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					Engineering Ethics
    Q - Why Do You think this
    Ethics Issue is a Concern?
      What are Meant by Ethical
•   Possible Responses to define an
    ethical person:
    1. One who has a set of values and lives by
    2. One who has any set of values which are
       shared by a group
    3. One who lives by a set of values which
       are universally accepted
 1. One who has a set of values
       and lives by them
• Q – what do we think of this?
 1. One who has a set of values
       and lives by them
• What if no one else agrees with you?
• Examples?
   2. A shared set of Values
• What do we think of this?
   2. A shared set of Values
• What if other groups have different
• Examples?
    2. A shared set of Values
• Some thoughts:
• Not everyone is a member of a group
  (religion for example)
• How are the rules of the rest of the
  community incorporated?
• Those that do not accept the rules may
  feel they are being unfairly treated?
• Consider dictatorships…..
• Corrupt regimes, bribery?
   3. One who lives by a set of
     values which are universally
• What do we think of this?
    3. One who lives by a set of
      values which are universally
• How hard is it for everyone to agree with one
  universal rule? (Kant)
• Are there potential conflicts (absolutism)?
• Ethical agreements or disagreements rely on
  judgment, interpretation, experience, and
  application of values to a given set of
• One of the problems with ethics – there are
  no “laws” because we do not know all sets of
    Q - Examples of Professions
          without Ethics?
Examples of Professions
   without Ethics?
   •   Salesmen
   •   Politicians
   •   Lawyers
   •   MBAs
   •   NOTE – Lawyers actually
       have to take an ethics class
       in school and periodically
       take ethics refreshers
Q - Examples of Professions
       with Ethics?
Examples of Professions
    with Ethics?
   • Doctors
   • Scientists
   • The key is to have
     engineers on this list,
     not the other one!!
Where do ethics come from
and how do we determine
what is (and is not) ethical?
Let’s Do a little history Lesson
  on Ethics and Philosophy
         Some Definitions
• Laws - describe what will always
• Theories – describe what we think
  happens under a given set of conditions
  – theories are testable and can be
  replicated by others
• Hypothesis – describe what we think
  happens, but we cannot verify it always
• Early philosophers in part tried to find
  laws that explained behavior, just as
  mathematicians found laws for other
• But mostly they created hypotheses!
         Early thoughts…
• Up until say, 10,000 BC (or BCE), most
  of the known world seems to have been
  fairly tribal – small, related groups of
  people fending off nature
• Q - What ethics would be respected
             Tribal “Ethics”
• Loyalty
• Service (doing your part correctly)
• Obedience to leader

• Not part of it: Greed, slacking, killing in the
  tribe, non-conformity, damaging property of
• The risk – getting kicked out! Druids in Celtic
  regimes imposed this penalty regularly
  Civilizations we can trace..
• Early Civilizations with Laws by the
  – Egypt 4-5000 BC
  – Babylon 3000 BC
  – India 3000+ BC
  – Druids 2000 BC
• Those believing in Atlantis will claim
  theirs is older than 10,000 BC
    As Civilizations grew….
• We get codes and laws written down:
  – Decalogue (Hebrew 10 commandments)
  – Code of Manus
  – Hammurabi
• And prohibitions
  – Cannibalism
  – Incest
  – Slavery
Civilization gave rise to Cities,
        which meant…..
• Less clear who was responsible for any
  given task, so ethics were designed to
  help guide people on what was
  expected, and laws existed to punish
  those who did not perform their
• The outgrowth was “Conscience” which
  goes directly to ethics
    Q - But what are Ethics?
           And Why?
      But what are Ethics?
           And Why?
• Provide public with an idea of what they
  can expect
• A series of principles to live by
• A theoretical study of behavior
   With more free time, we
thought more….. “philosophy”
• And developed systems of ethics
• Philosopher outlined their idea of how
  society should be….
• Why? They were unhappy with
  something people were doing at the
  time, or there was a time of crisis they
  were trying to navigate through.
• Is the Study of consequences for
  implementation of a set of behavioral
  principles in the long term
• Ethics are the behavioral principles
Classical Ethics
•   Platonism
•   Doctrine of the Mean
•   Hedonism
•   Cynicism
•   Stoicism
•   Spinoza
•   Kantian
•   Christian
•   Utilitarian
      Platonism (from Plato)
• Evil is the result of lack of knowledge
• If you have knowledge, you can do no evil
• Therefore you should always study the nature
  of life so you can gain knowledge, which
  Plato says is similar to understanding
  mathematics and requires a period of training
• Gifted people MUST pursue knowledge as
  they are the future leaders
• If you can achieve knowledge you will live the
  “good” life
• Many people lack intellectual capacity for
  knowledge (the “Stupid” or unenlightened)
• Therefore they are intrinsically bad and are
  incapable of understanding the essence of
  “good.” Ex they do not understand what
  “Stealing” is so they cannot avoid doing
• The unenlightened therefore must follow the
  directives of the Good so they will do “good”
  as well.
• Plato’s book The Republic outlines his
  ideas and concepts on the “ideal”
       Results of Platonism
• Goodness exists independently of of
  mankind – waiting to be discovered by
  those properly trained
• There is only one “good” life. All others
  are “bad”
• Good life does not mean pleasure
• Absolutism results – “thou shalt not kill”
  means you can never kill for any
  reason, which some religions adopted
 Plato believed that good moral
 standards were superior to the
  gods (in reviewing the Greek
  pantheon, they were a pretty
   violent lot so maybe he was
right), that right and wrong were
  absolute and independent of
         anyone’s opinion!
    Q - So What do we think?
      So What do we think?
• Absolutes are not usually appropriate in
  society (a problem)
• Moral and mathematical knowledge are
  not the same kind of study (one is
  testable, the other not)
• Is there really only one way to act or do
• We reject many of the tenets of
  Platonisms, but there are some ideas
  that may be worth keeping.
      Doctrine of the Mean
• Attempts to divine the true nature of
  things by reason (deduction) and
  speculation alone (no data)
• The “Good life” = happiness
• You must seek to understand what the
  good life is (Platonism)
• You see Metaphysics, Platonism and
  Stoicism in Aristotle’s views
• If the good life = happiness, the defining
  happiness clarifies the good life
• Happiness is an activity of the soul in accord
  with perfect virtue.
