Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 303–314 | Cite as

Professional standards: Can they shape practice in an international context?

  • Vivian M. Weil


A summary of the career of a Russian engineer who practiced a century ago in western Europe, as well as in Russia, provides an example of how ethical standards can influence practice across national boundaries. An examination of his career and his conception of engineering, of the evolution of engineering standards and codes, and of the process of formulating codes in particular instances explains how international standards can shape practice in an international context.


engineering codes engineering standards international professional standards 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Graham, L. (1993) The Ghost of the Executed Engineer, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    From recent research by a Russian historian of science and engineering, we learn that in Russia in the 19th century, there were some excellent engineering schools, among them, the Mining Institute in St. Petersburg, Tarasova, V. (1998) “Engineering Education in Russia,” English translation from an unpublished paper.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Graham, The Ghost of the Engineer, p. 14.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    John G. Burke provided this history in 1966 “Bursting Boilers and the Federal Power,” Technology and Culture 7/1: 1–23. The article won the Payson Usher prize of the Society for the History of Technology.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
  6. 8.
    Shapiro, S. (1997) Degrees of Freedom: The Interaction of Standards of Practice and Engineering Judgement, Science, Technology, and Human Values 22/3 (Summer), pp. 286–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 9.
    This information was confirmed in conversation with Sidney Guralnick, Professor of Civil Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Samuel Florman provides a glimpse of the debate in “Moral Blueprints,” Harper’s Magazine, October, 1978.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    Davis, M. (1998) “Reflections on the History of Engineering in the United States: A Preface to Engineering Ethics,” Chapter 2, Thinking Like An Engineer, Oxford University Press, UK.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Opragen Publications 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian M. Weil
    • 1
  1. 1.Study of Ethics CenterIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations