Asee peer logo

Factors Related to Faculty Views Toward Undergraduate Engineering Ethics Education

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Faculty Views of Ethics

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Andrew Katz Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

visit author page

Andrew Katz is a graduate student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Tulane University and M.Eng. in environmental engineering from Texas A&M University. Prior to beginning his studies at Virginia Tech he taught physics at a high school in Dallas, TX.

visit author page


David B. Knight Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

David Knight is an Assistant Professor and Director of International Engagement in the Department of Engineering Education and affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program, Center for Human-Computer Interaction, and Human-Centered Design Program. His research tend to be at the macro-scale, focused on a systems-level perspective of how engineering education can become more effective, efficient, and inclusive.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Title: Factors Related to Faculty Views Toward Undergraduate Engineering Ethics Education

Abstract: One simply needs to read headlines in the news to see the impact of unethical behavior by engineers - illicit emissions controls, negligent pipeline maintenance, and improper municipal water treatment are some of the more conspicuous recent examples. Despite such enormous potential for negative impacts, helping developing engineers consider ethical aspects of their eventual professional work receives inconsistent treatment in undergraduate programs. Because faculty members develop and deliver curricula, studying their perspectives is an important way to understand how the undergraduate education system might emphasize ethics to a greater degree. The current study helps to address this issue by drawing on a large national survey administered to engineering faculty. The survey solicited their perspectives on issues related to a host of areas across engineering curricula, including engineering ethics.

Our study focuses specifically on faculty views of engineering ethics in their own most frequently taught course and in the engineering curriculum more generally. It draws on quantitative data from a survey administered to engineering faculty at a nationally representative sample of 31 institutions (n=1,119 usable faculty responses). Our analyses seek to uncover variables that help explain the following: 1) how much faculty emphasize ethical issues in engineering practice in their most frequently taught undergraduate engineering course, 2) how much they emphasize the effect of beliefs and values on ethical decisions, and 3) the extent to which they believe the engineering curriculum should address ethical issues in multiple courses. Independent variables include faculty departmental affiliation, rank, gender, years teaching at the college level, years working outside of academia, weekly number of hours spent on research, and type of course primarily taught (e.g. first-year design course, required engineering course, capstone design course, etc.).

Title: Factors Related to Faculty Views Toward Engineering Ethics Education

Katz, A., & Knight, D. B. (2017, June), Factors Related to Faculty Views Toward Undergraduate Engineering Ethics Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28350

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: © 2017 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