Professional Ethics in Engineering Practice: Discussion Cases Based on NSPE BER Cases

These cases present situations that raise ethical questions common in engineering practice and research. They are based on original cases brought to the BER (Board of Ethical Review) of the NSPE (National Society of Professional Engineers) for review. The NSPE BER reviews cases with the specific purpose of making an ethical judgment on the actions of (only) the engineers in the cases, based solely on the NSPE Code of Ethics. The Online Ethics Center is presenting new versions of these cases that are more suitable for group and class discussion. These rewritten cases are deliberately open ended to encourage exchange regarding how one should respond to the situation rather than simply judgments about what someone already did. The discussion cases vary in the extent of their resemblance to the corresponding NSPE case. Each rewritten case has a link to the original NSPE version.

Public Safety and Public Welfare

Back to Top

Conflicting Interests and Conflict of Interest

Back to Top

Ethical Engineering/Fair Trade

Back to Top

International Engineering Ethics

Research Ethics

Back to Top

NSPE Code of Ethics An earlier version may have been used in this case.

More extensive collections of the original NSPE Board of Ethical Review cases and judgments are available in two places:

The University of Pittsburgh collection, which includes cases from 1958 through 1998
The Texas Tech Murdough Center (National Institute for Engineering Ethics) collection, which includes cases from 1976 through 2001
Cite this page: "Professional Ethics in Engineering Practice: Discussion Cases Based on NSPE BER Cases" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 6/10/2006 National Academy of Engineering Accessed: Monday, October 20, 2014 <www.onlineethics.org/Topics/ProfPractice/PPCases/NSPEcases.aspx>