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Enhancing Engineering Ethics Curriculum by Analyzing Students’ Perception

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division Technical Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.530.1 - 23.530.15



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Paper Authors


Brittney Hope Jimerson North Carolina A&T State University

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Brittney Jimerson is a Ph.D. student at North Carolina A&T State University. She graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a M.S. in Industrial and System Engineering in 2013. She was an undergraduate research scholar and earned her B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2009. She is an Alpha Pi Mu Engineering Honor Society Member, NSBE member, and IIE member.

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Eui Hyun Park North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Eui H. Park, Professor of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University, received his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in 1983. He had worked for Boeing Commercial Airplane Company as a senior engineer for four years from 1978, and returned to school for his doctorate with a Boeing Fellowship. Upon completion of his Ph.D., he joined North Carolina A&T State University and has since initiated and developed a successful interdisciplinary manufacturing program at the university as the Director of Manufacturing Initiatives. He is the founder of teaching factory, Piedmont Triad Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Dr. Park was also the Chairperson of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department for sixteen years from July 1990. He has been an IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers) Fellow since 2000. Dr. Eui Park has also initiated and developed a successful Human-Machine Systems Engineering program at NC A&T and has also conducted STEM outreach programs, the Para-Research Program, Partnership in Education and Research, REU, and RET, for the past sixteen years. His fields of research are Human-Machine Systems Engineering and Quality Assurance. He has been a principle investigator in 24 awarded funded research projects totaling over $12 million in the past ten years.

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Vinod K Lohani Virginia Tech

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Dr. Vinod K Lohani is a professor in the Engineering Education Department and an adjunct faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research interests are in the areas of sustainability, computer-supported research and learning systems, hydrology, and water resources. In a major ($1M+, NSF) curriculum reform and engineering education research project (2004-09), he led a team of engineering and education faculty to reform engineering curriculum of an engineering department (Biological Systems Engineering) using Jerome Bruner’s spiral curriculum theory. Currently, Dr. Lohani leads an NSF/REU site on “interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering” which has already graduated 45 undergraduate researchers since 2007. He also leads an NSF/TUES type I project in which a real-time environmental monitoring lab is being integrated into a freshman engineering course, a senior-level Hydrology course at Virginia Tech, and a couple of courses at Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke for enhancing water sustainability education. He is a member of ASCE and ASEE and has published 65+ refereed publications.

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Steven M. Culver Virginia Tech

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Dr. Steven Culver is senior associate director of the Office of Assessment and Evaluation at Virginia Tech., with over twenty years’ evaluation experience. He is the author of several refereed articles and book chapters on classroom evaluation practices, outcomes assessment, program evaluation, and student persistence in higher education. In addition, he has served as an evaluation consultant to such diverse organizations as the Education Ministry of Finland, the National Community College Center for Cooperative Education, the Junior Engineering Technical Society, the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, and the United States Department of Education.

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Enhancing Engineering Ethics Curriculum by Analyzing Students’ Perception Brittney Jimerson and Eui Park North Carolina A&T State University Vinod Rohani Virginia Polytechnic Institute Media attention on corporate ethics scandals has forced universities to respondabout the ethical training of their students. While universities are recognizing theimportance of ethics as a component of their education, it is also an accreditationrequirement. Accrediting bodies, such as The Accreditation Board of Engineering andTechnology (ABET) and The Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business(AACSB), have included requirements to incorporate ethical knowledge of students as apart of the accreditation process for institutions. The purpose of this study was tomeasure the perceptions of student’s ethical coverage in their curriculum by conductinga survey. This helped identify areas in the curriculum ethics might be strengthened, andprovided a more informative way of improving ethics instruction and development. Thisstudy was a collaborative effort with the College of Engineering and School of Businessat North Carolina A&T State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Not only didthese responses provided the colleges with a baseline measure of how studentsperceived their ethics instruction, but also how they understood ethical issues,particularly as they related to global differences, issues of advocacy and ethicalleadership, and ethics and emerging technologies. The initial findings from this surveyindicated that the engineering students at both universities perceived that their ethicstraining was less positive than those of business students at both universities. Thesurvey’s results discovered some direction for curricular planning and possiblecurriculum changes in the College of Engineering in both Universities. This paper willcompare the perception of engineering ethics between the two universities and discussthe approaches of curriculum enhancement, which increased the opportunity to involvestudents in more ethical problem solving within their classes at North Carolina A&TState University. These strategies helped students gain awareness of ethical issues andbuild their competencies, so that they can identify, analyze, judge, and evaluate ethicalmatters in engineering to apply ethics to real-life decisions.

Jimerson, B. H., & Park, E. H., & Lohani, V. K., & Culver, S. M. (2013, June), Enhancing Engineering Ethics Curriculum by Analyzing Students’ Perception Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19544

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