• Because it is an activity, you can’t be happy if
  you are static – not doing something
• So happiness is engaging in activities in a
  certain way, like eating, friendships, etc., but
      Nicomachean Ethics
• Written by Aristotle
• It is an analytical philosophy of
• While Happiness = activity of the soul,
  too much food is bad, too little is also.
  Therefore, the correct or “good” amount
  of food is the mean – hence “doctrine of
  the mean.”
      Nicomachean Ethics
• The mean is not defined because there are
  variations between people of “goodness” and
  therefore goodness may be relative (a major
  deviation from Platonism)
• Therefore, act in accordance with the mean
• Do not praise or blame anyone if they do not
  understand what they are doing because
  some do not have the intellect to understand
  it even if they are doing it
• Intellectual arrogance permeates Aristotle as
  well as Plato
• There are many “good” lives
• Praise only those consciously aware
  they are doing “good”
• Do not praise those who are living the
  good life, but are do not understand
  they are doing so because they do not
  have the intelligence to understand the
What is Needed
• Self discipline
• Knowledge
    Q - So What do we think?
     So What do we think?
• To achieve happiness, people must act
  moderately Must
• received sound training in good habits
  when we are young to learn
  temperance, responsibility and self
• Immoderate is not defined….(oops)
• Therefore we can only accept parts of
  this philosophy, but there are some
  ideas that may be worth keeping.
• Interpreted as a philosophy created out
  of the despair over what was happening
  in Greece
• Doctrine is that pleasure = good, which
  is interpreted to mean the pursuit of
  anything that creates pleasure is good
• Philosophy of Epicurus, but Epicurus
  was not Caligula. Epicurus had limited
  means, lived like a beggar in rags and
  ate garbage – he believed in living
  frugally, not to excess as generally
         Epicurus Thoughts
• From too much pleasure = pain
• Ex – stomach ache from eating too much
  food or too rich food
• So Avoid things that can cause:
  –   Pain
  –   Fatigue
  –   Illness
  –   Stress
  –   Feeling bad
           So What Does
         Epicurus Not Want?
•   Lots of food
•   Rich food
•   Alcohol
•   Sex
•   Work
•   Relationships
•   In other words, just about everything!
In Truth, Epicurus’ Definition
   of hedonism = Ascetic

 Not what we now think as
    Q - What Do We Think?
       What Do We Think?
• Pleasure is good but it is not the only
  thing that motivates people – regardless
  of whether it is money, power, etc.
• If someone pursues something too far,
  they may reject everything but what is
  being pursued, which is negative
• Does not apply to scientific issues
• Epicurus’ philosophy takes on a far
  different meaning today than it did
  originally, and the tenets that we now
  have must generally be rejected
• Conciliatory (Diogenes)
• All the fruits of civilization are worthless
  – they are all artificial pleasures of the
  senses (The Matrix)
• The world is basically evil, to live
  properly you must withdraw from it
• Individual is important
• Early cynics lived ascetic lives, often
  miserable without contact with others
• NOTE Cynic comes from the Greek
  word Kunos (dog-like)
• Diogenes lived in a tub, ate garbage,
  never bathed – YUCK!
• Anatole France’s Thais
•   Reject all other people (antisocial)
•   Self centered
•   Reject all external goods
•   Incorporated in pietistic Christianity
    (Godly = good)
    Q - So What Do We Think?
    So What Do We Think?
• Depressing
• No value on anything or anyone
• Antisocial
• We reject most of the tenets of
• Most influential ethical doctrine before
• Zeno, 300 BC
• Philosophy consists of advice to people
  in a crumbling world – learn to be
  indifferent to external influences and
  they will not affect you
• Good and evil depend on ones’ self
• Indifference
• Predestination
• Hidden, Divine hand
• Virtuous behavior occurs when one
  understands that all – is a part of a divine plan
  that one is powerless to alter, so accept it
• Free yourself from desires
• Personal responsibility for good & evil
• Indifference
• Withdrawal
    Q - So What To We Think?
     So What To We Think?
• Conflict between predestination and
  freedom of the will
• Indifference only works with negative
• Depressing…
• We reject most of the tenets of
• 17th century – was Jewish but kicked
  out of the community for heretical
• Hid out with the Christian movements of
  the time and wrote On the Improvement
  of the Understanding
• Rigid determinism – all things come to
• Metaphysical concepts of Descartes –
  no one acts by chance alone
• Good vs bad is relative
• Some things are not inherently
    Q - So What do We Think?
     So What do We Think?
• Does not resolve conflict between free
  will and determinism
• We still don’t really know how to figure
  out good and bad….
• Happiness occurs when you understand
  that there are limits to human powers
• Very complex set of circumstances
            Kantian Ethics
• Immanuel Kant – Theory of Ethics
• Moral law requires people to be
  rewarded proportionately to their virtue
• Since virtue does not mean happiness
  in this life, you will receive your reward
  in the afterlife (reminiscent of the
           Kantian Results
• Includes metaphysics
• The essence of morality is found in the
  motive for which the act is done
  – Acts from duty = moral
  – Act from inclinations are not moral
• Moral action requires suppression of
• Hence you must have a duty to perform
  an act for it to be ethical behavior
           Kantian Results
• Every action is judged in light of how it would
  appear in an universal code of behavior
• Categorical Imperative – act only when action
  should become a universal law (ties to later
  concept of Universalism)
• Treat everyone with respect!!!
• Hypothetical Imperatives - action to achieve
  something you desire – in a way, hedonism is
• Morality depends on behavior, not some
  form of undefined “duty”
• Morality is not a matter of taste or
  preference, but is an objective measure
• Mistakes are not morals violations
• Kantian ethics is the most consistent
  ethical system of the old ones
    Q - What Do We Think?
       What Do We Think?
• No behavior may be universal (again
  the “do not kill” argument)
• Consequences of actions are
  introduced into ethics – but can they be
  controlled? The real issue equates
  ethics with motives not behavior
Utilitarianism (18th Century)
    • John Stuart Mill
    • Jeremy Bentham
    • Francis Hutcheson
• An action is ethical and right if it
  produces the greatest number of happy
  people – the “principle of utility”
• Hence results are what counts
• Belief that intellect and education made
  the man
• Principles used for democratic
• All actions can be determined if they are
  right or wrong when all of the benefits
  and problems have been defined and
    Q - What do we Think?
        What do we Think?
