Essay Professional Engineer

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Download: NSPE Code of Ethics
Download: The NSPE Ethics Reference Guide for a list of all cases through 2017.

Preamble
Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

I. Fundamental Canons
Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:

  1. Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
  2. Perform services only in areas of their competence.
  3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
  4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
  5. Avoid deceptive acts.
  6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.

II. Rules of Practice

  1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
    1. If engineers' judgment is overruled under circumstances that endanger life or property, they shall notify their employer or client and such other authority as may be appropriate.
    2. Engineers shall approve only those engineering documents that are in conformity with applicable standards.
    3. Engineers shall not reveal facts, data, or information without the prior consent of the client or employer except as authorized or required by law or this Code.
    4. Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or associate in business ventures with any person or firm that they believe is engaged in fraudulent or dishonest enterprise.
    5. Engineers shall not aid or abet the unlawful practice of engineering by a person or firm.
    6. Engineers having knowledge of any alleged violation of this Code shall report thereon to appropriate professional bodies and, when relevant, also to public authorities, and cooperate with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or assistance as may be required.
  2. Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence.
    1. Engineers shall undertake assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved.
    2. Engineers shall not affix their signatures to any plans or documents dealing with subject matter in which they lack competence, nor to any plan or document not prepared under their direction and control.
    3. Engineers may accept assignments and assume responsibility for coordination of an entire project and sign and seal the engineering documents for the entire project, provided that each technical segment is signed and sealed only by the qualified engineers who prepared the segment.
  3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
    1. Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports, statements, or testimony. They shall include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports, statements, or testimony, which should bear the date indicating when it was current.
    2. Engineers may express publicly technical opinions that are founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter.
    3. Engineers shall issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on technical matters that are inspired or paid for by interested parties, unless they have prefaced their comments by explicitly identifying the interested parties on whose behalf they are speaking, and by revealing the existence of any interest the engineers may have in the matters.
  4. Engineers shall act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
    1. Engineers shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of interest that could influence or appear to influence their judgment or the quality of their services.
    2. Engineers shall not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for services on the same project, or for services pertaining to the same project, unless the circumstances are fully disclosed and agreed to by all interested parties.
    3. Engineers shall not solicit or accept financial or other valuable consideration, directly or indirectly, from outside agents in connection with the work for which they are responsible.
    4. Engineers in public service as members, advisors, or employees of a governmental or quasi-governmental body or department shall not participate in decisions with respect to services solicited or provided by them or their organizations in private or public engineering practice.
    5. Engineers shall not solicit or accept a contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of their organization serves as a member.
  5. Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts.
    1. Engineers shall not falsify their qualifications or permit misrepresentation of their or their associates' qualifications. They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint venturers, or past accomplishments.
    2. Engineers shall not offer, give, solicit, or receive, either directly or indirectly, any contribution to influence the award of a contract by public authority, or which may be reasonably construed by the public as having the effect or intent of influencing the awarding of a contract. They shall not offer any gift or other valuable consideration in order to secure work. They shall not pay a commission, percentage, or brokerage fee in order to secure work, except to a bona fide employee or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by them.

