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Citicorp Tower Controversy Summary

Satisfactory Essays
William LeMessurier and the Citicorp Tower controversy provide examples of engineering ethics. He followed the NSPE Code of Ethics when dealing with the tower’s faults. The decision to tell his employers and ultimately fix the tower showed that he acknowledged his errors, acted as a faithful agent to his employers, and that he held paramount the safety of the public as seen in professional obligations 1 and the fundamental canons 4 and 1. Even when faced with the moral decision of risking his reputation by fixing the tower, he still thought that the safety of the public was more important than his own personal gain. He was willing to admit his errors and fix the tower.
As the main structural engineer on the project, it was up to LeMessurier to decide what to do with the tower. LeMessurier took responsibility for the tower when he learned that it could fall. From the first professional obligation, “engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts” (NSPE). He did this by telling Citicorp’s executives about the flaw, and creating a plan to weld the joints. As shown in fundamental canon 4, engineers must “act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees” (NSPE). LeMessurier had a moral obligation to tell his employers that the Citicorp Tower needed to be
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He was placed into a situation where he had to decide between his own reputation and the safety of other people. He had to assess the good consequences (a safe skyscraper) and the bad consequences (a potential harm to his reputation by admitting that the tower was faulty), and weigh the outcomes. He acknowledged his errors in engineering the Citicorp Tower and he acted as a faithful agent to his employer by telling them this. He ultimately fixed the tower and kept the public safe, which according to the first fundamental canon of the NSPE code of ethics is the most important rule of practice for
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