• “Right” may not be “good” because it
  makes the most happy people – we can
  all think of results that are not – a major
  reason for the US Courts system is to
  protect the few against actions of the
• You cannot know all impacts ahead of
  time for all actions
• There are tenets here we can use as
  engineers, but maybe not all of them
    Class 3 - Modern Ethics
• Classical systems focus on two issues:
  – What is the good life? and
  – How should people behave?
• The result is to indicate how people
  ought to act.
          Modern Ethics
• More emphasis on moral theory instead
  of good, bad, right and wrong
• Philosophy does not commit to any
  specific advice for living
           Major Work…
• Principia Ethica – G.E. Moore, 1903
• Classical systems are attempts to
  deduce moral precepts for the
  theological, metaphysical or scientific
  premise, and as a result the results are
  false since you cannot argue from one
  logic type (science) to another
  (descriptive judgment)
Modern Theories
• Moral Realism
  – Subjectivistic
  – Objectivistic
• Natural, Non-Natural
• Motivist
• Deontological
            Moral Realism
• Primarily focused on the analysis of language
• Subjectivism – a statement is neither true or
  false – its subjective (like you should never
  lie) and indicate something about the
  psychology of the person who utters them
  (Hobbs & Kant)
• Objectivism - 2+2=4 (Platonism and
  Utilitarianism are examples)
Naturalism, Non Naturalism &
• Naturalistic Theory – moral judgments are
  both true and false, and can be reduced to
  concepts of a natural science (typ.
  psychology) (Hobbs, Utilitarianism)
• Non-Naturalistic is not Naturalistic (obviously)
  (Platonism, Christianity)
• Emotivist – moral judgments are neither true
  or false, but are expressed emotions – cannot
  be verified by scientific processes.
   Motivist, Consequence &
    Deontological Theories
• Motivist – rightness or wrongness
  depends on the motive from the act
• Consequence – rightness or wrongness
  depends on the result of the action
  (Utilitarianism, hedonism)
• Deontological – rightness or wrongness
  depends on what kind of act it was
    So What do we Think?
      So What do we Think?
• Subjectivism provides descriptions and
  prescriptions, which are useful, but there is no
  real dispute – so was the holocaust just a
  different, but acceptable opinion? We would
  reject this!
• Good and bad depend on feelings…
• Objectivism contends there is no dispute about
  morals, but there is a sense of duty. But how
  do we prove right or wrong?
       Theory of Knowledge
• Descates (1640) – Meditations of First
• Skepticism – how do we know reality vs a
• Because so much of the old knowledge is
  wrong, if there is any reason for doubt, or if
  we cannot test it, the entire category or basis
  should be treated as unreliable, esp the
  senses which are undependable
     Sources of Knowledge
• Socrates – we already know it, we just
  need to realize it (Wiccans believe this
• Plato – soul knows it, but we need to
  relearn it via senses of intelligence
    Descartes’ Conclusions
• He looked at many areas of knowledge,
  including the existence of a deity.
• What did he find?
Allegory of the cave…

     Decartes’ Conclusions
• To escape the cave, one needs to go
  through a process to learn:
  – Reason – realize lack of information
  – Arithmetic – train for the abstract
  – Geometry – universals
  – Astronomy – understand abstract forms
  – Harmonics – Abstract thoughts
  – Dialectic – liberation from the shadows
Therefore Decartes believed
  that we can find absolute
 certain knowledge through
         this process
    So What do we Think?
     So What do we Think?
• In summary, it would appear that ALL of
  the ethical through processes proffered
  up have benefits and limitations – in
  some cases very significant limitations,
  that make all the tenets of any one
  system insufficient to meet out needs
• So…
Let’s Think of Goals of an
      Ethical System
•   Obey Laws of the land
•   Follow customs and ideals
•   Follow good examples
•   Strive for the welfare of society
•   Follow reason and logic
•   Listen to conscience
•   Try for happiness in all this
So Which of these Ethical
  systems are useful to
Engineers despite potential
      What Do We Need?
• Objective and measurable standards of
• Consistency in those standards
• Man & Universe exist and will continue to do so
• Do not sacrifice the present completely for the future
• We all have a purpose we must fulfill
• One purpose is to improve all of mankind
• No man can no all
• Life, property & freedom are inalienable rights (from
  the Druids)
• Seek to use he least amount of material, energy, etc
  to fulfill the purpose
• Most problems must be solve in the framework of the
  existing social order
• Utilitarianism – we can measure the
  benefits and impacts, or predict many of
• Universal Law (Kant) – should everyone
  act in this manner?
• Tie to Canons of Engineering p 62-70.

• Let’s look at and do some examples…
        Coming to Solutions
• List all assumptions
• List alternatives (at least 3 is preferable and
  “do nothing” may be one)
• Select at least one alternative for full analysis
  (it does not need to be the one you would
• One system alone may not work, so do 2 an
  see if they come up with the same answer -
  try the Universalist solution first, the compare
  with Utilitarian theory
• Note applicable canons
         Common mistakes
• Assumptions are not absolute (should not
  contain may, should, it, etc)
• Assumptions are inconsistent with each other
• Universal Laws need to be applied as such
• Confusion about assumptions, predictions etc
  during analysis
• Omission of important assumptions or facts
• Conclusion inconsistent with analysis
      Engineers in Society
• Indispensable human need
• Must exercise discretion & judgment
  which is why people should have a
  standard of conduct to rely on
• Understand how you actions will impact
 Engineering Ethic Questions
• Do engineers overemphasize
  technological function?
• Do humans over-emphasize material
  things while ignoring other dimensions
  of human existence?
• Are engineers merely hired hands for
  corporate interests or do they have an
  obligations to serve the public? How do
  engineers regard service to the public?
• Engineers do harness technology to
  achieve their goals and those of the
  client but how is the sustainability of
  resources considered?
• Engineers have an obligation to protect
  the health, safety and welfare of the
  public (codified)
          Ethics and Skills
• Engineers will be involved in arbitration
  of conflicts (contractors, owners, other
  engineers) so a methodology for
  fairness is needed (basis of ethics?)
• Engineers will evaluate alternatives and
  make recommendations of one or ore
  preferred methods to address a
  problem. Again fairness is required….
         Ethics and Skills
• Engineers may be asked to design
  things (weapons?) that are do not
  always protect the public health that
  must be rationalized
• There are often conflicts between
  regulatory agencies, owners and use of
  resources of environmental impacts that
  must be resolved fairly to all parties.