III. Professional Obligations

  1. Engineers shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
    1. Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts.
    2. Engineers shall advise their clients or employers when they believe a project will not be successful.
    3. Engineers shall not accept outside employment to the detriment of their regular work or interest. Before accepting any outside engineering employment, they will notify their employers.
    4. Engineers shall not attempt to attract an engineer from another employer by false or misleading pretenses.
    5. Engineers shall not promote their own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the profession.
  2. Engineers shall at all times strive to serve the public interest.
    1. Engineers are encouraged to participate in civic affairs; career guidance for youths; and work for the advancement of the safety, health, and well-being of their community.
    2. Engineers shall not complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not in conformity with applicable engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, they shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project.
    3. Engineers are encouraged to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements.
    4. Engineers are encouraged to adhere to the principles of sustainable development1 in order to protect the environment for future generations.
  3. Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public.
    1. Engineers shall avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact.
    2. Consistent with the foregoing, engineers may advertise for recruitment of personnel.
    3. Consistent with the foregoing, engineers may prepare articles for the lay or technical press, but such articles shall not imply credit to the author for work performed by others.
  4. Engineers shall not disclose, without consent, confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer, or public body on which they serve.
    1. Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested parties, promote or arrange for new employment or practice in connection with a specific project for which the engineer has gained particular and specialized knowledge.
    2. Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested parties, participate in or represent an adversary interest in connection with a specific project or proceeding in which the engineer has gained particular specialized knowledge on behalf of a former client or employer.
  5. Engineers shall not be influenced in their professional duties by conflicting interests.
    1. Engineers shall not accept financial or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their product.
    2. Engineers shall not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing with clients or employers of the engineer in connection with work for which the engineer is responsible.
  6. Engineers shall not attempt to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by untruthfully criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods.
    1. Engineers shall not request, propose, or accept a commission on a contingent basis under circumstances in which their judgment may be compromised.
    2. Engineers in salaried positions shall accept part-time engineering work only to the extent consistent with policies of the employer and in accordance with ethical considerations.
    3. Engineers shall not, without consent, use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of an employer to carry on outside private practice.
  7. Engineers shall not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice, or employment of other engineers. Engineers who believe others are guilty of unethical or illegal practice shall present such information to the proper authority for action.
    1. Engineers in private practice shall 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.
    2. Engineers in governmental, industrial, or educational employ are entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by their employment duties.
    3. Engineers in sales or industrial employ are entitled to make engineering comparisons of represented products with products of other suppliers.
  8. Engineers shall accept personal responsibility for their professional activities, provided, however, that engineers may seek indemnification for services arising out of their practice for other than gross negligence, where the engineer's interests cannot otherwise be protected.
    1. Engineers shall conform with state registration laws in the practice of engineering.
    2. Engineers shall not use association with a nonengineer, a corporation, or partnership as a "cloak" for unethical acts.
  9. Engineers shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.
    1. Engineers shall, whenever possible, name the person or persons who may be individually responsible for designs, inventions, writings, or other accomplishments.
    2. Engineers using designs supplied by a client recognize that the designs remain the property of the client and may not be duplicated by the engineer for others without express permission.
    3. Engineers, before undertaking work for others in connection with which the engineer may make improvements, plans, designs, inventions, or other records that may justify copyrights or patents, should enter into a positive agreement regarding ownership.
    4. Engineers' designs, data, records, and notes referring exclusively to an employer's work are the employer's property. The employer should indemnify the engineer for use of the information for any purpose other than the original purpose.
    5. Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and should keep current in their specialty fields by engaging in professional practice, participating in continuing education courses, reading in the technical literature, and attending professional meetings and seminars.

    Footnote 1"Sustainable development" is the challenge of meeting human needs for natural resources, industrial products, energy, food, transportation, shelter, and effective waste management while conserving and protecting environmental quality and the natural resource base essential for future development.

As Revised July 2007

By order of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, former Section 11(c) of the NSPE Code of Ethics prohibiting competitive bidding, and all policy statements, opinions, rulings or other guidelines interpreting its scope, have been rescinded as unlawfully interfering with the legal right of engineers, protected under the antitrust laws, to provide price information to prospective clients; accordingly, nothing contained in the NSPE Code of Ethics, policy statements, opinions, rulings or other guidelines prohibits the submission of price quotations or competitive bids for engineering services at any time or in any amount.

Statement by NSPE Executive Committee

In order to correct misunderstandings which have been indicated in some instances since the issuance of the Supreme Court decision and the entry of the Final Judgment, it is noted that in its decision of April 25, 1978, the Supreme Court of the United States declared: "The Sherman Act does not require competitive bidding."
It is further noted that as made clear in the Supreme Court decision:

  1. Engineers and firms may individually refuse to bid for engineering services.
  2. Clients are not required to seek bids for engineering services.
  3. Federal, state, and local laws governing procedures to procure engineering services are not affected, and remain in full force and effect.
  4. State societies and local chapters are free to actively and aggressively seek legislation for professional selection and negotiation procedures by public agencies.
  5. State registration board rules of professional conduct, including rules prohibiting competitive bidding for engineering services, are not affected and remain in full force and effect. State registration boards with authority to adopt rules of professional conduct may adopt rules governing procedures to obtain engineering services.
  6. As noted by the Supreme Court, "nothing in the judgment prevents NSPE and its members from attempting to influence governmental action . . ."

