Why engineers should be ethical politicians
The paramount idea I am advocating is this; the safety and health of the public are put at risk if the same kind of people keeps political power in the future. Consequently what I mean is a person with no engineering background or similar trades in positions of power chose not to act in the best interest of the public when their careers are on the line.  The world is changing at a blinding pace; the challenges of global warming, population growth, and rapidly advancing technology, are behemoth problems the general public needs help to tackle, and engineers to rise to their public duty.  Moreover I believe the threats to humanity will overwhelm the political structure we currently have unless engineers are at the helm to meet them and dislodge those in power. What made me believe this somewhat radical idea is there are several human-made disasters we have covered in the class discussion, caused by people with little to no engineering experience making engineering decisions and catastrophe and appealing resulting from those decisions. 
Moreover, a feature of these cases is only a few people are directly affected; while it’s a tragedy for people to lose their lives to the sizes of the disasters in these cases are small in scale. The disaster I wish to bring your attention to is on an enormous scale in which an entire city suffered.  The event in question is dubbed the Flint Water Crisis; it is a case where thousands of
An attempt to save money by changing water sources by an indifferent government caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, negative health effects, and a total loss in faith in the government of Michigan. Although measures have been taken to mitigate these problems, their effects have already marred the city of Flint and its
In the initial report by the City of Flint, the city refers to the Flint Water Crisis as a “man-made disaster caused by the City switching to the Flint River as a water source in 2014.” Also, the report stated that Water Resource Centers, located around the city, would provide water filters, bottled water, and at-home water test kits free of charge to Flint residents. This statement shows the integrity, a characteristic of being ethical, of the City because the city took responsibility for the Crisis and followed through on the responsibility by providing goods and service free of cost to residents.
The Flint water crisis has left no one from the damage, even the pets are getting sick of the poisoned water. That was what residents Lee and Ernie of Flint Michigan saw with their cat. Flint is a city in Michigan with a total population of approximately one hundred thousand residents. The issue with the water for Flints and its residents stated in 2014 when the city decided to switch from their water resource from the city of Detroit to a local river. Immediately after the switch residents filed complaints about the water’s smell and color. In Ryan Felton’s “Flint’s Water Crisis: What went wrong,” it is apparent that the crisis should not have happened, and that flint was neglected just because it was an impoverished city.
What are the most important elements of survival? Food and water, would you not agree? Imagine living without one of these essentials, life would then become questioned. For the children and residents of Flint, Michigan one of these essential necessities for living has been compromised by natural forces. Yet the individuals who are in charge of caring for this life changing problem have neither acknowledged or made any moves to ensure the survival of the impoverished city and its citizens.
The Flint Water Crisis: What went wrong, article was written by Ryan Felton in January 16, 2016. The story of the article takes place in Flint, Michigan. The city of Flint experienced a crisis that has not been experienced in any other city across the nation. The article states that what happen in flint should not have happened, a city with 100,000 residents should not have to worry about poisoned water running into their homes. The water issue started when Flint appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley, decided to switch Flint’s water source form the city of Detroit to a local Flint River. This switched was aim to find a cheap alternative water source for the residents. However, what the officials failed to do was to test the water and see
From what you now know about the Flint, Michigan water crisis, write a minimum of 2 paragraphs capturing the following information:
There currently is a problem in the US with the government and how they cut corners with the water problem in Flint, Michigan. About two years ago, Michigan’s government decided they would save money by switching the water supply in Flint, Michigan. Before, Flint was getting their water from Lake Huron. Now, they are getting their water from the Flint River, known by it’s filth through the people of Flint. When reporters interviewed long-time residents of Flint they were shocked at the decision. The decision was supposed to be temporary, it wasn’t planned for it to go on for almost two years. Soon after the switch, the people of Flint saw the water didn’t look, smell, or taste right. It was almost as if the water was brown and you could see the dirt in it. Most people thought it was sewage but it turn out to be iron. The Flint River is highly contaminated, 19 times more so than Lake Huron. The state Department of Environmental Quality wasn’t treating the river so, the water was building up iron which caused the water to turn brown. The water was worse than it seemed, half the service line to homes in Flint are made of lead because the water wasn’t treated like it was supposed to be. The lead got into the water and mixed with the iron. The fire stations are helping with providing free bottled water and water filters for the homes. The fire stations also gave out lead testing kits
To begin with, the problem was the water contained elevated levels of iron and lead. The problem was such a huge issue because it affected every resident in Flint. Water is a major essential to one’s daily life and dozens of families were using the water supply for several purposes such as showering, drinking, cooking, washing one’s car or home, and watering plants. Furthermore, worried parents are going to the doctor because of rashes and hair loss, it also affected children by dropping their IQ, affecting their behavior, and it has also been inked to criminality and has multigenerational impacts. As a result, the fault of the problem lies with the state DEQ. It was said that the state ignored federal law and didn’t use an anti-corrosive agent to treat the water.