• Q - So must engineers always do what
  the client wants?
       Why teach Ethics to
• Problems occur
• Individuals do not have infinite
  knowledge so no one has all answers
• Every circumstance cannot be known
• Judgment is the province of much of
  what engineers do ….. We must
  balance the needs of society with the
  desires of other parties that may conflict
  with society
Engineering Functions
•   Analysis
•   Design
•   Estimating
•   Testing & Observation
•   Training
•   Operations & Maintenance
•   Education
•   Management
 Let’s Look at How this is
Implemented in Florida…

(note FL is very similar to
      other states)
    Goals of Licensure in FL
• Review of Rules Affecting Licensing of
  professional Engineers
• Understanding of rules affecting
  engineering selection with public
  agencies in Florida
• Understanding the rules on ethics and
  public officials in Florida
      Rules Applying to the
    Engineering Profession in
• Chapter 471 – Engineering
• Chapter 61G-15
• Chapter 287.055 - CCNA
• Chapter 11.045, 106, 112, 20, 121, 189,
  343, and 348 (Ethics & elected officials)
• Section 62-600 F.A.C.
       Chapter 471 F.S. -
• Intent: Protect the health and
  welfare of the citizens of the State
• Regulates the engineering
  profession with regard to:
  – Qualifications
  – Licensure
  – Disciplinary matters
      What is “Engineering?”
• “Any service or creative work that requires
  engineering education, training and and
  experience in the application of mathematical,
  physical and engineering sciences in the
  performance of consultation, investigation,
  evaluation, planning, design of systems or
  works, land use planning, supervision of
  construction to determine compliance with
  engineering drawings and specifications and
  teaching engineering principals”
 What is “Engineering?” (cont)
• Includes: “public and private sector work, in
  connection with any utilities, structures,
  machines, buildings, equipment, processes,
  work systems, induction or consumer
  products or equipment or a thermal,
  pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical or mechanical
  nature, insofar as they involve safeguarding
  the public health, life or property…(note
  welfare is missing)…and includes other
  professional services necessary to complete
  engineering services..”
Q - So what’s missing?
       Roads? Bridges?
Pipelines? Permitting Studies?
      Drainage Systems?
     Treatment Facilities?
 Back-up Power Generators?
 Planning of Utility Systems?
Oversight of Construction of the
          What else?
  Who Is Covered under this
• “duly registered engineers,” who are the
  only persons permitted to use the title
  “registered” or “professional” engineer,
  or any titles, designations, or
  abbreviations that would tend to indicate
  that a person is a registered
  professional engineer (471.003)
       The Privilege Permits
• People who are covered to:
  – advertise that they provide engineering services
  – use letterhead & cards using engineering
    designations (which imply regulation under CH.
    471 FS)
• In other words, if you use the designations,
  the public may infer that you meet the
  requirements for licensure and you are
  competent to perform the work.
    Q - Would these be Proper
References for People Not Covered
         by the Statute?
 • “PE” ( for “Productivity Expert” or
   undefined) after a name
 • Business cards advertising someone is
   an “engineer”
 • A title in a non-engineering company
   that might include the term “engineer” if
   it could be construed to indicate
   someone had credentials
   But there are people not
  Required to Register under
         Ch. 471 F.S.:
• Those making improvements to their own
  property unless the practice involves:
  –   Public utilities
  –   Public health
  –   Public Safety
  –   Welfare or safety of employees
  –   In other words…. if you are the only one who will
      ever go there, do whatever, but if not…
People Not Required to Register
  under Ch. 471 F.S. (cont):
• State or municipal employees working on
  projects valued at less than $10,000
• Employees of utilities regulated by the PSC,
  Federal Energy Commission or FCC
• Contractor & their foremen doing work signed
  and sealed by a PE
• Surveyors who may do incidental engineering
  to complete a job
People Not Required to Register
  under Ch. 471 F.S. (cont):
• Employees working under the supervision a
  registered professional engineer in
  corporations or municipal or site
  governmental agencies
• Contractors licensed according to Ch 489 FS
  doing design-build projects
• Full time employees of corporations who’s
  design practice is limited to design or
  fabrication or servicing of a product.
   People Not Required to
  Register under Ch. 471 FS:
• Electrical, Plumbing, AC or Mechanical
  Contractors who’s practice includes design
  and fabrication of such systems installed by
  virtue of a license issued by CH 489 or CH
  553 FS which has a system:
  – value < $50,000
  – < 250 fixture units
  – < 15 ton AC system or serves under 100 people
• Architects, or persons subordinate to an
  architect, who may do incidental
  engineering to complete a project
• The reverse is true also with regard to
  engineers who do incidental
  architectural work….
   Q - So does that mean…
• Architects can do bridges?
• Design-build contractors do not need
  registered engineers on large water
  treatment plants?
• Public agencies do not need registered
  engineers to do capital construction?
Who Oversees the day-to-day
    Regulatory Activity?
• By Statute, the Florida Engineers
  Management Corporation
• FEMC issues certificates via Dept of
  Business and Professional Regulation
• Secretary of DBPR is the agency that
  tracks the paperwork
• The Board of Professional Engineers is
  like the Board of Directors
      Board of Professional
• 11 members
• Seven must be registered PEs
  –   3 Civil Engineers
  –   1 Electrical Engineer
  –   1 Mechanical Engineer
  –   1 an Engineering Educator
  –   1 Industrial Engineer
  –   1 Structural Engineer
  –   1 Other engineer, but not Civil
• Two must be lay people who are not and can
  never have been engineers or involved in
  professions closely related to engineering
• Appointed by the Governor for 4 year terms
      Board of Professional
        Engineers (cont)
• Board Functions:
  – Adopt Rules
  – Approve Licensing of Applicants
  – Set Fees $125 bi-yearly to renew
    • $150 for new licenses by endorsement
    • $125 for new licenses by test
    • $25 for temporary individual licenses
      ($50 firms)
   Florida Engineers
Management Corporation
• Created by CH 471.038 F.S.
