be redesigned and cabin floor has to

3.Top management at Convair did not dispute the technical

fact or the predictions of Dan, because liabilities and
redesign costs were high.

4.In 1974, the cargo door of DC 10 Jumbo Jet (Turkish

Airline) burst open and the jet crashed near Paris killing 346.
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 2
Carl Houston, a welding supervisor for a nuclear power
facility in Virginia (1970) for Stone & Weber.
He saw:
Improper welding procedures
Use of wrong materials
Welders were not trained properly
The situation was dangerous

He reported to Stone & Webers manager, but manager

ignored him. He reported to Head Quarters. Shortly after,
he was fired.

Finally, he brought the issue to Atomic Energy Commission.

Investigation confirmed his allegation.
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 3
Citicrop center New York a high-rise building was
completed in 1977.

An engineering student questioned What will happen

when the wind loading is oblique?

Calculations showed that as in case (C)the resultant force

is 40% large.
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 3

Original design for the angular braces used welded joints.

However, during construction, to save labor and material
costs, builders used bolted joints with the approval of
designed firm not known to the designer himself.

The original welded-joint design had ample strength to

withstand the load from straight-on wind, with enough
safety margin to withstand the higher loads from quartering

However, the load from a 70 miles per hour (110 km/h)

hurricane force quartering wind would exceed the strength
of the bolted-joint chevrons (V-shape). The bolts could
shear and the building could collapse.
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 3

Wind tunnel tests with models of Citigroup Center revealed

that the wind speed required to bring down the building
occurred on average once in 55 years.

The building was strengthened by welding 50 mm thick steel

plate over each of the 200 bolted joints.

A major storm (Hurricane Ella) was heading for New York

but eventually turned eastward.

Because nothing happened as a result of the engineering

mistake, the danger was kept hidden from the public for
almost 20 years.
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 3
not informing other architects about the problem
and solution for two decades.
Structural engineer Bill LeMessurier was criticized for:
insufficient oversight leading to bolted rather than
welded joints;
not informing the endangered neighbors;
actively misleading the public about the extent of the
danger during the reinforcement process,
It was publicized in a lengthy article in The New Yorker in

However, Citicorp case is now used as an example of ethical

behavior in several engineering textbooks.
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 4

Bhopal gas tragedy (at Union Carbide Factory): the gas leak
incident in India 1984, considered the world's worst
industrial disaster
It occurred on the night of 23 December 1984 at the
Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl

isocyanate (MIC) gas and other chemicals.

The highly toxic substance made its way into and

around the shanty towns located near the plant.
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 4

The official immediate death toll was 2,259.

The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total

of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.

A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak

caused 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary
partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and
permanently disabling injuries.

Others estimate that 8,000 died within two weeks, and

another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related
Moral Conduct: Examples in engineering practices. Case 4

The cause of the disaster remains under debate.

The Indian government and local activists argue that

slack management and deferred maintenance created
a situation where routine pipe maintenance caused a
backflow of water into a MIC tank triggering the

Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) contends water

entered the tank through an act of sabotage.
Moral Conduct: In engineering practice
We learnt Usually moral rules comprise lists of actions
from which to abstain.
However, in engineering practice while taking actions
to abstain doing wrong things, we should know the
minimum standards of doing right things
This is called Due Diligence.
Due diligence is as important to engineers as water is to a

By definition, due diligence is the certain standard of care

which is required for processes involving an investigation
of a design, engineering calculation, contracting,
consulting, supervising etc...
Engineer in Society- Professional integrity
What is Professional integrity?
The quality of being honest or having strong moral principles
i.e. a collection of qualities clustered around truth and fair
dealing. Integrity by association, a duty to whistle-blow
In a business environment, professional integrity has serious
consequences for a company's success.
A business that develops a poor reputation in this area is
likely to lose customers.

Moreover, a lack of professional integrity in products,

services, or transactions can have legal consequences of
grave significance, potentially resulting in civil or criminal
penalties for the company or its employees.
Engineer in Society- Professional integrity contd.

As a result, most businesses adopt firm standards of

professional conduct for their personnel.

