AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERING PRACTICE: REFLECTIVE WRITINGTable of Contents LO1. 3 1.1 Positive impact of engineering. 3 1.2 Negative impact 3 LO2 Engineering professionalism and ethics. 5 2.1 Engineering professionalism.
. 5 2.2 EA Stage 1 competencies. 5 2.3 EA code of ethics.
6 2.4 Engineering ethics. 6 LO11.1Positive impact of engineeringEngineeringis defined as one of the profession where the engineers are associated withcompletion of projects (whether manufacturing of cars-automobile engineering orconstruction-civil engineering). Through engineering, the engineers determinehealth risks and safety associated with the project, thereby creating saferworkplace and product. Engineers are always highly skilled in assessing risksof project, which creates positive impact on the environment in terms of safetyof individuals and better development of society as a whole. Engineeringhas huge social impact, as it has been part of social development. Engineeringhas also lead to development of skills which has created ample jobopportunities of many.
Engineers have been responsible for bringing solution toproblems and changing the environment for improving the life. Engineers havecontributed in the development of science and technology and have transformedhuman relation in the 21st century. Historicalrecords have shown number of achievements of several engineers across theworld, which has made the world better place for all to live. There has beennumber of cases who have been referenced by others due to their skills andaccomplishments. Hence, it is stated that engineering is important to keepdevelopment level of humanity intact and achieve social and technologicaldevelopment. 1.
2Negative impact Engineeringrequires assessment and measurement of health and safety of projects thatengineers undertake. In such cases, there may be mistakes on part of engineers,especially in calculations and measurement, which enhances risks of others. Forexample, risks may be associated with collapsing of buildings which happen dueto mistakes and failure in planning and implementing proper structure. One suchexample is BP’s deepwater horizon which is an instance of accidental oil spillwhich is due to technological mistakes and hence, is an instance of industrialdisaster. This has created negative impact on the environment as a whole,particularly death of aquatic animals. It is considered to be the largestindustrial failure. The US government estimated a total of 4.9 million barrelsof oil.
The incident was caused due to seven major engineering and technicalfailures and these include: 1) Dodgycement-The cement located at the bottom of the borehole failed to form a sealas a result of which gas and also oil began to leak from the pipe. 2) Valvefailure- There were two ways in which the bottom of the pipe was sealed in twoways. Apart from having two mechanical valves, the pipe was filled with cement.The valve was designed to prevent the flow of oil and gas. However, this faileddrastically because of structural and design failure. 3)Misinterpretation of pressure test- Various tests were carried out by engineersin order check whether the well was closed or not.
Due to miscalculation andmisinterpretation of the tests, it was assumed that there was no chance ofaccident and they had the well under control. 4) Failureto spot the leak- Whether they have been able to control the well or not, theengineers should have detected the oil and gas flow by searching for instancesof enhanced pressures. This increased pressure did occur 50 minutes before theaccident although the engineers had failed to interpret it. 5) 2nd valvefailure- Some time before the occurrence of the explosion, there was mixed mudand gas that poured onto the floor of rig. The engineers closed the valve inblowout preventer which was defective. 6)Overwhelmed separator- The engineers could have diverted the mud and gas awayfrom rig, let it flow through pipes to the side. However, the engineers madethe mistake of diverting it to another device which leads to the overwhelmingof the mud-gas separator and engulfing of the rig by the flammable gas.
7) Absenceof gas alarm- There was a gas detection system that should have lead to theringing of the alarm and closing of the ventilation fans to prevent the gasfrom igniting. Due to absence of gas alarm, the system failed. From theabove causes, it can be analysed that the engineers have a huge role for propermeasurement, calculation and assessment of proper risks. Although from theincident, it is seen that there were instances of mistakes and failures whichcould not be understood beforehand, it is true that there are certainunavoidable circumstances which cannot be understood beforehand. This is one ofthe risk factors of engineering. Even if risk assessment is one of theresponsibilities of engineering, it is not possible always to realise everypossible risks that are associated with the project. This is one of the reasonsbehind accidents and disasters. LO2Engineering professionalism and ethics 2.
1Engineering professionalismAccording toAustralian code of Ethics, engineers are required to embrace certain code ofconduct and ethics and act accordingly. According to General Regulations ofAustralian Engineers 2013, the engineers are required to act on the basis ofconscience, i.e. engineers are required to act in a professional manner andprovide importance to legal and contractual obligations. The engineers arerequired to be honest and trustworthy which includes preparing and explainingwork, maintain confidentiality and privacy and accept and provide criticism.Engineers are required to respect dignity of all people and treat people withcourtesy and ensure that people are susceptible to harassment anddiscrimination.
They are required to maintain and also develop requiredknowledge and skills of engineers, represent the competent areas, and act onthe basis of required knowledge. As per Section 3 of the Act, the engineers arerequired to exercise leadership, promote sustainability. While practicingengineering, the engineers are required to uphold the trust of the company inwhich he works, engage in public discussion and ethical practices, encouragediversity, and provide clear and honest communication on problems of cost,risks and outcome of projects. 2.
2EA Stage 1 competencies According toEA stage 1 competency, the engineers are required to have definite knowledgeand skills, engineering application ability, professional and personalattributes. As per knowledge and skill base, the engineers are required to havetheory based understanding of engineering fundamentals as well as physicalsciences that are the primary consideration of engineering. This includeconceptual understanding of numerical analytics, mathematical configuration,statistics as well as information sciences.
Engineers must have proper andwell-defined understanding of knowledge within the discipline, along withdesign practices as well as contextual factors that impacts the discipline. As far asapplication of ability is concerned, the engineers are required to establishdefinite methods to the engineering problems. These include fluent applicationof the techniques and processes as well as resources. In terms of professionalattributes, engineers must carry out responsibility professionally, withaccountability and ethical conduct. They must be creative and innovative andensure professional use of information. Engineers must also learn to manageteam effectively and maintain professional conduct. 2.
3EA code of ethics The EA codeof ethics states that engineers must practice with certain ethics andprofessionalism which implies demonstration of integrity, practicing withcompetency, exercise leadership and promote sustainability. These EA codes of ethics are codified inEngineers Australia code of Ethics. The four key areas states that theengineers must act on the basis of their conscience must be honest and alsotrustworthy. Act of professionalism imply that engineers must act withimpartiality and not give favour to any individual. An engineer must maintaincompetency through proper development and mentoring of the leaders and peergroups.
They must represent their skills in a proper manner and promote skillsas per the development skills of the colleagues. They must work to promotesustainability such that they work as per the interest of all. 2.4Engineering ethics Engineersare expected to work with integrity and honesty because they have impact on thesociety and people. They are required to make use of their skills, knowledgeand competencies appropriately for which they must have proper knowledge. Interms of professionalism they must have proper leadership skills to lead a teamand must be impartial in their decisions such that the decision does not harm theinterest of others.
On ground of engineering ethics the primary requirement isimplementing working principles, fair value practices while working onprojects. This refers to considering safety and health requirements of members.