An Ethical Engineer – Electrical Engineering Essay

John Mulligan came from a long line of respectable Irish professionals that had made a name for themselves in Rhode Island. His descendants had emigrated from Ireland during The Great Famine of 1854 in search of a better life in the New World. It was sheer faith that had that led them across the high seas to a land of freedom and liberty full of unimaginable opportunities for success. From the money in the family kitty, the Mulligan patriarch, a former mathematics teacher decided to invest the rest of his money in building a home in this new land and educating his five sons. Milton Mulligan was a very strict man, known for disciplining his sons whenever they did anything that contravened the households ideals but on the flipside gave his children an opportunity to choose whichever career it was that one was drawn to. Out of his five sons, two came medical doctors, while the rest delved into engineering. Milton’s goal in life was to leave behind a respectable family that would make the world a better place through serving others. He was of the opinion that, as a devout Roman Catholic, his Christian duty was to first take care of all those who were around him and how best to do it then to churn out professionals into the society? Milton was well aware that this was his unique way of serving God.

Any individual from the Rhode Island area with the Mulligan surname was either a lawyer, doctor or engineer, perhaps a strong legacy of the clan. From a very young age, John was well aware of the task that lay ahead of him and what was required of him. He was to keep uphold all the ideals that had defined the Mulligan family and knew the family and knew that he too had to choose a path to follow. From a very young age, he had been fascinated by electrical appliances in his home. He often tried to make out how these gadgets worked and what the underlying principles behind these wonders were; a journey that saw him dig even deeper into books. His analytical mind would always be thinking about a sum or two and how it could be applied in a real life situation to solve man’s problems and all that might be plaguing them at any particular time. It was not long until his exceptional academic prowess in Chemistry and Physics became evident in elementary and high school with ivy league universities all over the United States seeking to provide a full scholarship to study in their institutions of excellence.

John soon came to the awareness that his affair with electricity and the engineering bit of it was not going to end soon. In particular, his enrollment into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) further reinforced this notion as he was now studying electrical engineering. It was an area of study that appealed to him, always sad when the lectures ended and enthused by the start of a new week of study. It was this unwavering commitment that saw him thrive in class, scoring plain A’s in all his modules and establishing himself as an academic giant. Moreover, he was actively involved in research and project initiation which saw him gain national recognition for his exemplary excellence in solving those debacles that were before man. It did not come as a surprise to anyone when he graduated top of his class with honors, a feat which was much appreciated by his father who was himself also an electrical engineer. While charging him, his reminded him of his duty as a professional in the world, putting honor and integrity before everything. That was the Mulligan way and he was expected to fulfill it to the letter.

No sooner was his graduation ceremony over, than he received an offer from General Electric to work with them as a senior electric engineer. It was true that his stars had aligned; but also was that he would be living up to his family tradition of servant leadership. His career took off at this prestigious firm with many acknowledging his brilliance and how proactive he was while dealing with any situation that presented itself.  He was surely a rising star in the firm, that was until he decided to quit his job at this reputable. According to him, the best way to serve the community and all humanity at large was to give back to the community by sharing the knowledge that he has in electrical engineering. He finally came to a decision and accepted an offer from his former University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to teach and mentor the next generation of professionals. At first, many could not understand why he had made such a rash decision but he elucidated point of view to them, which saw him gain steady popularity amongst young academics and their teachers alike.

As a certified electrical engineer, it meant that part of lecturing and research, John would also be part of the universities renovation and construction projects. He enjoyed his new working environment, working under an architect, John Wick, while the person at the helm of administration was, Ben Coax, an individual without any technical background. The primary reason why he found himself in this position of power was that of his supposed shrewdness in administration. It was for this reason, that an individual who was a professional in the social science became the lead figure in making decisions for all the projects in the University. A matter of concern was the fact that he never sought the counsel of the engineers when making decisions on the project’s estimates and more often than not presented them directly to the university officials. Many times, it became evident that the actual cost of the project was inflated and whenever word got out, the engineers would be under a lot of pressure from Mr. Coax to essentially cut corners. An occasion that was of particular concern to John, was the renovation of the institute’s warehouse for the sole purpose of converting it into an office for the new staff members.

John provided clear specifications for this project; the installation of a system of exit lights together with a fire detection technology. His main reason for having this clear specification’s was to ensure that the building code for all structures within the vicinity is adhered to. Mr. Coax went further to insist the deletion of the safety features for this particular project. The reason was quite obvious, he wanted to bring the real cost of the project closer to his impracticable estimate. John was the first individual to take note of this anomaly and brought it to the attention of Mr. Coax. His approach was civil as he first wanted to inform his superior that the decisions he was making were rash and at the same time bordering on unethical practices. Mr. Coax, on the other hand, did not budge and saw this as an attack on him and the power that he wields. John objects these policies on grounds that they go against all that he stands for and the profession that he had dedicated all his life to. When John refuses to be in congruence with these proposed plans, Mr. Coax decides to change tact leveling formal charges against him while claiming that he has been a disruptive influence in the project hell-bent on ensuring that it fails.

John’s immediate superior, the architect, was not in agreement with all that was taking place and was certain that he was innocent. He, however, did not stand up for John in any way to avoid any direct clash with his superior, leaving John alone and with no one to defend him. These charges were upheld and John was discharged from the University. Currently, John is seeking justice for wrongful dismissal. He attributes his woes to a witch-hunt by Mr. Coax and his cohorts who did not want to follow the correct procedures stipulated by law when building any structure that is to be occupied by human beings. As a man of integrity, he also feels quite offended that allowing his strict code of conduct for higher ideals in life saw him victimized by corrupt individuals whose only interest is lining their pockets and not improving lives. For him, being a transparent individual with the highest set of professionalism and ethics is what society should strive for. The incident with Mr. Coax is a powerful reminder to him that it is an uphill battle that requires him to muster all the energy he can get to deal with this retrogressive mindset. Additionally, John is also suing Mr.Coax for instituting an illegal act when he decided to designate unlicensed individuals to modify all electrical designs that would be submitted to him. Such malpractice has been the source of many tragedies in the recent past that has seen the senseless loss of life. What is most appalling is usually the fact that all these tragedies would be avoided if crooked individuals such as Mr. Coax had followed the building code to the letter.

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