• Non-profit corporation
• Established to provide the following
  services to the Board of Professional
  Engineers by a contract within the
  provisions of CH 455 F.S.:
  – Investigative
  – Administrative
  – Prosecutorial
     Florida Engineers
  Management Corporation
• Deemed to be management corporation
  acting as an instrument of the State and not
  an agency of the State
• 7 member Board of Directors appointed by
  the Board of Professional Engineers (but not
  the same group as the 11 member Board of
  Professional Engineers):
  – 5 registered engineers
  – 2 lay-people
      Florida Engineers
 Management Corporation (cont)
• Enters into a written contract with DBPR
  which includes:
  – By-laws
  – Submission of annual budget
  – Certification of compliance with Florida Statutes
    and goals and purposes of the Board
  – Employs by DBPR of a contract administrator to
    supervise the functions of the FEMC
     Florida Engineers
Management Corporation (cont)
 • Maintains all records of the Board
   of Professional Engineers
 • Develops regulations
• Oversees FEMC contract
• Maintains independent investigatory
• Issues emergency suspension or
  restriction orders and prosecutes all
  unlicensed activities
         General Licensure
• Graduation from an approved engineering
  curriculum of 4 years or more
• 4 years of active engineering experience
  indicating the ability to be in responsible
  charge or engineering a project
• Of good moral character
• Pass fundamentals (FE) and professional
  practice (PE) tests
   Which generally means….
• A State university system or ABET accredited
  school (out-of-state)
• Working as an engineer for 4+ years
  (although typically a Master’s degree counts
  as one of these years for research)
• Good references!!!
• No convictions or unprofessional activities
• No prior violations of Ch 471
• Possible Board interview (rare)
          PE and EI Tests
• 70% or better on both parts
• 6/10 or better on all 8 questions on the
  PE test
• Retake the test 5 times, then required to
  have 12 credit hours of college classes
         Foreign Degrees
• Reviewed degree by degree
• Must include 16 hrs higher math, 16 hrs
  basic science, 16 hours humanities and
  social science and 48 hours of
  engineering design
• Degree does not mean approval by
Licensure is a privilege,
     not a right!!!

  The Board does not have to grant
licensure even if you pass the tests!
  For Endorsement Licensure
• Meet the General Licensure Requirements
  (including passing the FE and PE tests in
  another state with similar requirements and
  meeting the experience requirements)
• Hold a license in another State
• Submit 5 references
• Cannot be under investigation by other
• NOTE: 48 states now permit endorsement or
  comity licensure (CA and NY are exceptions,
  and Alaska has a snow load test)
          Waiver of the FE:
• Has held a PE license in another state for 15
  years, with 20 continuous years of
  professional level experience
• Has received a PhD at a university with an
  ABET accredited undergraduate program
• Has a PhD and has taught undergraduates
  for at least 3 years after receiving the PhD
      Waiving the PE Exam
• Has held a PE license in another state
  for 25 years, with 30 continuous years
  of professional level experience
So let’s look at a couple of applicants
     wanting to take the PE test:
  • Jim Bob had a 2.0 GPA in Civil Engineering
    from UF and spent the majority of his time in
    school partying, working on his car, watching
    sports and chasing women. He passed the
    FE with a grade of 70. He’s worked for ABC
    engineering for the last 4 years and his co-
    workers say he does ok. He has never been
    arrested or charged with unprofessional
    activity. What is the probability he gets the
    opportunity to take the PE test….
So let’s look at a couple of applicants
     wanting to take the PE test:
 • Dan had a 3.9 GPA from UCF and spent the
   majority of his time in school studying so he
   could go to grad school, which he did (also at
   UCF in engineering). He passed the FE with
   a grade of 98. He’s worked for ABC
   engineering for the last 4 years and his co-
   workers say he does great, except for the
   unfortunate drug possession conviction on
   south beach last year. Probability he gets an
   opportunity to take the PE test….
  So let’s look at a couple of
   other applicants seeking
• Amy graduated in her own state from X.
  Tech in 1978, with a 4.0. However at
  that time, XT was not accredited.
  However, she passed the FE and PE
  tests with no problem and has been
  registered in her home state after
  graduation since 1985. Probability she
  gets a PE license…
   So let’s look at a couple of
    other applicants seeking
• Monroe has been working as an
  engineer for the last 45 years and finally
  decided to close his practice and move
  to sunny S. Florida. Monroe never went
  to college but he learned a lot from old
  friends at X&Y, Inc., an international
  consulting firm and was able to secure a
  PE license back in 1974 from his home
  state. Probability he gets a license …
        License Renewals
• Automatic after receiving fee for
  renewal assuming there are no
  disciplinary proceedings pending….
• Renewals occur every two years
• Must demonstrate continuing
  professional competency with 4 hrs of
  professional development each year.
• 4 hrs every two years is for Chapter 471
  Florida Statutes & Rules Applying to the
  Engineering Profession
 Professional Development
Hours (PDH) Requirement
• Amendments to 471.017 F.S. (2000
• Requires 8 hrs of professional development
  hours for each renewal period (2 years)
• 4 hours must be on Ch. 471 F.S. and rules
  adopted pursuant to Ch 471 F.S. or related
  thereto (this course meets this requirement)
• Repeat every 2 years
       PDHs (from 61G-15)
• 1 CEU = 10 PDH
• Published papers, articles or books = 10 PDHs
• Patents = 10 PDHs
• College course = 15 PDHs/credit hour
• Sitting through a Board of Professional Engineers
  meeting satisfies the 4 hour requirement for Ch.
  471 F.S.
• Approved seminars, certain professional
  activities (not to exceed 2 PDHs)
• Some video classes as well, but requires an
  examination be passed (70%)
• Active in Professional organization (max 2 PDHs)
   Going to a Board Meeting
• Must sign in at the beginning
• Continuous attendance throughout the
• Must stay for the entire meeting
  regardless how long it is
• But does not count if you have other
  reasons to be there
• Full-time faculty teaching classes
• Equipment shows
• Attendance at the same place two or more
• Enrollment without attendance
• Tours of buildings, projects, etc except under
  specific conditions
• Employment as an engineer
• Personal, estate or financial planning training
• Self taught course
• Self improvement classes
       Demonstration of PDHs
•   Title of activity and description
•   Date, location
•   PDH hours
•   Area of practice

• Records required to be kept for four years
• Must meet these objectives for renewal
       Approved Providers
• Accredited higher education institutions
• State or National professional organization
  that promotes engineering
• Core Curriculum providers approved by the
  American Building Commission under Section
  553.841 FS
• Continuing education providers approved by
  the Board
• But: Instructors must not be under
  disciplinary proceedings!!
