13 Oct 2022


Codes of Ethics for ASC and NSPE

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Academic level: Master’s

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The ethical predicament is the engineer who is very concerned about a bridge that is about to collapse and the government agency that is directly involved in the construction and maintenance of the bridge. The engineer who is just after the investigation of a similar bridge that just collapsed a finds another same bridge that is about to collapse, and he is being asked to keep quiet about it by the government agency. Ethically, it is only right and dutifully that the government agency not to ignore such an issue merely because it can cause more harm than good. As a responsibility, it was legal action by the engineer to raise his concerns about the marginally collapsing bridge.

Critically looking at this dilemma, the government agency might be suffering financial constraints and thus the inability to repair the almost collapsing bridge. Seemingly, the government agency is aware of the situation and has provided the engineer with the solution on how they are planning on their next financial year to repair the bridge.

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Factually inquiries needed in making a judgment about the case are: what is the government response towards the concerned engineer? Are the responses making sense? Are the responses justifiable? What was the afterward action taken by the engineer about the same bridge on the government response? Are the steps taken by the engineer ethically right? Are they also justifiable?

The government agency should have repaired the bridge as soon as possible. The excuses given for not repairing the bridge appear to cause more harm than good in the future. The engineer can as well ask the agency to sensitize the citizens on the issue for precautions purposes.

The government agency is obligated to either repair the bridge or sensitize the people about the bridge to avoid future harm.

Whitbeck task on model engineering designs, she had to come up with one design that would fit the requirements and the specifications required. Though Whitbeck involved four different engineering students in developing the models, she was still obligated to pick one of the templates. In as much as all the models did not fit the full requirements, they had strengths and weaknesses in which Whitbeck was obligated to scrutinize critically and finally chose one of the models that would be applicable to her requirements. Whitbeck had a difficult time in picking the most suitable model, but she would not have however discarded the efforts put by those engineering students go to waste. As a sign of gratitude to the engineering students, Whitbeck is obligated to pick one of the models as the best of the specifications met yet not totally.

As a student, one is bound to follow the orders issued by the supervisors. In as much as it brings up several barrages of questions that need answers as to why a particular action is being done, a student has no option. This is because the student tends to believe that the supervisor is and will always be right. After all, why does the student being taught by the director, therefore, it puts a student into a cobweb of a dilemma of certain actions that appear to be rather unethically wrong but yet has to be done since it is an order from the supervisor. Though Whitbeck had ordered the student to dispose of a toxic substance by the dumping site, probably with the intention to raise the raise the student’s curiosity and further his studies and investigation as to why that was done. As a supervisor, she must have taken into account the responsibility that she has to involve the students in further research and studies. The student-supervisor relationship is key here in that the students has to appear as a leader and the supervisor to stand as a knowledgeable.

In the models that were designed by engineering students with the supervision of Whitbeck, four design models showed up. In these four different models, they were developed by different mechanical engineering students of which they came up with different models. Consequently, there would have been a preferable example of the four models designed. Undoubtedly, potential buyers would have to pick the best attractive model that would have to maximize the sales.

The four basic code of ethics by both the NSCE and ASCE state that:

1) Engineers are to uphold paramount the safety, health and warfare of the public. Here the engineers are asked to acknowledge the public welfare and are expected to report actions that might jeopardize the public safety to the government authority.

2) Perform in areas of competence only. Engineers are supposed to showcase their areas of expertise entirely as learned during their education and should not be involved in areas that they cannot be able to handle.

3) Issue statements in a truthful manner. Engineers are expected to display their virtue of honesty in their issuing of declarations.

4) Act in professional matters for the employer and clients faithfully. Engineers are supposed to show their fidelity to their employers and customers. (“National Society of Professional Engineers”, 2016).

The four codes of ethics for ASC and NSPE both state the same ethic. The codes of ethics also have the same weight on the emphasis on how engineers are expected to conduct themselves.

Engineers should be truthful in their statements. They should always see that their duties are executed perfectly, and they should ensure that they are competent in their task. This is because as engineers, it is very dangerous to mess up and do shoddy work. It can cause the expense of people’s lives. Therefore, to avoid the occurrence of such a scenario then the engineers need to see that the above responsibilities are taken care of.


American Society of Civil Engineers. (April 1, 2008). The seven fundamentals of asce’s code of ethics. Retrieved from www.asce.org/question-of-ethics-articles/apr-2008/

National Society of Professional Engineers. (2016). Code of ethics. Retrieved from www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Codes of Ethics for ASC and NSPE.


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