Background: Flint had several types of industries operating out of its city limit for most part of the last century. By the end of last century Flint had lost several businesses which led to high rate of unemployment and loss of government revenue which, in turn, led to a failure to provide services to its residents. In 2011 Michigan governor Rick Snyder appointed an emergency financial manager to handle Flint’s budget. Ever since Michigan took over Flint’s beleaguered finances in 2011, it has been trying to cut costs whenever possible.
The situation in Flint was a completely avoidable tragedy, however, due to the secrecy of the state, its terrible decisions, and the DEQ completely ignoring a federal law, it happened. Flint will always be crippled by that terrible mistake that was made so nonchalantly by the DEQ and the state. The lead will always be in the pipes and will transfer into the water even if it’s completely clean. Those residents will turn out to have learning disabilities, behavioral issues, growth issues, and more because of the state’s the the DEQ’s inability to make the right decision. They had so many opportunities to stop this tragedy or at least make it less severe, each time they decided against it to try and help themselves. This terrible disaster could
This is where decisions began to be made that lead to the Flint’s water crisis. Ed Kurtz, who is emergency manager, hires an engineer team to switch the water source of the city of Flint. Their plan was to switch the water source from Detroit and move it to the water coming from Lake Huron. This would save the city of Flint nineteen-million dollars over eight years. But before they could change their water sources, they would have to temporarily use the water from the Flint river. This would allow the Flint city’s engineers to build the pipeline to Lake Huron. (Sanburn J. G., 2016). On April twenty-fifth 2014 the city of Flint switched its water source from Detroit to the river of Flint.
The city of Flint, Michigan has lived on the edge ever since 2014. Residents in a city in one of the most developed countries are living in fear as they are facing a crisis; the city’s water supply is contaminated and could lead to sickness and even death. It is very strange that the most powerful country in the world has a water problem. Adding to the weirdness is that this crisis has gone on for four years and it is still going in the most advanced nation on earth. How did this problem start? What damage did this do in the city of Flint and its residents? What is the government doing to solve this problem?
Industrial Engineers often face the ethical dilemma of attempting to balance costs with quality and safety. Company management pressures Industrial systems engineers to design processes that are cost efficient, time constrained, and produce a high quality output. This puts the engineer in a tricky balancing act in which they are trying to make every stakeholder happy. Taking risks in order to create cost efficient solutions is not specific to only industrial engineers but applies to all disciplines of engineering, making this topic a relevant discussion. However, this conflict is especially true in a manufacturing setting where industrial engineers thrive, machine operators are often overworked, companies make products in high stakes, large batches, and the range of quality acceptance is growing ever smaller. A relevant example is the engineer who was designing a chemical plant in Mexico. In order to achieve the correct viscosity of the paint stripper, the engineer asked the plant operator to babysit the chemical mixture and manually release the valve when necessary. Engineering management’s decision puts the plant worker at a safety risk in order to achieve a tighter quality and standardization of the chemical stripper production process. Ultimately, this resulted in the catastrophic death of the plant worker and the destruction of the plant.
Engineering is a pylon of human development and technology,having a significant impact on people’s daily lives. Engineering has improved humanity in every aspect (e.g. transportation, communication, medicine) and it has the potential to overcome the challenges that mankind still faces. However, engineers have responsibility for their actions and they must learn to follow a set of ethical principles relating to their work. All of which have to be followed to the letter otherwise there can be severe consequences.