Cases

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  • The Playskool Travel-Lite Crib

    (Web Page on this Site)

    This case discusses the design, development, marketing, sale, and recall of the Playskool Travel-Lite, a portable crib manufactured by Kolcraft Enterprises and licensed by Hasbro’s Playskool division.

  • Leaking Waste Containers

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case

    ABC's chemical waste is stored in a warehouse at an off-site location. While inspecting the warehouse, engineer Scott Lewis notices several leaking drums.

  • Conflict of Interest Serving on a Government Committee

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case

    Residents in Barker Township strongly oppose the proposed site for the landfill. A very large number opposed the reappointment of Matthews and Parkinson. Now a petition demanding the recall of Matthews and Parkinson has been signed by several hundred township residents. They claim that both Matthews and Parkinson are involved in a conflict of interest.

  • Exceeding Pollution Limits

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case

    Marvin has just prepared a report that indicates that the level of pollution in the plant's water discharges slightly exceeds the legal limitations. However, there is little reason to believe that this excessive amount poses any danger to people in the area; at worst, it will endanger a small number of fish. On the other hand, solving the problem will cost the plant more than $200,000.

  • Cutting Roadside Trees

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case

    For each of the past 7 years at least one person has suffered a fatal automobile accident by crashing into trees closely aligned along a 3 mile stretch of Forest Drive. Many other accidents have also occurred, causing serious injuries, wrecked cars, and damaged trees. Some of the trees are quite close to the pavement. Two law suits have been filed against the road commission for not maintaining sufficient road safety along this 3 three mile stretch. Both were dismissed because the drivers were going well in excess of the 45 mph speed limit.

  • City of L'Acide Remediation Case

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case, Open-Ended Scenario

    This case includes handouts for 4 teams, each with hidden agendas, to be used in class discussion. It is also accompanied by a companion presentation on "The Environmental Implications of Biotechnology." The case concerns the City of L’Acide that has contracted with an engineering firm to remediate a 3 hectare hazardous waste site from an old firing range.

  • Risk Communication and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

    (Web Page on this Site) Open-Ended Scenario

    A case in which an official must consider his own beliefs as well as current research to decide how to communicate with the public about the potential risk of a navy project.

  • Risk Assessment and Nuclear Waste Sites

    (Web Page on this Site) Open-Ended Scenario

    A scenario in which an engineer must choose between state-of-the-art science and a simpler method to fulfill a contract.

  • The Persistent Engineer

    (Web Page on this Site) Fictionalized Case

    Is it within an engineer's responsibility to fight against a public danger, even if it is not within his area of expertise?

  • Lamination Press Layout

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case

    An engineer discovers potentially hazardous dust in the company press room.

  • Disposable Cartridges and Disposable Jobs

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case

    An engineer must make a choice between environmentally friendly design and keeping jobs in the community.

  • The Curing Oven

    (Web Page on this Site) Hypothetical Case

    A production manager takes a shortcut around required air quality permits.

  • Chemical A or B?

    (Web Page on this Site) Open-Ended Scenario

    A scenario in which an engineering student attempts to innitiate a manufacturing process that will ensure the safety of company workers and is met with stiff resistance from management.

  • Albatross, Lobster Farms, and Aquaculture

    (Web Page on this Site) Fictionalized Case

    This case describes a lobster farm in Puerto Rico that was closed by environmental agents. It is meant to stimulate discussion on the interaction between business owners and federal environmental authority.

  • Parkville

    (Web Page on this Site) Open-Ended Scenario

    A scenario about environmental ethics.

  • Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident

    (Web Page on this Site) Historical Case

    Index to Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident Information. A discussion of the accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania on March 28, 1979 as one of the most serious in the history of the U.S. nuclear industry.

  • Love Canal - An Introduction

    (Web Page on this Site) Historical Case

    Extensive information about the first case concerning hazardous waste disposal and its possible health effects that received major national attention.

  • Three Teaching Case Studies of Accidents in Nuclear Energy Development in Japan

    (Web Page on this Site) Historical Case

    An essay describing three historical Japanese cases and their use in the development of ethics education in Japan.

  • Exportation of Risk: The Case of Bhopal

    (Web Page on this Site) Historical Case

    This case examines the 1984 catastrophe arising from a chemical leak at a Union Carbide Corporation plant in Bhopal, India, which resulted in the death of as many as 3,000 and injury to thousands more, from the standpoint of exporting risk from industrialized to developing countries. The case, which includes comparisons with Bhopal's sister plant in Institute, West Virginia, considers the moral responsibility for preventing such tragedies on the part of multinational corporations, the governments of the industrialized nations where they are head quartered, and the governments of developing countries where they operate. The moral responsibilities of engineers and scientists working for these organizations are also considered. Deena Murphy-Medley, North Carolina State University.

  • Don't Drink the Water

    (Web Page on this Site) Mini-case

    In this brief case a chemical engineer is contracted by a small municipality to test drinking water. Upon finding a dangerous level of contaminants in the water, the engineer is stonewalled by the Utilities Commission manager of the financially strapped municipality. (From a collection of cases compiled and edited by Dr. James K. A. Smith, Department of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University, for his course "Engineering Ethics".

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Cite this page: "Cases " Online Ethics Center for Engineering 6/23/2009 National Academy of Engineering Accessed: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 <www.onlineethics.org/Topics/Enviro/EnviroCases.aspx>