Final Paper

Expectations for Course Reflection Paper Final Paper The final paper is a reflection of your major learnings this semester. Previously you have written short reflection papers on topics such as, leadership and ethics. These papers can be used in the development of this final paper, a reflective summary paper on the course. The paper is a personal reflection but addressed to the instructor. The paper begins with a detailed brief abstract of the paper written in the past tense since the abstract is “abstracted ” from the paper. The Abstract would never say I will…rather it will say “This paper discusses ….” The main body of the paper should be no less than 5 typed pages and no more than 7 pages. If you choose to quote sources such as your textbooks make certain to use APA or other recognized style for the citations. Although you can use your previous writings this is not simply a cut and paste paper. It is an integrated paper that reflects on the entire course. The paper format is: Title & author page Abstract (1/2 page) My “top 5” learnings from the course? (Use a bullet to identify the top learning followed by a brief statement of why this is a significant learning for you. Approximately 1 page) How will you apply these learnings at work. This section is a narrative style explaining how the learning from ethics, creativity and leadership will affect the way in which you interact with your team. (5 – 7 pages).



· This is a class of ethics, innovation/creativity, and leadership for engineers.

· Please go through my essays that wrote and use some of it in the paper. Don’t not write a summery of all previous assignments please.

· This paper is not only about the assignment below. Please go through this link This should help you build on the ethics part but do not quote anything from it. I found it online and it relates a little bit to my learning in class. Her is my class textbook for ethics : file:///C:/Users/garas/Downloads/Engineering%20Ethics_Fleddermann.pdf

· Key points in ethics:

1. for an engineer the public safety comes first.

2. Never lie in a testimony to save yourself for to lie for your organization.

3. Never put yourself in the situation to allow an opposing lawyer to say “ You knew or should have known…” for example: “You knew or should have known that this would happen and you did nothing about it or you didn’t care.” Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

· Key points in creativity and innovation:

1. Creativity: an original idea, think outside the box. Divergent.

2. Innovation: updating and modifying an existing solution or an idea. Convergent thinking.

3. DLPFC (Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex): this part of the brain that keeps us behaving normal with each other, but it stops us from thinking outside the box. We need to learn how to temporary turn it off to become creative. Please do some quick research on it.

4. This was my favorite part of this course.

5. Please look at assignment 4 below.

6. The difference between left brain thinking and right brain think. And how to make them work together.

· Key points in leadership:

1. Assignment 5 and 7 should help you in writing this part.




1)note from instructor: there was no ethical issues in this assignment. 


2)notes from instructor: It is difficult sometimes to make decision like in this story. Sometimes the greater good is not the way to go. 


3) note from instructor: the end does not justify the mean. 


4) I sketched 30 ideas how can a waist down paralyzed person enjoy water out in the ocean with out drowning or hitting his feet. The idea behind this assignment was to relearn how to be creative. Please watch the links and you can use it for the creativity part of this paper. ( ). Also this link ( ).







Samuel Garas

January 25, 2020

EGS 4624

Dr. Robert L. Hoekstra


The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas


After reading the story, I was shocked that an entire community could believe that their wellbeing is contingent one small child being deprived of their freedom, choice, mental and physical health. On one side I understand tradition and cultural beliefs, however, I cannot condone a civilization that is based on pain and suffering of a minor. Even more so when the small child had no choice on whether he or she wanted to be submitted to this type of treatment. Despite if they had a say in this, that type of treatment is inhumane.

Walking away is a viable option and positon to take for those who also do not agree with the poor treatment of a child a ritual but do not have enough conviction to influence a change. I could consider that the individuals that choose to walk away are taking a stance that they do not wish to be part of such horrific believes. These individuals are not in agreement with the Utilitarians and would rather leave than stay and support this belief. I believe that there needs to be an influencer that teaches the community that the detriment of the child is not a necessity or connected to their benefit. For this reason, I would choose to save the child and ensure he or she gets the proper care, nutrition, and physiological help needed to enable he or she to become a normal member of society. Although there could be chaos at first, with time this would prove to the civilization that life does in fact go on and that their quality of life is not affected by the child’s wellbeing. It would also instill values in the population that would be important to have for future generations.


Erin Brockovich

Ethics Review.docx

Samuel Garas

February 5, 2020

EGS 4624

Dr. Robert L. Hoekstra


Erin Brockovich Ethics Review


PG&E’s Ethical Errors:

· Manipulation of Information– PG&E held meetings and notified the citizens of Hinkeley that the plant had variations of chromium. They deceived the residents to believe that they were being exposed to chromium III and that it was good for them and used the benefits to give residents peace of mind. They knowingly misrepresented information and did not disclose the harms and effect for the true variation of chromium IV that the wells actually put out.

· Using actions to give perceptions of good will but in reality it was a cover up- PG&E was fully aware of the consequences of exposure to chromium and offered to buy out the homes of the residents to mitigate their risk. They also paid medical bills and pretended to be heroes when in reality they were covering their tracks.

