Question 5: In this technological age, the power of the engineers in shaping the society and environment in all pervading and can profoundly affect the lives of many members of society. Enumerate, from your personal experience, how largely positive impacts have accrued from the contributions of engineers. Answer: Introduction In the eyes of public, an engineer is a professional man who is of sufficient training, expertise, and integrity to be able to act with independence and impartiality in his professional judgments to ensure trust and confidence of public.
Since the ancient era to recent technological age, the participation and contribution of engineers have been seen in all ways of life. The involvement and contributions of engineers are tremendous and playing important roles in almost all aspects of human being life. Let us discuss from the following few angles:
HSE Engineers in their profession shall identify the safety and health risks in their works, assess them and take steps to minimize and control these risks in the work place and public arena. Engineers are involved in the search for safer work places and products.
These search for improved safety benefited in reducing accidents and harm to the public. Engineers are keenly aware that their work and recommendations can have a very major impact on the environment that we live in. The very car that we drive emits carbon dioxide that is causing warming of the atmosphere that eventual could lead to massive environmental disasters later. Engineers are at the very core of the research and development into ways and means to reduce emissions by example of hybrid cars, cars running on hydrogen or biofuel alternative.
Engineer has reduced greatly the negative impact from the sewerage generated by the increasing population. The sewerage produced by a human being if not treated properly, will cause disastrous to the environment. Imagine what is going to happen if the underground water and rivers are contaminated by sewerage. Therefore the engineer’s effort in the construction of the sewerage treatment plant has greatly impact in preservation of environment.
Engineers contributed very significantly to a country’s development from an agricultural economy to one that includes manufacturing, communication services and exploitation of the country’s natural resources like tin, hydropower, oil and gas. They built the infrastructure and the tools necessary for progress. Without road, highways, bridges, clean water supply, electrical power supply, telephone and cell phone communication, we would be living lives in the jungle, where it will be dark at night and water is from well. Engineers build new townships and residential areas which create more jobs opportunity to the adjacent areas.
In the city, engineers build high rise building which maximize land usages, provide a better and comfortable working environment to increase quality & productivity of work. Engineers also forecast & plan for future water demands & make proposals to solve current water supply problems. Example: Proposal of building new water treatment plants & reservoirs, or replacement of old pipelines to reduce loses due to leakages and so on, all these were developed and built with the input from engineers. One of the engineer’s contributions that have major impact of the lives of many members of society is in the Transportation sector.
Better transportation networks such as PLUS, KESAS, ELITE, will boost many new residential area & township development of suburban area. Upgrading of road network and transportation system improve production and economy; improve unity of nation and communication between state. People find easier and more convenient in moving around from one place to anther place. It only takes about 4 hours to travel from Penang to KL with North South Highway. Rest & Recreation Area provide a place for road users to rest and a new optional place for food, recreation and public services.
Engineers also help in providing good public transportation network which enhance country image. Moving around in big city in Klang Valley using Light Rail Transit and Monorail System can avoid the congestion of traffic, overcome the problem of scarcity of car parks and shorten the period of time to reach the destination. Engineers provide solution for limited space in a city by efficiency of interchange, solve foundation and stability problem, carry out value engineering for optimization of cost which make more development for limited capital a nation has.
Beside this, the improvement in the telecommunication contributed by the engineers in the field of electrical, electronic and computer engineering have resulted to a better quality of lives. Satellite TV and cell phones together with computer and internet have enabled us to communicate instantly and anywhere on earth, so that we are now more informed than ever with the information that can be searched for and accessed more readily. One can communicate with their friends, family members, business partners or clients at any place, and anytime.
The advancement in communication coupled with the better physical communication such as transportation network have bring not just better quality of life, but also have increased business activities, more decision can be made daily, more people can be involved in business activities, more income generated for company and individual, and the taxes collected by the government as well.
Innovation on equipment and machine
The life expectancy of the population at large is getting longer and part of the reason is the health service providers like hospital being equipped with better tools and machines e. g. -rays and scanners developed and built by engineers. Medicine has been made more cheaply and widely available by new techniques.
Engineering practices and knowledge that have been put in the design, application and production of hearing aids and other equipment such as lasers for optometric correction is a significant contribution to the better welfare of human being. The home is typically equipped with airconditioning and washing machine that engineers contributed in the development and manufacturing so that we can live a more comfortable life with more time for more productive and creative activities.
Conclusion Engineer’s professional behavior require that they act faithfully to their employer or clients, be competent in their field of work, gain required technical know-how and work experience, put the safety of the public in profound regards, protect the environment, contribute to sustainable development, make objective and truthful report to the public if needed, avoid conflict of interest in the job and to act honorably and respectfully in their professional conduct.
The most important aspect is that any advice given has to be fair, objective, impartial, and has to be in the best interest of the public in general and client in particular, in order to instill public confidence and trust. Engineers must be seen as a person with total integrity in his work and no compromise to his professional judgment.
These behaviors generally spill over to the professional’s conduct in public and thereby contributing to a better work place and to the society from the services and products they have generated. All of these have resulted a quantum leap in human civilization and all these cannot be happened without engineers.
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