   What if you don’t renew?
• Well, you reapply and need 12 PDH
  hours for every year the license
 lapsed…..   
      Temporary Licenses
• Florida grants them for a period not to
  exceed 12 months.
• Applicants must meet general licensure
  requirements or endorsement
  requirements except no references
• Limited to one project only
• Applicants must pay the fee
 The caveat to all Licensure…
• CH 471.015 (4) states that the Board may not
  issue any person a license if that person has
  an existing license that is under investigation
  in another state for an act that would
  constitute a violation under the Florida rules,
  until that proceeding is complete and any
  disciplinary actions are taken. So even if the
  complaint is unjustified, they cannot issue you
  a license!
• If you practice engineering as a
  corporation, partnership or fictitious
  name, a certificate of authorization is
  required - Ch. 471.023 – Business
       So… about Corporations
         and Partnerships?
• Certificates of Authorization are required for
  all corporations, partnerships, etc. offering
  services to the general public.
• Certificates of Authorization are required for
  all persons offering services to the general
  public if they use a fictitious name
• Renewal required every 2 years
• But… documents must be signed, sealed and
  dated by the engineer who prepared of
  approved them
Corporations and Partnerships
• Practicing through a corporation does not
  relieve you of personal liability for negligence,
  misconduct or wrongful acts.
• All partners are jointly and severally liable in
  partnerships for negligence, misconduct or
  wrongful acts.
• Officers may be liable for negligence,
  misconduct or wrongful acts committed by
  them or those under their supervision
• Liability may be limited to full value of the
   Building Code Inspections
• PE can perform building code inspection w/o
  certification by Building Code Administrator’s
• Note if you submit to a Bldg Dept, you need
  to take the Building class!!
• Conditions
  – Must be requested by local or state agency
  – Can’t review own, or own firm’s plans
  – Complaints processed by Board of Professional
    Engineers, subject to Ch 471 F.S.
Chapter 61G-15
 Class 6 - Difference in Laws
• Ch. 471 F.S. is licensing law
• Chapter 61G-15 is the implementation
  rule for engineering profession; 61G-15
  is much more extensive – 53 pages
            61G 15-18
• Requires Board members to attend the
  meetings or be removed
• Sets definitions for the rule
• Model rules for Board operation
• Public Record - Any document filed with
  federal, state, local or other governmental
  entity except in anticipation of litigation
• Engineering Documents – designs, plans,
  specifications, drawings, prints, reports or
  similar instruments in connection with
  engineering work as issued by a PE or under
  a PE’s supervision
        Prime Professional
• Florida PE who is engaged to plan,
  design, coordinate, permit, or observe
  construction on a project
• Responsible to retain and coordinate
  services of professionals needed to
  complete project
• May be Engineer of Record
      Engineer of Record
• Florida PE in responsible charge for signing,
  dating, sealing and issuing engineering
  documents for any service or creative work
• Do only work when fully competent – use
  Delegated Engineers for the other parts
• Communication with Delegated Engineer
  must be in writing
• Do not S/D/S any work that a Delegated
  Engineer does
       Delegated Engineer
• Florida PE who undertakes specialty
  work (structures, geo-technical, etc) on
  a portion of the project, as delegated by
  the Engineer of Record
          For Structures
• Engineer of Record likely to be
  structural engineer, but may be
  delegated engineer
• Responsible for preparation of
  documents and framing concept for
• Limited to structural aspects!!
       Engineer of Record
• Expectations of Delegated Engineer:
  – Work is done by a PE
  – Conforms with written instructions and
    standards of practice
  – Conforms with the intent of Engineer of
• Engineer of Record must confirm these
  criteria are met
        Delegated Engineer
• Comply with Engineer of Record’s written
  instructions and submit same for review
• Include project identification and criteria used
  as basis of design, including calculations,
  drawings and design assumptions
• Contact Engineer of Record to advise of any
  conflicts with written instruction and resolution
  of same
           Successor Engineer
• Adopts or picks up work of another engineer
• Must be able to show he has recreated the work
  to verify its adequacy before S/D/S including:
  – Calculations
  – Site visits
  – Project research
• Must notify original PE, successor or assign by
  certified letter on intent to use or reuse work
• Plans do not have to be re-drawn!!
       Responsible Charge
• Degree of control required to maintain
  control over documents.
• Derived via authority over other
• Makes engineering decisions
• Judges work of others
      Responsible Charge -
  Making Engineering Decisions:
• Selection of alternatives to be investigated
• Selection of design codes, standards and
• Selection of Materials
• Selection of methods/techniques of testing
  materials or completed works
• Control over Operating and maintenance
        Responsible Charge
• Assumed to be PE who S/D/S documents
• Must be able to answer questions relevant to
  engineering decisions in sufficient detail to
  leave little doubt of involvement in the project
• If not, DO NOT S/D/S documents!!!
• Do not S/D/S mylar, vellum, linen, sepia –
  anything that can be modified after the fact
   – If you do you must send a S/S/D statement
     acknowledging you did and advising you are not
     responsible for any changes made after submittal.
     Government Employees
• Government PE must act under Responsible
  Charge rule whenever they do engineering
  work, as defined in Ch. 471.005 (6) F.S.
• If equivalent to those of consultants,
  documents require the same S/D/S as
  consulting reports, under responsible charge
  of a PE
• “Municipal, “City or “County Engineers” must
  be PEs (61G15-26.001 (2))
    Government Employees
• Non-Professional Govt. employees may
  NOT over-ride, reject, modify, or
  approve engineering documents
  prepared by a PE unless such actions
  are concurred by the PE in responsible
  charge of the project or employee and
  the PE takes full responsibility for such
  actions. WOW!!!!
 Responsible Charge is Not..
• Control of the Company
• Mean a position in a corporate hierarchy
• Refer to financial liability
As of January 1, 2002!!!
• All seals must be 1-7/8 inches in
  diameter or larger Impression only, no
  stamps (new digital seals are also ok)
• Must say Professional Engineer, most
  older seals say registered engineer –
  most older seals do not
What is Required for Sealing?
