The Role of Engineers in Nation Building
The Perspective of Professionalism and Work Ethics
Engineers are one of the important assets of a nation. Back in industrial revolution, the introduction of technologies, transportation and manufacturing had a deep impact on the social, economic and cultural conditions of times. Inventors defined the wealth of a nation while engineers played a role in building and upholding a nation, and together both, pushing the world forward.
The rising of the industrial revolution in United Kingdom was sparked by a small number of innovations made in the second half of 18th century such as rediscovery of concrete by British engineer John Smeaton. Since then, it has become the foundation of almost every building in the world. Another technological development in Britain during industrial revolution was the improvement of steam engine by a Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick who began to construct higher pressure non-condensing steam engines, exhausting against the atmosphere. On the aspects of transportation, British engineers had offered a better path with engineered road and railways built by John McAdam, Thomas Telford, joseph Locke and George Stephenson. These constructions had directly reflected on the economy of United Kingdom by means of transporting goods throughout the nation, as well as providing workers to factories.
As engineering rose to a distinct profession after the industrial revolution, engineers see themselves as either independent professional practitioners or technical employees of large enterprise. At that era, ethics was of personal concern rather than professional. In the early 20th century, the infamous failure of Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster drew the attention of engineering institute to confront shortcomings in technical and construction practice, nonetheless, ethical standards. Codes of engineering ethics consider public, clients, employers, and profession.
While material differences exist...