The Engineer's Role

by Frederick J. Clarke, (F.ASCE), Chief of Engrs.; Dept. of the Army, Ofc. of the Chief of Engrs., Washington, DC,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pg. 163-167

Document Type: Journal Paper


Much has been written and said about the role of the engineer. While the specific language may vary widely, most versions are woven with a common philosophical thread that tells us, in substance, that the engineer's work is performed for the benefit of society. Increasingly over the past decade a genuine sense of alarm has grown throughout the country over the degradation of the environment, depletion of resources, and irretrievable losses of the natural settings that sustain the life cycles upon which man is dependent. The new need for centering the engineering profession on society and its problems will require an additional infusion of knowledge at the undergraduate level with courses related to ecology, sociology, government, philosophy, economics, and political science. To fill the needs of society, the engineer must first be heard, then clearly, and finally, believed and heeded.

Subject Headings: Chemical degradation | Life cycles | Engineering education | Professional societies | Undergraduate study | Ecosystems | Social factors | Government

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