         • Impression
         • Signature
         • Date
        What Must be Sealed
•   Final Drawings
•   Final specs
•   Final plans
•   Final reports
•   Final documents filed for public record
 Signing, Dating and Sealing
• Documents must be signed, sealed and
  dated (S/D/S) – Seal must emboss
• Sign/Seal/Date means document is
• Failure to do any may be grounds for
• If you are unsure, DO NOT SIGN OR
• S/D/S only those documents that
  conform to acceptable standards and
  codes, and safeguard the life, health,
  property and welfare of the public
• Drafts or preliminary plans should NOT
  be S/D/S
• Stamp other documents “Draft,” “Not for
  Construction,” and/or “For Review Only”
• Permit copies should be noted as such
• S/D/S required for permit, construction and
  bidding purposes
• S/D/S required for public records
• Documents must provide project information
  and limitations
• S/D/S by person in Responsible Charge only
  (by section of plans or report)
• Documents must include title block with
  name, address, license number of Engineer
  or firm (or government agency)
• Cover sheets must be S/D/S by those in
  Responsible Charge
• Procedures for filing electronic
  signatures and sealing in 61G15-23.003
• Website info at:
   What Must NOT be sealed
• Work done by others not under your direct
• Work done under your supervision but not
  reviewed by you
• Work done that is outside your profession or
• Anything you don’t think is FINAL!!!!
• Anything you have not done due diligence on
       Q – In doing your due
• CH 471.027 F.S. gives engineers statutory
  permission to go on to, over and upon lands
  of others when necessary, to make
  engineering surveys and in doing so to carry
  with them their agents and employees
  necessary for that purpose? The Statutes
  strictly note that entry for this purpose is not
  trespass and not liable for arrest or civil
  action – but don’t damage the property!!
So let’s ask a series of
    Q – Can you knowingly:
• Practice engineering without
• Use the title “registered” or “professional
  engineer” if you are not one?
• Use the suffix P.E. after your name if
• Employ unlicensed people to practice
  engineering without a supervising PE?
Q – Can you knowingly (cont):
• Give false or forged evidence to the
  Board of a member thereof?
• Conceal information relative to
  violations of CH 471?
• Seal drawings the day after your
  registration expired?
 All of these practices are
specifically prohibited by the

 (CH 471.031 FS, and the key is
     the word “knowingly”)
All of these items constitute
criminal misdemeanor and
are punishable by Statute:

How About another series
  of Questions about
           How About….
• Using a seal that says “registered” vs.
  “professional” engineer?
• Not conveying information of violations
  to the Board or FEMC?
• Advertising services fraudulently?
• Violating CH 455 FS
• Using your license for services even if it
  is revoked or suspended?
       And How About….
• Sealing work you did not do?
• Sealing work not done under your
  responsible supervision, direction or
• Having your license revoked in another
• Filing a false report required by law?
• Pleading guilty to a crime involving the
  practice of engineering
The answer to all of these
    questions is…..

   These actions constitute
grounds for disciplinary action
 by the Board of Professional
   And there are many options that
           can be used….
         Disciplinary Actions
•   Denial of License Application
•   Suspension of License
•   Revocation of License
•   Reprimand
•   Probation for a period of time
•   Restriction of practice area
•   Fines up to $1000 for each count
    ($5000 for building code violations)
Then There is…
• Negligence
• Incompetence
• Misconduct
          What about….
• Negligence?
• Negligence is defined as the failure to
  exercise due care in the performance of
  the work…..OR
• Something which an ordinarily prudent
  person would foresee as a risk of harm
  to others if not corrected
 Negligence can constitute
  grounds for disciplinary
   action by the Board of
Professional Engineers, but
  not criminal prosecution
        What about…
• Incompetence?
• Incompetence is defined as a
  lack of ability to perform a
  function OR
• A lack of qualification to perform
  a function
    Incompetence can
  constitute grounds for
 disciplinary action by the
  Board of Professional
Engineers, but not criminal
        What about …
• Misconduct?
• Defined as a transgression of
  some established rule of action
  where no discretion is left
• What this is is any violation of
  CH 471, or any other statutes,
  rule, ordinance, etc….
Misconduct can constitute
 grounds for disciplinary
  action by the Board of
 Professional Engineers,
    including criminal
• Exercise due care when designing,
  inspecting or preparing engineering
  documents and providing counsel
• Do not practice outside the areas of
  your true expertise even if you are
  asked to (or learn more)
• Follow the rules!!
So Let’s Look at a Series of
   (Note, unless otherwise noted,
      these are real cases…)
             Example 1
• Robert H has a PE license in Florida
  and Montana. He is having his license
  acted upon by the licensing agency in
  the State of Montana. What potential
  issues does Robert have with his
  Florida License? What could happen?
         What Did Happen
• Fined him $1000, payable within 30
  days, suspended license until fine is
  paid if beyond 30 days, for having
  action on license in another state
             Example 2
• John P is a civil engineer by training.
  Another engineer brought to the Board’s
  attention that John had signed, dated
  and sealed plans for an electrical
  system at a facility. What potential
  issues does John have with his Florida
  License? What could happen?
          What Did Happen
• Fined $3000 – violation of prohibition against
  negligence, incompetence and misconduct
• Required to take course on professionalism
  and ethics
• Could not practice electrical engineering until
  he passed electrical engineering exam
• Plans had to be reviewed by a registered
  electrical engineer chosen from two or more
  names John submitted to the Board
              Example 3
• Bill M is a civil engineer by training and
  mostly does subdivision work. He filed
  several documents to be recorded in the
  Public Records. The Clerk of Courts
  notified the Board that Bill had not
  properly signed, sealed and dated the
  documents… What potential issues
  does Bill have with his Florida License?
  What could happen?
         What Did Happen
• Fined him $1000, payable within 30
  days, suspended license until fine is
  paid if beyond 30 days for failure to
  properly sign, seal and date public
• Required to take course on
  professionalism and ethics
              Example 4
• Collins is a civil engineer by training.
  His client asked him to prepare a
  treatment facility “just like the guy down
  the road.” Collins obtained the plans,
  copied them and signed, sealed and
  dated them. What potential issues does
  Collins have with his Florida License?
  What could happen?
        What Did Happen
• License placed on probation for a year.
• Terms of probation were determined
  later upon appearance before the Board
  by Collins at a later date (where he was
  fined and had to take a course on
  professionalism and ethics)
             Example 5
• Richard has a degree in civil
  engineering, and a license. His
  company is XYZ Engineering under
  which he and his partners offer
  engineering services. Richard is the
  only PE. What potential issues does
  Richard have with his Florida License?