NOTE: In regard to the question of application of the Code to corporations vis-à-vis real persons, business form or type should not negate nor influence conformance of individuals to the Code. The Code deals with professional services, which services must be performed by real persons. Real persons in turn establish and implement policies within business structures. The Code is clearly written to apply to the Engineer, and it is incumbent on members of NSPE to endeavor to live up to its provisions. This applies to all pertinent sections of the Code.

Copyright © National Society of Professional Engineers. All rights reserved.

For other uses, see Engineer (disambiguation).

Kitty Joyner, an American engineer, in 1952

Occupation
NamesEngineer
Profession

Activity sectors

Applied Science
Description
CompetenciesMathematics, Science, Design, Analysis, Critical Thinking, Engineering Ethics, Project Management, Engineering Economics, Creativity, Problem solving

Education required

Engineering education

Fields of
employment

Research and Development, Industry, Business

Related jobs

Scientist, Architect, Project Manager, Inventor, Astronaut

Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are people who invent, design, analyse, build and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.[1][2] The word engineer (Latiningeniator[3]) is derived from the Latin words ingeniare ("to contrive, devise") and ingenium ("cleverness").[4][5] The foundational qualifications of an engineer typically include a 4-year bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline, or in some jurisdictions, a master's degree in an engineering discipline plus 4–6 years of peer-reviewed professional practice (culminating in a project report or thesis) and passage of engineering board examinations.

The work of engineers forms the link between scientific discoveries and their subsequent applications to human and business needs and quality of life.[1]

Definition[edit]

In 1961 , the Conference of Engineering Societies of Western Europe and the United States of America defined "professional engineer" as follows:[6]

A professional engineer is competent by virtue of his/her fundamental education and training to apply the scientific method and outlook to the analysis and solution of engineering problems. He/she is able to assume personal responsibility for the development and application of engineering science and knowledge, notably in research, design, construction, manufacturing, superintending, managing and in the education of the engineer. His/her work is predominantly intellectual and varied and not of a routine mental or physical character. It requires the exercise of original thought and judgement and the ability to supervise the technical and administrative work of others. His/her education will have been such as to make him/her capable of closely and continuously following progress in his/her branch of engineering science by consulting newly published works on a worldwide basis, assimilating such information and applying it independently. He/she is thus placed in a position to make contributions to the development of engineering science or its applications. His/her education and training will have been such that he/she will have acquired a broad and general appreciation of the engineering sciences as well as thorough insight into the special features of his/her own branch. In due time he/she will be able to give authoritative technical advice and to assume responsibility for the direction of important tasks in his/her branch.

Roles and expertise[edit]

Design[edit]

Engineers develop new technological solutions. During the engineering design process, the responsibilities of the engineer may include defining problems, conducting and narrowing research, analyzing criteria, finding and analyzing solutions, and making decisions. Much of an engineer's time is spent on researching, locating, applying, and transferring information.[7] Indeed, research suggests engineers spend 56% of their time engaged in various information behaviours, including 14% actively searching for information.[8]

Engineers must weigh different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best matches the requirements and needs. Their crucial and unique task is to identify, understand, and interpret the constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result.

Analysis[edit]

Engineers apply techniques of engineering analysis in testing, production, or maintenance. Analytical engineers may supervise production in factories and elsewhere, determine the causes of a process failure, and test output to maintain quality. They also estimate the time and cost required to complete projects. Supervisory engineers are responsible for major components or entire projects. Engineering analysis involves the application of scientific analytic principles and processes to reveal the properties and state of the system, device or mechanism under study. Engineering analysis proceeds by separating the engineering design into the mechanisms of operation or failure, analyzing or estimating each component of the operation or failure mechanism in isolation, and recombining the components. They may analyze risk.[9][10][11][12]

Many engineers use computers to produce and analyze designs, to simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates, to generate specifications for parts, to monitor the quality of products, and to control the efficiency of processes.

