Ethics is at the heart of the engineering practice. In ASCE’s new video series, Engineering Ethics, engineers representing a wide range of backgrounds and technical disciplines talk about the critical role that ethical principles play in guiding the practice of engineering. Engineering Ethics is brought to you by funding from the United Engineering Foundation.

Civil engineering is all around us, and civil engineers are world builders. Roads, electricity, and clean water are all possible thanks to the people who design and build these systems.

Part of civil engineers' role involves a lasting commitment to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. At the same time, they aim to advance society through innovative solutions to present and future problems.

But because their work is so prevalent in our daily lives, engineers can’t afford to make mistakes. Everything engineers do, every decision that they make, is rooted in ethics: Is it better to do something one way, or another? How much does this element cost? What are the risks being taken? There are countless questions to consider through each phase of a project.

So, how can engineers balance their mission to improve infrastructure with their ethical obligations to society? In the first of this three-part series, interviewees discuss how civil engineers’ actions impact the public’s safety and welfare every day.