2016 EngineerGirl Essay Contest - Responsible Engineering

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Essay Contest! Check back in September for the new contest guidelines.

Responsible Engineering

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Engineers often make challenging decisions that can sometimes affect thousands of people. To help them to make good decisions, many engineering organizations have created guidelines for professional behavior or "codes of ethics".

Most engineering codes of ethics state that engineers must consider the safety, health, and general well-being of the people that are or may be affected by their work. Many of these codes also state that  engineers must also consider how their work can sustainably protect the environment.

This means that public safety, health, and well-being, and environmental sustainability are primary concerns for engineers.

(Read more about responsible engineering and codes of ethics)

To enter the contest:

Imagine yourself as an engineer working on a promising new technology. You may want to consider some of the technologies currently being developed to address one of Engineering’s Grand Challenges.

Write an essay briefly describing the technology and what improvements you think it can provide in at least one of the four main areas of engineering responsibility:

  • Safety
  • Health
  • Well-being, and
  • Environmental sustainability

Discuss any challenges to safety, health, well-being, and sustainability that this technology might present, and describe what you, as an engineer, would do or consider to be sure that your responsibilities are fully addressed.

The contest is open to individual girls and boys in the following three competition categories :
  1. Elementary School Students (grades 3-5); Essays must be 400 to 700 words.
  2. Middle School Students in (grades 6-8); Essays must be 600 to 1100 words.
  3. High School Students (grades 9-12); Essays must be 1000 to 1500 words.

Be sure to read the full Rules and Requirements:
(Read Online) (Download PDF)

Contest Deadline February 1

Submit your essay via the
Online Submission Form
by February 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm EST.

This competition is made possible by the generous support of our contest sponsors:

Chevron Logo                 KIETS Logo


Submissions will be judged by a slate of volunteers that include professionals from various engineering fields.

Finalists will be judged by the EngineerGirl Steering Committee based on the following criteria:

  1. Effectiveness in communicating ideas and fully addressing the requirements of the contest;
  2. Accurate research and analytical thinking;
  3. Creativity and originality in the content selection and presentation

More Information


Winners in each grade category will receive the prizes listed below:

First-place winners will be awarded $500.
Second-place entries will be awarded $250.
Third-place entries will be awarded $100.

All winning entries will be published on the EngineerGirl website.
Honorable Mention entries will not receive a cash award but will be published on the EngineerGirl website.

More Information

Citing Resources:

All essays must be original work, and resources must be clearly cited.

For each resource you use to research your essay, include the following in the references section:

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Date.
  4. Location

More Information


Read the full Contest Rules and Requirements:
(Read Online) (Download PDF)