Code of Ethics for Optical Engineers

The Fundamental Principles

We, the Optical Engineers, in recognition of the professional and personal obligation and the importance of the advancement of optical technologies that affect quality of life, will uphold and advance the integrity, honor, and dignity of the profession. We will:

  • use knowledge and skill in optical engineering for the enhancement of society;

  • be honest and impartial, and serve with fidelity the public, their employers and clients;

  • strive to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession.

The Fundamental Canons

Optical Engineers shall:

  1. hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in their profession;

  2. perform services only in the areas of their competence;

  3. continue their professional development throughout their careers;

  4. provide opportunities for the professional development of colleagues and coworkers;

  5. act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid bribery and conflicts of interest;

  6. build their professional reputations on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others;

  7. associate only with reputable individuals or organizations;

  8. be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on data;

  9. treat all individuals fairly;

  10. seek, accept, and offer honest criticism and credit contributions of others.

Created, adopted, and refined by Charles Joenathan and Robert Bunch, Fall 2003.

Modified by: Mark Catanese, Therese Scheibelhut, Justin Jennings, Alex Mulvihill, and Charles Joenathan, for OE415 Optical Engineering Design I, Fall 2005.

Credits: NSPE, ASME, IEEE, and SPIE.

Case Study 1:
Judy A. Boyle, an optical engineer, worked as a lab helper for Vista Eyewear, an optical manufacturing company. She was discharged from her job for discovering that the company manufactured eyeglass lenses without performing required tests for impact resistance of the finished lenses.

Case Study 2: This case is about an optical manufacturer who delivered defective parts. There was a follow-up article in SPIE publications and the company was later brought out by Edmund Optics.