ELR-051 Ethics Case Study: Panama Canal: 2 PDH

ELR-051 Ethics Case Study Panama Canal

Description of the Ethics Case Study: Panama Canal course

The Ethics Case Study: Panama Canal online PDH course is a part of the Ethics, Laws and Rules category of courses. This course will give engineers and others an insight into the lessons that can be learned from the tragic failure of French commercial and political interests to build a Panama canal in the 1880s.

This course will examine the ethical issues that arose from the attempt by French commercial and government interests to build a maritime canal across the isthmus of Panama in the 1880s.  The United States, of course, subsequently successfully constructed a Panama Canal but this earlier French project was an abject engineering, commercial and financial failure that resulted in thousands of deaths and the loss of billions of investor dollars.  The primary engineering issues were route and alignment selection, soils engineering, tidal control and seasonal flood control.  The ethical lesson is about what can happen when political, financial and commercial goals override engineering considerations and result in a tragic project failure that provides lessons in engineering and public policy ethics that are as valid today as they were in the 19th century.

This course is intended for engineers, architects and other design and construction professionals who need to understand that reasonable and prudent engineering methods and practices cannot be allowed to be overridden by commercial and political goals of project promoters.  This course will give engineers and others an ethical framework within which to address many complex engineering projects that challenge the limits of engineering theoretical knowledge and experience.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will:

  • Learn about the history of the project and the economic and political issues that shaped its development.
  • Learn about the French commercial and government interests that promoted this project.
  • Learn about the engineering issues that were overridden by the French commercial interests.
  • Learn about the competing routes for the canal, and how the specific route and alignment in Panama came to be selected.
  • Learn how rudimentary soils engineering principles and practices were ignored by French promoters of the project.
  • Learn how the project was undertaken without an engineering plan for the critical transection of the canal and the Chagres River.
  • Learn how the project was undertaken without an engineering plan for managing differential tidal fluctuations in the Atlantic and
  • Pacific.
  • Learn about the political machinations by French interests to obtain an exclusive franchise to build the canal in Panama.
  • Learn how the pressure on French canal promoters to produce a profitable project overrode good engineering methods and
  • practices.
  • Learn how engineers need to avoid similar ethical traps in the future.

Refunds and Cancellation Policies

The course is accepted by the Professional Engineering boards in states listed on this page. In an unlikely case the course is not accepted by the board listed on this page, we will refund the full payment and will pay for you to take another course of equivalent monetary and PDH / CEU value. For complete list of courses related to Ethics, Laws and Rules category of courses please click here.

Length of the Course / Activity

This course is intended to be studied at self-pace and it should take on average of 2 hour to read and be able to comprehend the material to successfully past the online quiz

Course Quiz

To receive the certificate of completion for the above 2 PDH online course, you will need to take a 15 question multiple choice quiz based on the reference material supplied and pass with minimum score of 70%. There is no time limit for the quiz and it can be taken multiple times until a passing score of 70% is achieved

Certificate of Completion

Once you achieve a passing score of 70% on the quiz you will receive and be able to print your Certificate of Completion as a record of your continuing education. PDH Star will keep a record of your certificate for the duration as required by your state of licensure. You will be able to log on to your account and view and print your past Certificate of Completion

State Acceptance

This course is accepted in all states mandating continuing education:

AK, AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV, and WY

For detailed state by state requirements click here

Need help?

Do you need help choosing the right course or package for you? Please give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to provide guidance on which courses are most relevant for you and create a customary course package


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