Uploaded by Hafizah Ali


Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
BEE 10202 / BEE 32302
Engineers and Society
Chapter 1:
The Engineering Profession
Prepared by Dr Chia Kim Seng, MIET
Oct 2020
The Aim of the Course:
The aim of the Course is to enable student
to comprehend on the scope, role and
responsibilities of engineers in the society.
The Outcomes of the Course:
1.1 Engineers and their profession
1.2 Branches of engineering
1.3 Qualities and skills of good engineer
1.4 Engineering Institutions
1.5 The role of Engineering in Society
Public Perception
•High esteem
•Good job
•‘Square’/ Rigid
•Well paid
•Socially inept
(hard to adapt)
1.1 Engineers and their profession
• An engineer is a person professionally engaged in a field of
• A vocation (profession) whose principal duty is to serve mankind
• Applying knowledge to create
• practical devices,
• structures and
• processes
• In contrast: Scientist aims to seek knowledge
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• Engineering - origins of the word
• Practical form of art and a profession, evolved from the work of builders
thousands of years ago
• Originated probably in the Middle Ages around 1000-1200 AD(Anno Domino
or Current Era)
• There were mainly builders of civil and mechanical structures such as
buildings, bridges, roads, mills and war machines
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• Engineering
• is the discipline and profession of applying technical and scientific
knowledge and utilizing natural laws and physical resources in order to
design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and
processes that safely realize a desired objective and meet specified criteria
• Profession
• in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by
study, experience, applied practices with judgement, to develop ways to
utilize economically the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• Definition of Engineering - IEM (Institution of Engineers Malaysia)
• Share a common heritage of knowledge, skill and art
• Renders (give) a specialized services
• Involves a confidential relationship between practitioner-client and/or
• Is charged with a substantial degree of public obligation (duty)
• Is bound by a distinctive Ethical Code
• Has learned organizations or societies
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• What is the difference between profession and professionalism?
• Profession (noun) - dictionary.cambridge.org
• any type of work that needs special training or a particular skill, often one
that is respected because it involves a high level of education.
• Professionalism (noun) - dictionary.cambridge.org
• the combination of all the qualities that are connected with trained and
skilled people.
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• What is the difference between profession and professionalism?
• Profession
• Involve the application of specialised knowledge of a subject, field, or science
to fee-paying clientele.
• Claim authority on specific professional knowledge and skill.
• Possess criteria for membership privilege, obligation and rights
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• What is the difference between profession and professionalism?
• Characteristics of Profession
• Having a specialized knowledge and skill
• Have undergone a recognized educational process successfully
• Having acquired a standard of specialized qualification based on a specific
discipline of education and proven competence
• Action guided by a standard of conduct based upon ethical code
• Status recognition
• Involved actively in an organization devoted to common advancement
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• What is the difference between profession and professionalism?
• Professionalism
Professional status, methods, character, or standards.
Refer to members common way of thinking and living.
Sense of moral and vocational (profession) satisfaction.
Professional attitudes and motivation based on community recognition and level of
A self imposed standards of excellence in its performance
Sharing advances in professional knowledge by rendering gratuitous services to
Professional activity carrying high level responsibility
Motivation for service
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
In various fields
of engineering
Engineering skills
use in the
following areas
1.1 Engineers and their profession (cont.)
• Summary – Engineering is
• A profession: it has standards of conduct, responsibilities, is
based on specialized knowledge and members can attain
professional status in well-defined ways.
• An art as well as science: experience and practice is required.
• The application of professional judgement in seeking optimum
• The utilization of resources: nature, forces, energy, material,
• An exercise in optimizing economic cost.
1.2 Branches of engineering
• 16 Technical Divisions and 4 Special Interest Groups + 2 sections
1. Agricultural and Food Engineering
12.Information and Communications Technology Special
2. Building Services
Interest Group
13.Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture
3. Chemical Engineering
14.Mechanical Engineering
4. Civil and Structural Engineering
15.Oil, Gas and Mining Engineering
5. Consulting Engineering
16.Project Management
6. Electrical Engineering
17.Public Sector Engineers Special Interest Group
7. Electronic Engineering
18.Tunneling and Underground Space Engineering
8. Engineering Education
19.Water Resources Engineering
9. Environmental Engineering
21.Women Engineer
10. Geotechnical Engineering
22.Seniors Special Interest Group
11. Highway and Transportation Engineering
23.Urban Engineering Development Special Interest Group
1.3 Qualities and skills of good engineer
• Competence is the ability to carry out appropriate tasks to an effective
standard. Achieving competence requires the right level of underpinning
knowledge, understanding and skill, as well as a professional attitude.
• Competence is developed by a combination of formal and informal
learning, as well as training and experience. There are five generic areas of
competence and commitment for all registrants, broadly covering:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Design and development of processes, systems, services and products
• Responsibility, management or leadership
• Communication and interpersonal skills
• Professional commitment.
1.3 Qualities and skills of good engineer
• Commitment is a set of values, rules of conduct, and obligations that
maintain and enhance the reputation of the engineering profession and
the individual.
• They are required to show that they have adopted a set of values and
behaviours that will maintain and enhance the reputation of the
• To become professionally registered, engineers and technicians must
provide evidence of:
• Complying with codes of conduct
• Managing and applying safe systems of work
• Undertaking engineering activities in a way that contributes to sustainable
• Carrying out Continuing Professional Development (CPD) necessary to maintain and
enhance competence
• Actively participating within the profession.
1.4 Engineering Institutions
• The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) was established in 1959
and its primary function is to promote and advance the science and
profession of engineering in any or all of its disciplines and to
facilitate the exchange of information and ideas related to
- https://www.myiem.org.my/content/introduction-261.aspx
1.4 Engineering Institutions (cont.)
• Professional bodies who are signatories of Washington
Accord: Latest info: http://www.bem.org.my/engineeringaccreditation-council
1.5 The role of Engineering in Society
• Engineers act as a leader to technicians, craftsmen and workers
• Engineers should be
familiar with the skills of his/her subordinates, and in addition to that,
make decisions,
and foresee,
assess, and
solve problems
1.5 The role of Engineering in Society (cont.)
• with rules of conduct pertaining
• Who is permitted to practice?
• What are an engineer’s obligations to his/her client or employer
and his/her colleagues?
• What further obligations does an engineer owe to society?
• By what standards shall an engineer be compensated (rewarded)?
• How and by whom shall an engineer’s professional conduct be
1.5 The role of Engineering in Society (cont.)
• “Risk is inherent in the activities undertaken by engineering professionals, and members
of the profession have a significant role to play in managing and limiting risk.”
• “Security can be defined as the state of relative freedom from threat or harm caused by
deliberate, unwanted, hostile or malicious acts. It operates on a number of levels ranging
from national security issues to countering crime.”
• “Professional engineers and technicians are increasingly required to play a leadership
role in sustainable development, overcoming global challenges such as the depletion of
resources, environmental pollution, rapid population growth and damage to
• “Whistleblowing is defined by the UK Whistleblowing Commission as ‘the raising of a
concern, either within the workplace or externally, about a danger, risk, malpractice or
wrongdoing which affects others’.”
1.1 Engineers and their profession
1.2 Branches of engineering
1.3 Qualities and skills of good engineer
1.4 Engineering Institutions
1.5 The role of Engineering in Society
• Other – as that stated with the given links.