The General Electric Company provides its staff with a 60
page booklet that lays out GE's Code of Conduct and its
application in various situations.
ADB policies and strategies on Anticorruption and
Volume II of the Establishments Code of the Government
of Sri Lanka.
Engineer in Society- Professional integrity contd.
How do you establish professional integrity at your working
1. Any employee is expected to extend loyal contribution
to the organization and is required to discharge the duties
with diligence and efficiently.
2. The employee is required to familiar with procedures,
rules, regulations, norms etc.
The rules are the set of instruction which tells us the way
things are to be done
Regulations are also a particular type of rules which are
authorized by the legislation.
Engineer in Society- Professional integrity contd.

Note contd.:
Rules are flexible and set by individuals and
organizations made up by concerning Conditions and
Regulations are rigid and set by a Government act.

3. The employee shall safeguard the reputation of his

service, office and the organization.

4. The employee shall avoid conflict of interests and shall

not canvass promotions.
Engineer in Society- Gender Issues

Gender refers to the roles and responsibilities of men and

women that are created in our families, our societies and
our cultures.

Social differentiation such as political status, class,

ethnicity, physical and mental disability, age and more,
describes gender issues.

The concept of gender is vital because, applied to social

analysis, it reveals how womens subordination (or mens
domination) is socially constructed.

As such, the subordination can be changed or ended.

Engineer in Society- Gender Analysis

Gender Analysis is the collection and analysis of sex-

disaggregated information.

Men and women both perform different roles.

This leads to women and men having different experience,

knowledge, talents and needs.

Gender analysis explores these differences can identify and

meet the different needs of men and women.
Engineer in Society- Gender Equity and Gender Equality

Gender Equity is the process of being fair to men and

women. To ensure fairness, measures must often be put in
place. Neither the party shall be given an extra benefit

Gender Equality means that women and men have equal

conditions for realizing their full human rights and for
contributing to, and benefiting from, economic, social,
cultural and political development.

Gender equality is therefore the equal valuing by society

of the similarities and the differences of men and
women, and the roles they play.
It is based on women and men being full partners in their
home, their community and their society.

Equity is a means. Equality is the result.

Gender Division of Labor is the result of how each society

divides work among men and among women according to
what is considered suitable or appropriate to each gender.

There is definitely a need for women-specific and men-

specific interventions at times.
Engineer in Society- Gender Division of labour
Employment of a woman at night shall be subject to the
following conditions :

(a) no woman shall be compelled to work at night

against her will;

(b) that written sanction of the commissioner of Labour

should be obtained by every employer, prior to the
employment by him of women to work after 10 p.m. at

(c) no woman who has been employed during the hours

of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. shall be employed after 10 p.m. on
any day;
Engineer in Society- Gender Division of labor
(d) every woman who works at night not less than one and
a half times the normal payment received by her;

(e) there shall be appointed female wardens to see to the

welfare of woman workers who work at night;

(f) every woman worker working at night shall be provided

with restrooms and refreshments by the employer ;

(g) no woman shall be employed for more than ten days on

night work, during any one month.
Engineer in Society- Poverty Alleviation

The 2030 UN Agenda comprises 17 new Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs), of which the first one is
poverty eradication.

Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the

greatest challenges facing humanity.

While the number of people living in extreme was

reduced between 1990 and 2015 from 1.9 billion to
836 million too many are still struggling for the most
basic human needs.
Engineer in Society- Poverty Alleviation

Globally, more than 800 million people are still living on

less than US$1.25 a day, many lacking access to adequate
food, clean drinking water and sanitation.
Rapid economic growth in countries like China and India
has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been
Women are more likely to live in poverty than men due to
unequal access to paid work, education and property.

Progress has also been limited in other regions, such as

South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 80
percent of those living in extreme poverty.
Engineer in Society- Poverty Alleviation

New threats brought on by climate change, conflict and

food insecurity, mean even more work is needed to bring
people out of poverty.

The SDGs are a bold commitment to finish what we

started, and end poverty in all forms and dimensions by

This involves targeting the most vulnerable, increasing

access to basic resources and services, and supporting
communities affected by conflict and climate-related
Engineer in Society- Poverty Alleviation

Poverty rates have been decreasing in many parts of the

world, but the number of people living below the
international poverty line remains high, especially in Sub-
Saharan Africa.

Sri Lankas economy transitioned from a previously

predominantly rural-based agriculture economy towards a
more urbanized economy driven by services.
Thank You