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Engineering Ethics At Drexel University

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Conference

2000 Annual Conference

Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

5.266.1 - 5.266.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/8347

Download Count

103

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Paper Authors

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Mark Manion

author page

Moshe Kam

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2561

Engineering Ethics at Drexel University

Mark Manion, Moshe Kam Drexel University

I. Introduction

Criterion 3 of the new ABET Engineering Criteria 20001 has the potential to change the way that engineering ethics and science technology and society studies are taught in the engineering undergraduate major. One concern voiced by critics has been the shift in the humanities and social studies component from the previous “course requirements model” to a progressive model focused on assessments and outcomes. While some have regarded this change as a threat to the humanities and social sciences component of the engineering curriculum, others, including us, have regarded this change as an opportunity for curricular innovation and new pedagogical focus.

Among other requirements, criterion 3 dictates that engineering students demonstrate (a) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; (b) an understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context; (c) knowledge of contemporary issues; (d) the ability to communicate effectively; and (e) recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning. Criterion 3 thus mandates the inclusion of professional ethics in the engineering program. No less important is the focus on the understanding of the social responsibilities of engineers, as well as the cultural, environmental and global impact of engineering and technology. Indeed, criterion 4 places emphasis on the larger, social impact of engineering, and, in addition, requires students to be aware of the political impact of engineering. It mandates that “a major design experience…must include…the following considerations: economic; environmental; sustainability; manufacturability; ethical; health and safety; social; and political.”

In ABET’s “Conventional Criteria,” under the heading of “Curricular Content: Humanities and Social Sciences” one finds the following principle: In the interests of making engineers fully aware of their social responsibilities and better able to consider related factors in the decision-making process, institutions must require course work in the humanities and social sciences as an integral part of the engineering program. This philosophy cannot be overemphasized. To satisfy this requirement, the courses selected must provide both breadth and depth and not be limited to a selection of unrelated introductory courses.2 To meet this requirement, programs can choose from “traditional” subjects such as philosophy, history, literature, anthropology, religion, etc., or from “nontraditional” subjects such as “technology and human affairs,” history of technology, professional ethics, and social responsibility.3 Hence, the new criteria emphasize individual moral responsibility and professionalism on the one hand, and societal, environmental and political impacts of

Manion, M., & Kam, M. (2000, June), Engineering Ethics At Drexel University Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8347

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