Appreciation Of Engineers Role In The Global Society


It is difficult to ignore the fact that contemporary society facilitates the environment with proactive determination so that a progress in civil engineering is apparent to an average citizen. However, civil engineering is not just a discipline oriented at design and maintenance of various facilities and infrastructures. In fact, civil engineering strives for objectives that comprise basic needs of the society. Since civil engineering is a socially-driven discipline, it is expected to consider a human factor and direct its performance towards consideration of basic human needs. Consequently, that presupposes a major involvement of professional ethics that are utilised for the establishment of organisational behaviour. Furthermore, ethics in civil engineering are extremely essential for addressing social responsibilities to the citizens of any country, which is why the following paper focuses on the specific insights of that aspect.

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To begin with, it is necessary to be explicit about the exact meaning of the term “civil engineering”. In fact, civil engineering can be largely described as a sphere that utilises knowledge of mathematics, physics, and other natural sciences in practical environment, especially in serving the basic needs of the society. Civil engineering presupposes the factual labour process of construction and designing, assessment of construction sites, maintenance of key elements of the project, prototyping, and evaluation of the results. Civil engineers consider influence of natural factors on the progress of the project. To be more specific, civil engineering presupposes a relation between human domestic conditions and environment. Hence, the process of addressing social needs is expected to correlate with environmental factors, which is why civil engineers hold many responsibilities with regard to society. Due to the fact that this is an integral element of engineering ethics, it has to be given a detailed account.

Ethics in civil engineering play a pivotal role, since they render the certain advancements. First of all, the ethics presuppose evident commitment of an engineer to their occupation. Devotion to a personal job is a strong motivator as long as it makes an engineer strive for a creative performance. At the same time, professional ethics refer to the basic moralities, especially in regard to the fact that civil engineering is particularly focused on the satisfaction of community’s needs. In other words, professional ethics require a careful, respectful, and scrupulous attitude towards humanity. Otherwise unethical performance of engineers will surely trigger tragic consequences for people living in the area, which was under the project of civil engineering. A concept of ethics goes far beyond the terms of attitudes; thus, it is crucial to give specific consideration to design, measurements, prototyping, and maintenance. In such a way, professional ethics are regarded as a professional cornerstone that unites social orientation and operational peculiarities of civil engineering.


In regard to a personally assigned location for the research contextualisation, a small village of Bambui in Cameroon was prescribed to this study. That is why the information about poor facilities and infrastructure in this area is increasingly explicit. What is more, an especially hard situation can be observed in a field of food transportation and delivery. Such a poor state of infrastructure can be explained by the fact that a local municipal organ does not obtain any resources for the establishment of efficient logistics, supply chain management, warehousing, and distribution. That is why this aspect of Bambui’s infrastructure has to undergo major improvements. The reason is that welfare of local people is under a considerable threat in terms of unacceptable sanitary conditions, unstable food deliveries, and relative contamination of water as well as soil in the area.

Since social issues of the village should be addressed, civil engineering is expected to provide certain solutions. To start with, design of temperature-resistant devices for food transportation is needed because climate conditions of Cameroon are unfavourable for food transportation on long distances. The establishment and compliance with local sanitary norms are pivotal for the village; otherwise any advancement in food delivery will be eliminated by low sanitary standards. Furthermore, the village needs a sustainable approach to the solution of the problem. Apparently, that should include consideration of environmental, social, and economic aspects. Owing to the fact that these pillars are mutually related, careful attitude towards environment can optimise economic capacities of the region so that social issues of the village will be addressed. Civil engineering as a complex discipline regards the problem with consideration of all three pillars of sustainability which is why related solutions should be initiated in accordance with preliminary assessment of the area.

Design and Ethics

To speak about the relation between ethics and design solutions for certain projects, the major stakeholders should be outlined. Needless to say, local citizens are the primary stakeholder of civil engineering as any engineering projects are launched with the aim of addressing their specific needs. Consequently, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, and related workforce are also stakeholders of civil engineering. Moreover, it is necessary to include local government as long as the idea about launching any project in a particular area is supposed to be negotiated with the government. With regard to that, civil engineers conduct specific testing and measurement of local environment in order to create the most favourable conditions for the citizens. Thus, the measurements include surveillance data used for designing specific devices for food transportation. By the same token, civil engineers specify and classify types of food for storage and consult the government regarding local standardisation concerning food warehousing and transportation.