· Destruction of Evidence- PG&E Corporate was fully aware that their wells were not properly lined and that levels of chromium were dangerous. The company ordered for the memos and incriminating data to be destroyed, again being deceitful and dishonest.


Erin’s Ethical Errors:

· Use of Gender to Obtain Information: Erin used her gender as an advantage to get access to important water records to help build her case against PG&E.

· Use of Extortion– Throughout the movie Erin uses extortion tactics to get what she wants from her boss. We see this from her getting the job to asking for raises and material things.

· Unauthorized Practice of Law– Erin participated in discussions/ investigations and arbitration of the claim on behalf of the families affected without being a lawyer.


Although Erin did engage in acts that were not ethical I believe that in this situations the acts justify the means. Erin did everything she can with the families’ best interest in mind and in order to defend them. She took a personal interest in helping the families to be whole and did whatever it took to ensure justice was served. In Erin’s case, her ethical errors resulted in the greater good for the citizens of Kinkeley. In contrast, PG&E truly disregarded their social responsibility and due to Erin’s actions, more than 600 victim families received retribution. I think that as long as no harm is done to anyone and the result is fair then the means are justified. PG&E was in the business of making money and this selfish end is not justified by the means they took.

Who’s Got the


Samuel Garas

April 6, 2020

EGS 4624

Dr. Robert L. Hoekstra

Who’s Got the Monkey?

· Leaders must understand the difference between boss-imposed, system imposed, and self-imposed time. The focus and goal should be to increase the discretionary time component in self-imposed time.

· A leader should not make a subordinates’ problem his own. One could perceive this as being a good manager and helpful, but the opposite holds true.

· Allow/empower your Subordinates to take initiatives on their own so they can grow skills in their role(s).

· Set boundaries and remember that the more you get caught up, the more you will fall behind.

· If your subordinate is asking for help, have him schedule a meeting to go over the issue in person or by phone.


This article was very insightful and brought to light several key points. As a manager/leader one tends to want to be that natural problem solver and go to person for their team. Having this mentality can certainly lead to burnout and not being able to get your own work done. The more you do, the more the team will add to tour place. As I was reading the article, I quickly realized that I allow a lot of monkeys to get on my back. I am the yes person at work and can certainly see how this has affected my workload. I am constantly getting hit with request/demands from subordinates and peers and they know I will get them an answer. Often times I struggle to get my own stuff done because I am busy putting out fires for everyone else. I can’t blame the team, why would they bother to put in the effort if it is easier to email me and they can count on the request being fulfilled or a response secured. Effective immediately I will start implementing some boundaries and I think that implementing the one on ones will be key in retraining my team to fish for the answers themselves. I think the one on ones will help put the responsibility back on them and they can have a sense of ownership. In meeting with them I will have the opportunity to train them on my thought process and troubleshooting so that they can grow from it. If the subordinate feels confident and empowered, they will be less likely to bring monkeys to me and solve it on their own. Looking at it from this perspective helps remove some of that self-inflicted guilt of passing the work back on them- this does not mean I am not a good manager – in fact I am helping them grow. I also recognize that it is ok to be “behind” sometimes my work life balance suffers from me working late hours and weekends to feel like I am caught up however the more caught up I am the more stuff that gets tacked on. The article helped me realize that its not about being caught and always being busy, but rather being able to focus on increasing that discretionary time and being more strategic. I realized that I am guilty of responding to emails immediately and this is in essence my way of passing that monkey right back to the sender, yet this creates more work collectively. A phone call or in person meeting would cut the back and forth in a heartbeat. This month I will evaluate my tasks and time spent on these and categorize them in to the 3 buckets boss-imposed, system-imposed and self-imposed and analyze. I will also meet with everyone on my team and discuss the changes being made to our work style and also begin gauging their level of initiative. I think that these changes will yield results in terms of productivity, work-life balance, creativity and job satisfaction.





Samuel Garas

April 9, 2020

EGS 4624

Dr. Robert L. Hoekstra


“Speculations have been brought forward, theories based on no evidence have been given to us, but what is the root cause of this killer disease? I stand before you all to express my determination to educate about HIV/AIDS and its origin (Kaufman, 2018). The passion for initiating this movement is motivated by the rumors and discredited information brought forward by several people.

As we all know, scientists have tried to come up with researched information on the root of the cause of HIV (Kaufman, 2018). Moreover, further research is still being conducted to bring light on this matter. So far, scientists have managed to bring a theoretical approach basing the origin of HIV from apes. This information is quite valid as much as it has its shortcomings. These shortcomings are what is leading to further and critical research to date to bring light to this matter.

There have been other theories apart from the one that I have stated whereby HIV is said to have been originated from vaccines of hepatitis, whooping cough and polio. However, there is another theory which I significantly disagree with. This particular theory was presented by William Cooper, who was a broadcaster (Kaufman, 2018), and states that HIV was created by the government of the United States to decrease the populations of African Americans as well as homosexuals. Moreover, it is rumored that the virus was created to finish the African community. I believe and support Nobel Prize winner, Wangari Maathai, that such views are destructive. I believe the United States has enough resources to accommodate every person if the basis of these statements was that they were a burden to the country (Kaufman, 2018). Furthermore, I believe and emphasize that African Americans are equal human beings with equal rights, potential and chances as those of another race. Like butterflies, humans come in all different sizes and colors and as a citizen of the Unites Sates I cannot understand or find any reason as to why someone would try to create something that will eliminate the very people that make our country the wonderful melting pot that it is.

