Whistle-blowing: not always a losing game (engineers)

TitleWhistle-blowing: not always a losing game (engineers)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsFitzgerald, K
JournalSpectrum, IEEE
Date Published1990
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0018-9235
KeywordsAerospace , air-traffic , Collision , design , electrical , ENGINEERS , FAA , Federal , GEC , Morton , Nuclear , personnel , power , Space , TV
AbstractThe experiences of five engineers in nuclear power, aerospace, and air-traffic control who followed their consciences are recounted. In one case, which took place in 1976, three engineers quit General Electric Company's nuclear division to protest alleged inadequate testing and unsafe designs, not only at GE but throughout the nuclear industry. In 1981, a Federal Aviation Administration engineer appeared on a television show charging that lives have been lost because of the agency's mishandling of collision avoidance system development. In 1986, engineers at Morton Thiokol Incorporated warned against the launch of the space shuttle Challenger because low temperatures predicted for the next morning might stiffen O-rings. In all three cases, the whistle-blowers have by now been vindicated to a degree for their actions, though the verdict may not be unanimous, and the careers of the first group may have even benefited by blowing the whistle.