  What could happen?
• Fined $1000. The corporate
  requirements indicate that where a
  corporation offers engineering services,
  the corporation must obtain a certificate
  of authorization.
Now Perhaps some more
complicated Examples…
  (based on truth, but may be
               Example 6
• Joe is a professional engineer in Florida. He
  designs a complicated pipeline system and
  determines that lined ductile iron pipe is the
  only appropriate material to use to protect the
  health and welfare of the public. His
  extensive analysis determines that PVC,
  HDPE and pre-stressed concrete (PSC) are
  not appropriate for the conditions. Joe’s boss
  is a PE, but loves the guy who sells PSC pipe
  and changes the spec to PSC to help him out.
  What potential issues do Joe or his boss have
  with their Florida Licenses? What could
             Likely Result
• Joe:
  – Joe must report the change to his
    employer and the responsible public
    authority, a difficult position for Joe
• Joe’s boss
  – Fined (negligence, maybe misconduct)
  – Required to take course on
    professionalism and ethics
  – Possible probation or license suspension
                 Example 7
• Pam and Ted work in the same firm and were
  once really close, maybe even dated.
  However, both now feel the other has used
  them to enhance their own careers. Both
  hold degrees in civil engineering, Ted in
  environmental and Pam in structural. Pam
  sees that Ted has signed, sealed and dated
  some plans for a small treatment project that
  include some structural column work for a
  building. Pam files a complaint as a
  registered engineer that Ted is working
  outside his area of expertise. Are there likely
  consequences to either party for this
             Likely Result
• Ted:
  – Pretty irritated, at having to defend himself,
    but unless the structural work was a major
    component of the project and was a
    complicated exercise, likely nothing
    (preferably he had someone under him
    either do the work or check it.
• Pam
  – Fined (false testimony)
  – Required to take course on
    professionalism and ethics
              Example 8…
• Steve is the VP of a multi-state engineering
  firm. He has BS in Civil engineering with 20
  years experience (much of it in project
  management and client relations). He is one
  of two people with a Florida PE license in the
  firm. The firm designs a major WWTP
  expansion in Florida. His firm divides the
  work into five areas in the regional office he
  supervises: structural, electrical, process,
  mechanical and architectural. The structural
  design chief is not licensed, nor is the
  electrical section chief. When the project is to
  be bid and permitted, Steve signs all the
    What Problems do you see…
     What Problems do you
      see…For starters….
• Steve is sealing work that is not within his
  expertise (electrical for sure and likely
  structural – incompetence, negligence)
• Steve is sealing work that is done by people
  not under his direct supervision, although
  they are under the umbrella of his control
• Do we really think Steve reviewed the plans?
• Unlicensed people did much of the work
What if a major structural
component fails…. Then
     Class So who needs 6 -
    Civil/Env/Arch Engineering
 So who needs Civil/Env/Arch
    Engineering Services?
• State Governments
• Local Governments (Cities, Counties &
  special districts/authorities)
• Utilities
• Schools
• Developers
 Many of your clients will be
Governments if you are in the
      private sector
    How should services be
    Selection Criteria Stated
           in FL Law
• Ability of Professional Personnel
• Past Performance
• Location
• Willingness to meet time and budget
• Recent/current/projected workloads
• Use of minorities
• Other published and reasonable criteria
  Acquiring Services - Public
• CCNA applies to public agency solicitations
  for engineering services or design-build
• Applied via total compensation to be earned
• Requires public announcement
• Requires firms be certified as competent prior
  to submittal
• Requires administrative procedures be
  created by the entity
• Requires selection based on
• Advertise
• Defendable/useful/published criteria
• Equitable distribution of work is an intent of
  the law so if two firms are equally qualified,
  the firm with the least work is the one who is
  awarded the work
• Negotiation with highest ranked firm
• Move to second firm only if negotiations with
  top ranked firm have ended (can’t go back)
     Competitive Negotiation
• The entity negotiates a contract with the most
  qualified firm for compensation that is fair,
  competitive and reasonable. A detailed
  analysis of the cost of the services is required
  , considering the scope and complexity of the
• For large projects, a Truth-in-Negotiation
  certificate to indicate that wage rates and unit
  costs are accurate is REQUIRED!!
         Contingent Fees
• What are they? They are “finders’s fees” or
  fees paid to persons who are not bona fide
  employees of the firm for soliciting and/or
  helping to secure work, said fee paid
  contingent upon award of the contract.
• The term “fee” include gifts, commissions or
  other considerations. Can be construed to be
  gifts to elected officials or promises to help
  campaigns if awarded a contract
• This happens and is a criminal action which
  must be reported.
            NSPE Ethics
• NSPE publishes and updates a Code of
  Ethics for Engineers which covers many
• Maintains a list of opinions about ethics
• Maintains a list of cases brought against
  engineers by NSPE, many of these are
  incorporated into State and local
  NSPE Ethics Fundamentals
• Safety, health and welfare of public is
• Provide service only in your area of
• Be objective and truthful
• Avoid deceptive acts
• Act as faithful agent for client
• Always act honorably, responsibly, lawfully
  and ethically to enhance the profession
           Specific Issues
• Notify the client or other authority when
  judgment is over-ruled
• Approve plans and specs when prepared by
  you or under your supervision and in
  conformity with applicable standards
• Sign and seal only those areas you are
  competent to seal, have appropriate others
  sign and seal the other parts
• Maintain client confidence
• Report violations of the Code and cooperate
  with information during investigations
            Specific Issues
• Express opinions based on the facts, in an
  objective manner
• Avoid statements or criticisms paid for by
  interested parties unless identifying the party
  you are speaking for (just like lawyers)
• Disclose all potential conflicts of interest to
• Do not accept compensation from more than
  one party for the same work
• Provide no gifts or contribution that may be
  reasonably construed as trying to influence
  award of projects
          Specific Issues
• No contingent fees
• Take responsibility for errors
• Do not alter or distort facts
• Advise clients when projects are less
  than successful
• Maintain the public interest,first, not
  your own
• Improve public perception of engineers
          Specific Issues
• Review the plans of another engineer
  only when the other engineer is advised
  you are doing so
• Public sector engineers are entitled to
  review work of other engineers
• Download the test from the Florida
  Licensing Board. Answer and justify
  your responses (40 multiple guess)

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