I urge you all to change that biased mentality that HIV was created. Let us all focus on looking into the precise information that has been brought forward by our scientists, and I am hoping that their research will not stop until they find the root cause (Kaufman, 2018). I request for your support to help me in creating awareness regarding this matter and try to change the mentality of our fellow people. Remember, change is personal, and it begins at an individual level. I thank you all for your time and for listening to me.”











In Kaufman, A. B., & In Kaufman, J. C. (2018). Pseudoscience: The conspiracy against science.

Nemavhandu, M. J. (2012). Secret revealed: The exact origin of HIV & AIDS.







Letter to my


May 1, 2021

Dear Dr. Robert L. Hoekstra

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Samuel Garas and I was one of your students at the University of Central Florida in 2020. I wanted to check in with you and see how things were with you. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all of the valuable lessons you taught me in your engineering innovation and leadership class.

Until this day I look at the way that I collaborate with my team and my subordinates differently. I have learned that being a good leader does not mean doing everyone’s work but rather empowering others to do their part and excel. I can honestly say that I am much better in managing my time and truly understand the meaning of discretionary time. I have allowed myself to have time to innovate and implement new concepts at work. I am much more energized and not working around the clock. I have been able to transfer some of my learnings to other in my organization and let them know that we will never be caught up 100 percent and that is alright. I have been able to develop several of my subordinates into taking the next step in their careers and get promoted. I still remember the quote you shared with us “leadership is the art of mobilizing other to want to struggle for shared aspirations” and this has become my guiding principle. I work alongside my team pushing myself and them to be better, to learn and to take on more responsibility. Complacency is not an option in our office and it has helped our regional department earn awards and recognitions. I find colleagues from different regions reaching out to me to pick my brain and it is very rewarding. I know that this success is due to the fact that I realized that I am only as good as my team and if I did not invest in them, I would not be able to move onwards and upwards. Thank you again for the valuable lessons and guidance you provided I wanted you to know I not only got an A in the class, but I am still maintaining that A at work. I hope to see you in the future.


Samuel Garas





Hyatt Regency

Collapse .docx

Samuel Garas

January 18, 2020

EGS 4624

Dr. Robert L. Hoekstra


Seconds from Disaster Skywalk Collapse- Hyatt Regency Kansas City


As an architect or engineer, you carry an ethical obligation to society, your clients and to the profession. Each project and design must not only meet the demands of your client but also meet certain safety requirements to protect the people. In the unfortunate collapse of the Hyatt Regency Kansas City skywalks, we see evidence of how professionals failed to meet their duty to society and their profession. This structural collapse is considered the deadliest non-deliberate structural failure and was the largest collapse up until the attacks of 9/11 on the World trade Center.

The Hyatt Regency skywalk incident claimed the lives of 114 innocent people and causing injury to and other 200 plus victims. After an intense investigation it was determined that, the cause of the collapse was due to a flaw in the design of the box girders that were constructed to hold the walk ways suspended in the air. The investigation also revealed that what was actually built was different from the original design submitted to the city by Jack D. Gillum and Associates. Although it is not uncommon for a project to have changes as it is being built this raises my first question of ethics. Why was the change not ever reported to the city and proper approval process followed? Perhaps this would have prompted/forced Gillum and Associates to run the proper calculations and prove to the City that this structural change would still meet the load baring specifications set forth by the city.

Not only were the actual plans not updated to the city but also I cannot help but to feel that Gillum and Associates failed in their obligation to their profession and safety in their interactions with Havens Steel Company, the manufacturer. The original design called for the box beams to be welded on the sides of the box beams and not on the top and the bottom and for each walkway to have their own set of support rods. When Havens Steel Company communicated to Gillum that the original design would not be feasible and proposed two other designs, Gillum had the duty to put these designs to test and ensure that they would be sound and safe. However, the investigation revealed that no calculations were conducted and the change was just simply made. I feel that as the firm responsible for the design you have to have some sort of checks and balances. One cannot simply trust the word of the manufacturer. I am not sure if the delay experienced with the glass falling from the atrium or the pressure to have this major staple building completed in time played a factor on deciding not to run the numbers for this change but the ball was dropped. It boils back down to the ethical obligation to society, your clients and the profession. Even then pressure is high you have to have a balance. If you need additional time to be able to deliver on the aesthetic demands of the client, the structural soundness of your project and the safety of the people you must demand time. You cannot just simply take shortcuts and although the glass falling was an isolated incident, this should have been another reason for Gillum to be extra careful and run the numbers. Ultimately, if Gillum and Associates had run the calculations they would have potentially discovered that the box girders and rod design would not be sound enough to carry the load of the skywalks and could have prevented this incident.









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