Asee peer logo

Board 72: Why Engineering Ethics? How Do Educators and Administrators Justify Teaching Engineering Ethics?

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division - WIP Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32416

Download Count

34

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Soheil Fatehiboroujeni Indiana-Purdue University

visit author page

Soheil FatehiBoroujeni received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Merced in 2018. As a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University, School of Engineering Education, Soheil is working on a multi-institutional project characterizing governance processes related to change in engineering education, and pursuing other research interests in epistemology and design, among other philosophical topics in engineering education.

visit author page

biography

Atsushi Akera Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Atsushi Akera is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania. His current research is on the history of engineering education reform in the United States (1945-present). He is the immediate past chair of the ASEE Ad Hoc Committee on Interdivisional Cooperation; Chair of the International Network for Engineering Studies (INES); past chair of the ASEE Liberal Education / Engineering and Society Division; and a former member of the Society for the History of Technology’s (SHOT) Executive Council. Publications include /Calculating a Natural World: Scientists, Engineers and Computers during the Rise of U.S. Cold War Research/ (MIT Press, 2006).

visit author page

biography

Donna M. Riley Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

visit author page

Donna Riley is Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education and Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

visit author page

biography

Alan Cheville Bucknell University

visit author page

Alan Cheville studied optoelectronics and ultrafast optics at Rice University, followed by 14 years as a faculty member at Oklahoma State University working on terahertz frequencies and engineering education. While at Oklahoma State, he developed courses in photonics and engineering design. After serving for two and a half years as a program director in engineering education at the National Science Foundation, he took a chair position in electrical engineering at Bucknell University. He is currently interested in engineering design education, engineering education policy, and the philosophy of engineering education.

visit author page

biography

Jennifer Karlin Minnesota State University, Mankato

visit author page

Jennifer Karlin spent the first half of her career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she was a professor of industrial engineering and held the Pietz professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. She is now a research professor of integrated engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and the managing partner of Kaizen Academic.

visit author page

biography

Sarah Appelhans University at Albany

visit author page

Sarah Appelhans is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology. Her dissertation research, "Steel Toes and Ponytails: Gender and Belonging in Engineering", investigates the boundaries of membership in engineering in the Capital District of New York. She is honored to be a research assistant on the NSF-sponsored study on engineering education reform entitled "The Distributed System of Governance in Engineering Education." In addition to her academic experience, she is a former mechanical engineer with several years of experience in the aviation and construction industries.

visit author page

biography

Thomas De Pree Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Thomas De Pree is a PhD student and HASS Fellow of Science and Technology Studies in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Trained in sociocultural anthropology, he received a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of New Mexico in 2010, and a MA in Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2015.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

This work-in-progress paper presents preliminary findings on how teaching engineering ethics is justified by academic administrators and policymakers, drawing from data collected in a multi-institution collaborative project called “The Distributed System of Governance in Engineering Education”. The project seeks to understand the practice of engineering education reform using data collected from a larger number of oral interviews at a variety of academic institutions and other organizations in engineering education.

Investigations of effective strategies for the ethical development of engineering students have been pursued extensively in engineering education research. Canvassing this literature reveals not only diverse approaches and conceptions of engineering ethics, but also a diverse set of rationales and contexts for justifying the development and implementation of engineering ethics coursework and programs. It is also evident that the students’ ethical development is shaped by how the subject is delivered, e.g., the use of case studies or “best practices”, as well as the underlying reasons given to them about why ethics is taught. Institutions send signals to their students, even without intending to, about the importance of engineering ethics to their professional identity through their choice in how and why they address this matter.

Our initial analysis of interview data from over a hundred subjects from more than twenty universities demonstrates the diverse ways in which ethics education is justified. The most common reason offered are satisfying ABET accreditation requirements and complying with the recommendations of a disciplinary professional association (e.g., ASME or ASCE). Resistance to notions such as professional judgment, and the absence of any substantial reference to engineering ethics in general conversations about educational decision making and governance are other initial findings from our work.

Fatehiboroujeni, S., & Akera, A., & Riley, D. M., & Cheville, A., & Karlin, J., & Appelhans, S., & De Pree, T. (2019, June), Board 72: Why Engineering Ethics? How Do Educators and Administrators Justify Teaching Engineering Ethics? Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32416

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015