Engineering Professionalism—A Light at the End of the Tunnel

by Dan H. Pletta, (F.ASCE), Univ. Prof. Emeritus; Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, Va.,
George A. Gray, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Dean of Engrg.; Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, Va.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 157-163

Document Type: Journal Paper


Rigorous and adequate education of future engineers that is practice-oriented will be needed if all engineers are to be accepted as professionals dedicated to societal service. The public then will have the utmost confidence in their technical competence, particularly if they assume a leadership role. But society cannot wait. Technology is accelerating too fast. A rededication to morals and professional ethics, as well as a willingness to maintain technical currency, will be required. Not all will try. Some will not be capable. Those who can will have to work that much harder. If all of these pros do protect the public interest at all costs, they all will be accorded the stature some of us have sought for all of our number but never quite achieved. Such stature might be obtained sooner and society benefited more if all of these pros would contract for their services to corporate or governmental entities and cease working as employees seeking more security and fringe benefits.

Subject Headings: Engineering profession | Light (artificial) | Tunnels | Education | Professional societies | Social factors | Public services | Leadership

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