Specialization and management[edit]

Most engineers specialize in one or more engineering disciplines.[1] Numerous specialties are recognized by professional societies, and each of the major branches of engineering has numerous subdivisions. Civil engineering, for example, includes structural and transportation engineering and materials engineering include ceramic, metallurgical, and polymer engineering. Mechanical engineering cuts across just about every discipline since its core essence is applied physics. Engineers also may specialize in one industry, such as motor vehicles, or in one type of technology, such as turbines or semiconductor materials.[1]

Several recent studies have investigated how engineers spend their time; that is, the work tasks they perform and how their time is distributed among these. Research[8][13] suggests that there are several key themes present in engineers’ work: (1) technical work (i.e., the application of science to product development); (2) social work (i.e., interactive communication between people); (3) computer-based work; (4) information behaviours. Amongst other more detailed findings, a recent work sampling study[13] found that engineers spend 62.92% of their time engaged in technical work, 40.37% in social work, and 49.66% in computer-based work. Furthermore, there was considerable overlap between these different types of work, with engineers spending 24.96% of their time engaged in technical and social work, 37.97% in technical and non-social, 15.42% in non-technical and social, and 21.66% in non-technical and non-social.

Engineering is also an information-intensive field, with research finding that engineers spend 55.8% of their time engaged in various different information behaviours, including 14.2% actively seeking information from other people (7.8%) and information repositories such as documents and databases (6.4%).[8]

The time engineers spend engaged in such activities is also reflected in the competencies required in engineering roles. In addition to engineers’ core technical competence, research has also demonstrated the critical nature of their personal attributes, project management skills, and cognitive abilities to success in the role.[14]

Types of engineers[edit]

Main article: List of engineering branches

There are many branches of engineering, each of which specializes in specific technologies and products. Typically engineers will have deep knowledge in one area and basic knowledge in related areas. For example, mechanical engineering curricula typically includes introductory courses in electrical engineering, computer science, materials science, metallurgy, mathematics, and software engineering.

When developing a product, engineers typically work in interdisciplinary teams. For example, when building robots an engineering team will typically have at least three types of engineers. A mechanical engineer would design the body and actuators. An electrical engineer would design the power systems, sensors, electronics, embedded software in electronics, and control circuitry. Finally, a software engineer would develop the software that makes the robot behave properly. Engineers that aspire to management engage in further study in business administration, project management and organizational or business psychology. Often engineers move up the management hierarchy from managing projects, functional departments, divisions and eventually CEO's of a multi-national corporation.

