Are We Losing Professional Integrity 

By on

'Integrity' highlighted in greenI have been thinking recently that there appears to be less professional integrity around than when I first started my career in electrical engineering. Recently the IET has also had a discussion around if engineers should sign an engineering equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath. While I’m not necessarily in favour of swearing oaths, it does illustrate that I’m not the only one thinking about integrity and ethics.

When I first started my career,  most professionals seemed to have a genuine interest in putting together the best solutions possible; within their ability and circumstances.  Everything wasn’t perfect, but people took pride in their work and wanted to make sure it was right for it’s own sake.  If things went wrong, they would try to fix it rather than cover it up. Today a lot of engineers seem preoccupied with salary, advancement, and being seen politically as acceptable.  Often I see really unsafe and poorly engineered solutions put forward as normal business practice and accepted without question.

I’m not saying that salary and advancement are un-important, nor that maintaining your integrity and standing up for it when the pack is against you is easy – but have we gone to far and lost something?  While a surgeon may one day want to be head of surgery at a large hospital, would we still expect him first and foremost to be a doctor.  Is it the same with electrical professionals. 

Personally I do feel that we seem to be losing integrity at the expense of … I guess materialism and personal gratification.

What do you think.  Have we lost integrity or do we still have it.  Should integrity even be expected or is looking only to yourself acceptable.



Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



Robotics - Home Innovations

We have a sister note to this (Robots - Interesting Video), in which I have posted some videos of interesting robots developed by commercial corporations...

Lead us, Warleader

Delum, who had watched all in silence, his face empty of expression, now spoke in turn. ' "Lead us, Warleader, into glory."' Reading is something I do...

Microsoft OneNote

A couple of months ago I came Microsoft's OneNote and downloaded the 60 day free trail. Since then I have been using it regularly and now have a full license...

DC Motor Operation

Coils of wire on the rotor carry a d.c. current which generates a magnetic field. A stator magnetic field is created using either permanent magnets or...

Arc Flash Calculations

Working in the vicinity of electrical equipment poses an hazard. In addition to electric shock hazard, fault currents passing through air causes Arc Flash...

Why a Sine Wave?

I received this question by email a few weeks. First thoughts was that it is a product of the mathematics of rotating a straight conductor in a magnetic...

IEEE Winds of Change

IEEE TV has a part series of videos on wind power and it's implication. For a really good overview to the technologies and issues around wind power, these...

Getting Started with Patents

If you have a great idea or invent something the last thing you want is someone to steal the idea. One of the things you can do is protect the intellectual...

Cable Sizing Software

When sizing cables nearly, everyone uses some form of software. This ranges from homespun spreadsheets to complex network analyses software. Each has its...

Motor Insulation

Insulation on a motor prevents interconnection of windings and the winding to earth.  When looking at motors, it is important to understand how the insulation...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note