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Ethics for Beginners

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.685.1 - 26.685.12



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Paper Authors


Marilyn A. Dyrud Oregon Institute of Technology

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Marilyn Dyrud is a full professor in the Communication Department at Oregon Institute of Technology and regularly teaches classes in business and technical writing, public speaking, rhetoric, and ethics; she is part of the faculty team for the Civil Engineering Department’s integrated senior project.

She is active in ASEE as a regular presenter, moderator, and paper reviewer; she has also served as her campus’ representative for 17 years, as chair of the Pacific Northwest Section, and as section newsletter editor. She was named an ASEE Fellow in 2008. Currently, she is on two division boards, Engineering Technology and Engineering Ethics, and has served as Zone IV chair. In 2010, she received the McGraw Award, and in 2013, the Berger Award.

In addition to ASEE, Marilyn is active in the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics as proceedings editor and the Association for Business Communication, serving on the editorial boards of two journals and editing a teaching section for ABC’s pedagogical journal.

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Julie E. Sharp Vanderbilt University

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Julie E. Sharp, Professor of the Practice of Technical Communications, has taught written and oral communication courses in the Vanderbilt University Engineering School for over 25 years. She designs and instructs the technical communication portion of combined engineering lab/technical communication courses, a technical communication course for engineering majors (serving as course coordinator) and most recently a course in engineering professional development, the first of its kind in the Vanderbilt School of Engineering. She has published numerous articles and presented successful workshops on communication in engineering courses, teaching, ethics, and learning styles. As a consultant, she has edited and written documents and conducted workshops for educators, industry, and professional organizations.

She was awarded both a 2013 and 2012 Apex Award of Excellence in Education and Training Writing, sponsored by Communication Concepts Inc., for her 2013 and 2012 ASEE papers. In 2004, she earned the ASEE Southeastern Section's Thomas C. Evans Award for "The Most Outstanding Paper Pertaining to Engineering Education.” Active as a presenter and moderator at ASEE and FIE and a reviewer for several journals, she is a member of the Society for Technical Communication, (past president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter), the Association of Professional Communication Consultants, and the National Council of Teachers of English. Dr. Sharp earned the Ph.D. in English Education, M.A. in English, and M.A.T. in English from Vanderbilt University; and the B.A. in English from Belhaven University.

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Ethics for BeginnersSince the “new”ABET criteria appeared over a decade ago, more engineering and technologyprograms have incorporated ethics components in response to Criterion 3f, requiring thatstudents display “an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.” For new or evenseasoned educators, however, this is easier said than done.As one of the ancient fields of study, ethics can be quite intimidating, especially the vocabularyand the enormous body of literature. And for those more mathematically oriented, the ambiguityof ethical decision making may prove to be problematic.This paper will give advice for those new to the field of ethics who wish to include ethicscomponents in their technical courses. Specifically, the paper will examine the following:• Acquainting students with professionalism• Using professional codes• Using cases• Finding resources

Dyrud, M. A., & Sharp, J. E. (2015, June), Ethics for Beginners Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24022

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