BranchFocusRelated SciencesProducts
Aerospace EngineeringFocuses on the development of aircraft and spacecraft.Aeronautics, Astrodynamics, Astronautics, Avionics, Control Engineering, Fluid mechanics, Kinematics, Materials Science, ThermodynamicsAircraft, Robotics, Spacecraft, Trajectories
Architectural Engineering & Building engineeringFocuses on building and construction.Architecture, architectural technologyBuildings and bridges
Biomedical EngineeringFocuses on closing the gap between engineering and medicine to advance various health care treatments.Biology, Physics, Chemistry, MedicineProstheses, Medical Devices, Regenerative Tissue Growth, Various Safety Mechanisms, Genetic Engineering
Chemical EngineeringFocuses on the manufacturing of chemicals and chemical production processes.Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Process Engineering, Nanotechnology, Biology, MedicineChemicals, Petroleum, Medicines, Raw Materials, Food & Drink, Genetic Engineering
Civil EngineeringFocuses on the construction of large systems, structures, and environmental systems.Statics, Fluid Mechanics, Soil Mechanics, Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental EngineeringRoads, Bridges, Dams, Buildings, Structural system, Foundation (engineering), Earthworks (engineering), Waste management, Water treatment
Computer EngineeringFocuses on the design and development of Computer Hardware & Software SystemsComputer Science, Mathematics, Electrical EngineeringMicroprocessors, Microcontrollers, Operating Systems, Embedded Systems
Electrical EngineeringFocuses on application of Electricity, Electronics, and ElectromagnetismMathematics, Probability and statistics, Engineering Ethics, Engineering economics, Materials science, Physics, Network analysis, Electromagnetism, Linear system, Electronics, Electric power, Logic, Computer Science, Data transmission, Systems engineering, Control engineering, Signal processingElectricity generation and Equipment, Robotics, Control system, Computer, Home appliances, Consumer electronics, Avionics, Hybrid vehicle, Spacecraft, Unmanned aerial vehicle, Optoelectronics, Embedded systems
Industrial EngineeringFocuses on the design, optimization, and operation of production, logistics, and service systems and processes.Operations Research, Engineering Statistics, Applied Probability and Stochastic Processes, Methods Engineering, Production Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Systems Engineering, Logistics Engineering, ErgonomicsQuality Control Systems, Manufacturing Systems, Warehousing Systems, Supply Chains, Logistics Networks, Queueing Systems, Business Process Management
Mechatronics EngineeringFocuses on the technology and controlling all the industrial fieldProcess Control, AutomationRobotics, Controllers, CNC
Mechanical EngineeringFocuses on the development and operation of Energy Systems, Transport Systems, Manufacturing Systems, Machines and Control Systems.Dynamics, Kinematics, Statics, Fluid Mechanics, Materials Science, Metallurgy, Strength of Materials, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Mechanics, Mechatronics, Manufacturing Engineering, Control EngineeringCars, Airplanes, Machines, Power Generation, Spacecraft, Buildings, Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, HVAC
Metallurgical Engineering/Materials EngineeringFocuses on extraction of metals from its ores and development of new materialsMaterial Science, Thermodynamics, Extraction of Metals, Physical Metallurgy, Mechanical Metallurgy, Nuclear Materials, Steel TechnologyIron, Steel, Polymers, Ceramics, Metals
Software EngineeringFocuses on the design & development of Software SystemsComputer Science, Information theory, Systems Engineering, Formal languageApps, Websites, Operating Systems, Embedded Systems

Ethics[edit]

Main article: Engineering ethics

Engineers have obligations to the public, their clients, employers, and the profession. Many engineering societies have established codes of practice and codes of ethics to guide members and inform the public at large. Each engineering discipline and professional society maintains a code of ethics, which the members pledge to uphold. Depending on their specializations, engineers may also be governed by specific statute, whistleblowing, product liability laws, and often the principles of business ethics.[15][16][17]

Some graduates of engineering programs in North America may be recognized by the Iron Ring or Engineer's Ring, a ring made of iron or stainless steel that is worn on the little finger of the dominant hand. This tradition began in 1925 in Canada with The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, where the ring serves as a symbol and reminder of the engineer's obligations to the engineering profession. In 1972, the practice was adopted by several colleges in the United States including members of the Order of the Engineer.

Education[edit]

Main article: Engineering education

Most engineering programs involve a concentration of study in an engineering specialty, along with courses in both mathematics and the physical and life sciences. Many programs also include courses in general engineering and applied accounting. A design course, often accompanied by a computer or laboratory class or both, is part of the curriculum of most programs. Often, general courses not directly related to engineering, such as those in the social sciences or humanities, also are required.

Accreditation is the process by which engineering programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. The Washington Accord serves as an international accreditation agreement for academic engineering degrees, recognizing the substantial equivalency in the standards set by many major national engineering bodies. In the United States, post-secondary degree programs in engineering are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Regulation[edit]

Main article: Regulation and licensure in engineering

In many countries, engineering tasks such as the design of bridges, electric power plants, industrial equipment, machine design and chemical plants, must be approved by a licensed professional engineer. Most commonly titled Professional Engineer is a license to practice and is indicated with the use of post-nominal letters; PE or P.Eng. These are common in North America, as is European Engineer (EUR ING) in Europe. The practice of engineering in the UK is not a regulated profession but the control of the titles of Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Incorporated Engineer (IEng) is regulated. These titles are protected by law and are subject to strict requirements defined by the Engineering Council UK. The title CEng is in use in much of the Commonwealth.

Many skilled / semi-skilled trades and engineering technicians in the UK call themselves engineers. A growing movement in the UK is to legally protect the title 'Engineer' so that only professional engineers can use it; a petition[18] was started to further this cause.

