Canon 1, NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers: “Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the p

When:  Nov 4, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (ET)
Created in 1946, the NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers articulates a standard of professional behavior centered around six Fundamental Canons which are further explained through Rules of Practice and Professional Obligations. There is no better place for engineers to begin an important conversation about professional ethics than with the Fundamental Canons.

Today’s webinar will introduce you to four of the current members of the NSPE Board of Ethical Review (BER). Discussion will focus on four ethics cases that illuminate multiple aspects of Canon 1, to “hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.” These cases are personal favorites selected by each BER member from the more than 600 opinions the BER has published since the late 1950s.

Topics include health, safety and welfare issues such as the impact of sea level rise associated with climate change, confidentiality limits to the engineer’s obligation to report observed safety violations, how far an engineer should go in warning officials about off-site safety concerns noticed on an unrelated project, and how to navigate the tricky politics of city government to achieve better code enforcement.

Mark Dubbin, PE, FPE is a fire protection engineer with the Las Cruces, New Mexico Fire Department. He has a degree in engineering with a minor in philosophy from New Mexico State University and has been active in the NSPE Board of Ethical review for 10 years.


Jeffrey H. Greenfield, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, F. NSPE is a project manager with Broward County (South Florida) Water & Wastewater Services. He has a bachelor's degree in biology and a masters and doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been active in the NSPE Board of Ethical Review for 3 years. He is also an adjunct professor in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at Florida International University where he teaches ethics and undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental engineering.


David Kish, Ph.D., P.E. currently oversees operations, maintenance, and functioning of the Purdue College of Engineering’s Flex Lab. He is a Purdue-educated electrical engineer with BSEE ’87, MSEE ’89, and PhD ’93. He also earned an MBA from the Krannert School of Management in 1998 and is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette. He has worked at Purdue since 1992. Dave was appointed to the NSPE Board of Ethical Review in 2020.


William D. Lawson, P.E., Ph.D., F. NSPE is as an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and affiliated with the Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism at Texas Tech University. His creative activities encompass both technical research on geotechnical applications in transportation, and interdisciplinary study of professionalism, ethics, and trust/ trustworthiness in professional-client relationships. Bill is currently serving his third 3-year term on the NSPE Board of Ethical Review.