Ethics in prognostics and health management

Document identifier:
Access full text here:10.36001/ijphm.2019.v10i1.2743
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Civil Engineering, Other Civil Engineering, Teknik och teknologier, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Annan samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Drift och underhållsteknik, Operation and Maintenance
Publication year: 2019
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 3 Good health and wellbeing
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by


As we are entering an era where intelligent systems are omnipresent and where they also penetrate Prognostics and Health Management (PHM), the discussion of moral machines or ethics in engineering will inevitably engulf PHM as well. This article explores the topic of ethics within the PHM domain: how it is relevant, and how it may be dealt with in a conscientious way. The paper provides a historical perspective on ethics-related developments that resulted in the formulation of engineering ethics codes, regulations, and policies. By virtue of these developments, ethics has already been encapsulated in PHM systems. The specific areas that have traditionally driven ethics considerations include safety and security, and they increasingly include privacy, and environmental protection. During the course of future technology development, innovations will increasingly impact all of these topics. It is argued that consciously embracing these issues will increase the competitive advantage of a PHM technology solution. As a guideline, specific ethics attributes are derived from professional engineering ethics codes, and a path towards insertion into a requirements flowdown is suggested.


Kai Goebel

Luleå tekniska universitet; Drift, underhåll och akustik; Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, United States
Other publications >>

Brian Smith

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States
Other publications >>

Anupa Bajawa

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States
Other publications >>

Record metadata

Click to view metadata