In the United States, licensure is generally attainable through combination of education, pre-examination (Fundamentals of Engineering exam), examination (Professional Engineering Exam),[19] and engineering experience (typically in the area of 5+ years). Each state tests and licenses Professional Engineers. Currently, most states do not license by specific engineering discipline, but rather provide generalized licensure, and trust engineers to use professional judgment regarding their individual competencies; this is the favoured approach of the professional societies. Despite this, however, at least one of the examinations required by most states is actually focused on a particular discipline; candidates for licensure typically choose the category of examination which comes closest to their respective expertise.

In Canada, engineering is a self regulated profession. The profession in each province is governed by its own engineering association. For instance, in the Province of British Columbia an engineering graduate with four or more years of post graduate experience in an engineering-related field and passing exams in ethics and law will need to be registered by the Association for Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGBC)[20] in order to become a Professional Engineer and be granted the professional designation of P.Eng allowing one to practice engineering.

In Continental Europe, Latin America, Turkey and elsewhere the title is limited by law to people with an engineering degree and the use of the title by others is illegal. In Italy, the title is limited to people who both hold an engineering degree and have passed a professional qualification examination (Esame di Stato). In Portugal, professional engineer titles and accredited engineering degrees are regulated and certified by the Ordem dos Engenheiros. In the Czech Republic, the title "engineer" (Ing.) is given to people with a (masters) degree in chemistry, technology or economics for historical and traditional reasons. In Greece, the academic title of "Diploma Engineer" is awarded after completion of the five-year engineering study course and the title of "Certified Engineer" is awarded after completion of the four-year course of engineering studies at a Technological Educational Institute (TEI).

Perception[edit]

The perception and definition of the term 'engineer' varies across countries and continents.

UK[edit]

British school children in the 1950s were brought up with stirring tales of "the Victorian Engineers", chief amongst whom were Brunel, Stephenson, Telford, and their contemporaries. In the UK, "engineering" has more recently been styled as an industry sector consisting of employers and employees loosely termed "engineers" who included semi-skilled trades. However, the 21st-century view, especially amongst the more educated members of society, is to reserve the term Engineer to describe a university-educated practitioner of ingenuity represented by the Chartered (or Incorporated) Engineer qualifications. However, a large proportion of the UK public still thinks of "Engineers" as skilled trades or even semi-skilled tradespeople with a high school education. And UK skilled and semi-skilled trades style themselves as "Engineers". This has created confusion in the eyes of the public to understand what professional engineers actually do from fixing car engines, TVs, fridges to designing and managing the development of aircraft, space craft, power stations, infrastructure, and other complex technological systems.

France[edit]

In France, the term 'ingénieur" (engineer) is not a protected title and can be used by anyone, even by those who do not possess an academic degree.

However, the title "Ingénieur Diplomé" (Graduate Engineer) is an official academic title that is protected by the government and is associated with the "Diplôme d'Ingénieur", which is one of the most prestigious academic degrees in France. Anyone misusing this title in France can be fined a large sum and jailed, as it is reserved for graduates of French engineering grandes écoles that provide highly intensive training in science and engineering. Among such institutions, the most renown (and hardest to gain admission) are Ecole Centrale Paris (Centrale), Ecole des Mines de Paris (Mines Paristech), Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers, Ecole Polytechnique, and Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. Engineering schools which were created during the French revolution have a special reputation among the French people, as they helped to make the transition from a mostly agricultural country of late 18th century to the industrially developed France of the 19th century. A great part of 19th century France's economic wealth and industrial prowess was created by engineers that have graduated from Ecole Centrale Paris, Ecole des Mines de Paris, or Ecole Polytechnique. This was also the case after the WWII when France had to be rebuilt.

Before the "réforme René Haby" in the 70's, it was very difficult to be admitted to such schools, and the French ingénieurs were commonly perceived as the nation's elite (hence the term "faire les Grandes Écoles" in language of older people). However, after the Haby reform and a string of further reforms (Modernization plans of French universities), several engineering schools were created which can be accessed with relatively lower competition, and this reputation as being part of the French elite now applies to those from 'top' engineering schools for engineers, École Nationale d'Administration (ENA) for managers or politicians and École Normale Supérieure (ENS) for researchers in science and humanities. Engineers are less highlighted in current French economy as industry provides less than a quarter of the GDP.

