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Body Of Knowledge: Ethical Responsibility In Engineering And Construction Education And National/Global Professional Bidding Practice

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.264.1 - 10.264.8



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Paper Authors

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Hani Tohme

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Enno Koehn

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Body of Knowledge: Ethical Responsibility in Engineering and Construction Education and National/Global Professional Bidding Practice

Enno “Ed” Koehn, Hani Tohme Lamar University/City of Beaumont Water Utilities Division


The efficient management of the cost and duration of a project involves the utilization of a productive labor force. This is true in both economically developed and developing countries. It is important, therefore, that ethically responsible decisions are required of project personnel. Some areas throughout the world, however, are experiencing a problem with ethics and corruption. Numerous firms, agencies, individuals, and educational institutions have also been involved with unethical activity. In order to fight the problem, a task force has been established by international engineering and construction firms. This paper reviews and investigates the level of corruption at the national/international level and presents a concept that may explain why it is happening. An approach is also presented, utilizing the application of a computer system, which may assist in eliminating or reducing the problem. Another solution to the corruption problem may be to develop an international code of ethics that could possibly sharply restrict those practices which U.S. engineers perceive as being unethical5. These concepts can be discussed at the university level in an educational seminar or course devoted to the study of professional and ethical responsibility in engineering.

Request for Proposal or Bid

The contracting system tends to be traditional throughout various regions of the globe7,8. In this regard, there are different sources from which the invitation to bid or request for a proposal may originate. As an example, a contract may consist of a single package and, therefore, will be contracted either to a nominated supplier to the main contractor or to a direct supplier to the owner. In this case, the owner usually publishes the contract in the newspaper and invites companies to submit a proposal or bid on the project. The owner generally has a team of engineers and consultants who review the submittals to obtain the optimum price and recommend awarding the contract to a specific firm. In contrast, the owner may invite specific firms to bid or submit a proposal on the entire project, which may involve millions of dollars worth of work, and also effectively limit the number of potential submittals. Here, bribery and corruption could easily occur. The owner may also break the project into different sub-projects and invite companies to respond to various sections. This approach encourages small and medium companies to be involved with different sub-projects. Since many small, medium and large firms may compete with each other, the total price of the entire project may be reduced by Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Tohme, H., & Koehn, E. (2005, June), Body Of Knowledge: Ethical Responsibility In Engineering And Construction Education And National/Global Professional Bidding Practice Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15340

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