As soon as a basic design is created, civil engineers develop a prototype in order to indicate possible gaps and obvious advantages of a device or construction. That procedure is pivotal for civil engineers, manufacturers, and citizens as they need an effective and safe device for food storage and delivery. Eventually, civil engineers assess a completed project in order to estimate the effectiveness of their performance and consider potential gaps occurred during the completion of the project. In fact, that complex of activities clearly demonstrates that design-oriented operations contain a large degree of stakeholder considerations, especially based on holding social responsibilities with regard to a certain community. Needless to say, methods of engaging stakeholders in civil engineering are not limited to the activities mentioned above, but the discussed operations are a distinct reflection of ethical aspect in civil engineering.

To return to the subject of commitment at the workplace, professional ethics inspires devoted engineers so that they strive for a productive and creative work. Creativity in civil engineering should be recognised as an extremely smart decision-making that leads to well-optimised outcomes. In fact, this is especially important for addressing needs of the society, since living conditions of the citizens do not have to interfere in the implementation of engineering projects. That is why negotiations with the village’s government are essential as they outline a specific framework for placing a construction site and designing related devices. Therefore, a sphere of civil engineering has to involve only committed professionals. It is certainly true because those who do not express devotion to their occupation usually quit the profession. Apparently, this is especially important for the village of Bambui, since its infrastructure presupposes a substantial work to be done. Thus, morally appropriate, respectful, and responsible attitude towards engineering works in this area is the key factor for the successful completion of projects in the village, especially in terms of low living standards and limited resources of municipal system.

Concerning poor sanitary as well as environmental and social conditions, the aspect of sustainability is obviously crucial for engineering works in Bambui. The reason is that the consideration of the environmental peculiarities and careful attitude towards them provides a huge benefit for the local facilities. Consequently, that increases environmental awareness of all stakeholders and establishes welfare of the citizens. Simultaneously, environmentally friendly solutions are cost-effective which is why they are affordable for the village’s government. As a result, Bambui has a distinct opportunity to enhance its infrastructure of food delivery and warehousing. The launch of cross-field projects implies a high ratio of employment for local people so that overall well-being of the village can be improved throughout an ethically complex approach to solutions of design and construction.

On the contrary, contemporary civil engineering still lacks cost-effective solutions so that many projects occur to be excessively unaffordable for African countries. That should be a matter of ethics rather than of a lean management as it simply controls the factual process of maintenance, while professional ethics should keep focusing on approaches of sustainability. As a matter of fact, sustainability is a relatively new aspect in engineering ethics which is why the future of civil engineering is heavily dependent upon success of implementation of this discipline in a daily engineering practice. Likewise, similar problems are still present in employment of personnel with consideration of national diversities. Frequently, organisational behaviour of international teams leaves much to be desired as long as rich experience of engineers is hard to accumulate in one efficient framework. Although professional ethics regulates that process, it is particularly focused on the society rather than on the executives of engineering projects. Still, a cooperative work of engineers presupposes positive outcomes for the community as effectiveness of teamwork directly influences the outcomes of a project. In fact, that aspect is relatively easier to address in the village as the nearest areas are inhabited with professionals who are willing to participate in international projects.

Besides these gaps, unclear legislation prevents professional ethics from producing its maximal effect. The problem is that frequently the law and moral values do not comply with each other which is why certain confusion between policies and ethical guidelines for civil engineering can be observed. In fact, the government places redundant controls that lead to a limited capacity of engineers. Engineering should comply with specific standardisation, while the rest of aspects should be a matter of engineers’ ethical decision-making. As a result, that would enhance social standards in many countries as well as develop national markets of construction works and maintenance. Thus, the government needs to initiate some amendments in the existing policies because a case of Bambui is not a single evidence of poor conditions of food delivery and storage.


It is appropriate to make a general comment on the fact that ethics in civil engineering of food transportation play a pivotal role in a social well-being of citizens. The paper has defined the basic concepts of civil engineering and professional ethics. The context has been provided in order to describe an empirical application of the concepts. The study has given an account of the relation between engineering operations and ethical considerations of social orientation in civil engineering. In the same way, ethical impacts on engineering performance have been also discussed. A specific attention has been paid to the approach of sustainability as it is a cutting-edge practice in engineering and other spheres. Apart from distinct advantages of ethically-grounded engineering performance, current gaps have been outlined. They include lack of cost-effective solutions, absence of distinct organisational framework, and vagueness of legal aspect. Hence, the further research should investigate specific solutions for addressing these gaps throughout a complex application of engineering ethics.

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