North America[edit]

In the US and Canada, engineering is a regulated profession whose practice and practitioners are licensed and governed by law. Licensed professional engineers in Canada and the USA are referred to as P.Eng (Canada) and PE (USA). A 2002 study by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers revealed that engineers are the third most respected professionals behind doctors and pharmacists.[21]

In Ontario, and all other Canadian provinces, the "title" Engineer is protected by law and any non-licensed individual or company using the title is committing a legal offense, and can get fined.[22] Companies usually prefer not to use the title except for license holders because of liability reasons, for instance, if the company filed a lawsuit and the judge, investigators, or lawyers found that the company is using the word engineer for non licensed employees this could be used by opponents to hinder the company's efforts.

Asia and Africa[edit]

In the Indian subcontinent, Russia, Middle East, Africa, and China, engineering is one of the most sought after undergraduate courses, inviting thousands of applicants to show their ability in highly competitive entrance examinations.

In Egypt, the educational system makes engineering the second-most-respected profession in the country (after medicine); engineering colleges at Egyptian universities require extremely high marks on the General Certificate of Secondary Education (Arabic: الثانوية العامة‎ al-Thānawiyyah al-`Āmmah)—on the order of 97 or 98%—and are thus considered (along with the colleges of medicine, natural science, and pharmacy) to be among the "pinnacle colleges" (كليات القمةkullīyāt al-qimmah).

In the Philippines and Filipino communities overseas, engineers who are either Filipino or not, especially those who also profess other jobs at the same time, are addressed and introduced as Engineer, rather than Sir/Madam in speech or Mr./Mrs./Ms. (G./Gng./Bb. in Filipino) before surnames. That word is used either in itself or before the given name or surname.

Corporate culture[edit]

In companies and other organizations, there is sometimes a tendency to undervalue people with advanced technological and scientific skills compared to celebrities, fashion practitioners, entertainers, and managers. In his book, The Mythical Man-Month,[23] Fred Brooks Jr says that managers think of senior people as "too valuable" for technical tasks and that management jobs carry higher prestige. He tells how some laboratories, such as Bell Labs, abolish all job titles to overcome this problem: a professional employee is a "member of the technical staff." IBM maintain a dual ladder of advancement; the corresponding managerial and engineering or scientific rungs are equivalent. Brooks recommends that structures need to be changed; the boss must give a great deal of attention to keeping his managers and his technical people as interchangeable as their talents allow.

See also[edit]

Look up engineer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Engineers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ abcdBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (2006). "Engineers". Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition. Retrieved 2006-09-21. 
  2. ^National Society of Professional Engineers (2006). "Frequently Asked Questions About Engineering". Archived from the original on 2006-05-22. Retrieved 2006-09-21.  "Science is knowledge based on our observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people. Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles used to plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain and improve our daily lives."
  3. ^"The Term 'Architect' in the Middle Ages". JSTOR 2856447. 
  4. ^Oxford Concise Dictionary, 1995
  5. ^"engineer". Oxford Dictionaries. April 2010. Oxford Dictionaries. April 2010. Oxford University Press. 22 October 2011
  6. ^Steen Hyldgaard Christensen, Christelle Didier, Andrew Jamison, Martin Meganck, Carl Mitcham, and Byron Newberry Springer. Engineering Identities, Epistemologies and Values: Engineering Education and Practice in Context, Volume 2, p. 170, at Google Books
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  13. ^ abRobinson, M. A. (2012). "How design engineers spend their time: Job content and task satisfaction". Design Studies. 33 (4): 391–425. doi:10.1016/j.destud.2012.03.002. 
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  19. ^[1] NCEES is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors.
  20. ^"APEGBC - Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia". 
  21. ^Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, 2002, Engineering: One of Ontario's most respected professions
  22. ^Professional Engineers Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.28[2]
  23. ^The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, p119 (see also p242), Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2nd ed. 1995, pub. Addison-Wesley
Engineers conferring on prototype design, 1954
NASA Launch Control Center Firing Room 2 as it appeared in the Apollo era
Auto rice milling machinery in Bangladesh

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