This underlines the notion that engineering does not exist in a vacuum, but rather is only useful insofar as it is utilized. The importance of computers in aerospace has only grown as the decades have passed, so full technology literacy both in utilization and in describing needs are important skills for the aerospace engineer (Bishop 1994).
One of the most important ethical considerations for aerospace engineers set forth in the Engineers Australia Code of Ethics (2000) is the necessity for engineers to keep their clients and/or employers well aware of any discoveries or developments that will have a negative impact on the project. Given the costs of development and production that most aircraft and spacecraft entail, such news is likely to be most unwelcome, yet it is the ethical obligation of the engineer to put the safety and integrity of the craft above all other concerns, even if the issues seem minor. One of the best ways to handle this with minimal conflict would be to have a clear plan and estimate of time and costs for addressing the issue when it is first brought up. In this way, the client/employer can be assured that the engineer is committed to fixing the problem, not merely causing delays and extra costs out of needless worry.
There are many other details of aerospace engineering that could be delved into, of course; ethical issues run from the mundane example of possible work delays to the more unanswerable questions of the fitness of working on offensive devices such as drone planes and missiles, and technological issues run an even wider gamut. This is a large part of what makes aerospace engineering such an exciting and essential field — the opportunities and applications of this branch of engineering are virtually limitless. Even this simple overview of certain skill sets and aerospace engineering careers makes it plain that there are many tasks and job choices in the field. With this abundance of choices, there is almost sure to be a niche for any young engineer stepping into the frontiers of mans capabilities.
Bishop, A. (1994). “The Role of Computer Networks in Aerospace Engineering.” Library trends, Spring 1994. pp. 694-729.
Engineers Australia Code of Ethics. (2000). Accessed 13 November 2009. http://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/shadomx/apps/fms/fmsdownload.cfm?file_uuid=F0647595-C7FE-7720-EA17-70AC27062E0B&siteName=ieaust
Garner, G. (2002). Careers in engineering. New York: McGraw Hill.
Raymer, D. (2006). Aircraft engineering: A conceptual approach. Washington, D.C.: AIAA.
Sanders, M. & McCormick, E. (2002). Human factors in engineering and design. Beijing: Tshingua University Press..