Peace Engineering: When Personal Values and Engineering Careers Merge Reviews

Peace Engineering: When Personal Values and Engineering Careers Merge

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Engineering is the profession that is vital for modern warfare: engineering skills are essential for the design, manufacture and use of the present great diversity of devastating weapons. Data show that the victims of recent major wars have been mostly, often overwhelmingly, civilians; there is little evidence of discrimination and proportionality. This situation is so dire as to create for engineers a professional obligation to find better uses for their knowledge and skills in the promotion of peace.

The absence of conflict is a necessary but not sufficient condition for peace. Peace is additionally characterised by relationships between individuals, and social groupings of all sizes, based on honesty, fairness, openness and goodwill. That is, peace requires justice. Conversely, war results from injustice. Therein lies a great opportunity for engineers, for they have at their disposal the knowledge and practical skills to ameliorate the many forms of material injustice that are the root causes of most violent conflicts. 
However, the prevention of conflict requires more than engineering, it also depends on a multitude of cultural, societal and political factors. Hence, if engineering is to contribute fully to the establishment of genuine peace it needs to align its activities with individuals and institutions whose values, attitudes and actions promote cooperation and mutuality among communities and nations. Internationally recognized eirenic activities include: fostering a culture of peace through education; promoting sustainable economic and social development; promoting respect for human rights; ensuring equality between men and women; fostering democratic participation; advancing understanding, tolerance and solidarity; and supporting participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge. Engineering activities can make an important contribution to all of these.

Unfortunately, the capability of engineering to make a vital contribution to these peacemaking activities has not been well recognized by engineers and political decision makers.

This new edition of Peace Engineering includes many of the original chapters in the first volume originally published in 2006. A number of completely new chapters dealing with recent developments are also included. All of the authors have a commitment to promoting the use of engineering in the development of genuine peace. Some of the articles describe intensely practical activities, others are more conceptual in nature. Some describe lifetimes of realized contributions, others describe work in progress or challenging aspirations.

We hope that all engineers can find inspiration here, and especially students and those in the early stages of their careers. Professional engineers are already explicitly committed to prioritizing the welfare, health and safety of communities. Our vision is that all engineers will also become committed to prioritizing the peace of communities. By incorporating such a culture of peace within our professional activities we can establish the basis for making a major contribution to peaceful human flourishing.

The chapters in this book include:

Chapter 1: The Evolution of Peace Engineering ...1
P. Aarne Vesilind

Chapter 2: Building a Proactive Pro-Peace Culture in Engineering ...15
Robert B. Textor

Chapter 3: The Morality of Weapons Research ...21
John Forge

Chapter 4: Just Engineering: Green and Good ...37
Daniel A. Vallero

Chapter 5: Engineering and the Threat of Terrorism ...57
P. Aarne Vesilind

Chapter 6: Working for Peace in International Emergencies: The Varied Roles of Engineers and Engineering ...71
Dennis B. Warner

Chapter 7: Military Engineering Education: To Promote Peace, Not War ...87
Joe D. Manous, Jr.

Chapter 8: Working for Peace in the Peace Corps ...99
Theresa Good

Chapter 9: Marquette University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders in Guatemala: What We Have Learned About Real Engineering ...111
Elyse O’Callaghan and Jacob Schueller

Chapter 10: University Life and Peace Engineering ...121
P. Aarne Vesilind

Chapter 11: From Ghosts Behind the Machines to Just Engineers: How Engineering Can Promote Peace ...129
W. Richard Bowen

Chapter 12: Prohibiting Lethal Autonomous Robots ...139
Noel Sharkey

Chapter 13: From Militarism to Sustainability: Campaigning for Ethical Engineering and Science in the UK ...149
Stuart Parkinson

Chapter 14: Turbulent Fluid Mechanics, High Speed Weapons, and the Story of the Earth ...159    
George Catalano

Chapter 15: Man Rescues Coast Guard ...181
Stephen Unger

Chapter 16: Engineering and War ...189
Dean Nieusma and Ethan Blue

Chapter 17: Some Peace Engineers of Note ...207
P. Aarne Vesilind

Chapter 18: Career Choices in Peace Engineering ...227
Dennis Warner