American Society of Civil Engineers

Engineering Ethics and Structural Calculations

by Joshua B. Kardon, Ph.D., S.E., M.ASCE, (Company Structural Engineers, 1930 Shattuck Avenue, Suite C, Berkeley, California 94704 E-mail:
Section: Ethics and the Expert Witness, pp. 497-503, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Forensic Engineering 2009: Pathology of the Built Environment
Abstract: Various organizations publish and promulgate Codes of Ethics which are intended to guide practitioners in their relationships with their clients, with their colleagues, and with the general public. Structural computations are intended to substantiate the judgment of the engineer and present the engineer’s design intent. They also depict, for the purpose of explaining to others, the modeling and analysis of the intended structure, and its anticipated response to the demands which it must withstand to provide intended performance over its intended useful life. This paper examines the correlation between the ethical responsibility of the engineer and the modeling and mathematical computations used by the engineer. Examples will be presented where there has been a disconnect between the structural computations and the ethical responsibility of the engineer.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Structural analysis
Professional practice