The Mead Essay Contest was established in 1939 in honor of the 67th President of ASCE.
COMPETITION RULES: Papers are not to exceed 2,000 words in length, must be written by
only one person, and should not have appeared in any publications other than in school or
chapter publications. Reference citations of the papers should conform to official ASCE Journal
Submission Guidelines, which can be found on the ASCE Publications website.
Respond to one of the essay contest topics given below following competition rules. The first is
the actual 2016 prompt. While the official paper has a 2000 word limit, please restrict your
papers to 1200 words. Papers are due Friday Dec 11.
Topic- "Computers, Engineering, and Ethics"
The following can be used to stimulate, but should in no way limit, the discussion:
Improved computer models and simulation programs have enabled engineers to tackle
rather complex problems with ever increasing speed and precision. Are the public's
interests well served by engineer who uses design software that he or she has not
Do engineers understand the unintended side-effects or risks associated with
incorporating computers, instrumentation, and automation in engineering works? What
are some risks? Is the engineer responsible for considering such risks?
Information technology and design software is now making it possible for engineering
firms to out-source some of the services they provide to their clients. Is it ethical for an
engineering firm to bill local clients for work performed overseas? Should the client be
informed of these practices? To what extent should the work be checked?