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Global Portrayals of Engineering Ethics Education: A Systematic Literature Review

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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

23.645.1 - 23.645.18



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Paper Authors


Justin L Hess Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Justin L Hess is a Ph.D. student at Purdue University's School of Engineering Education. His research focuses on the role of individual values in engineering decision making, such as the role of empathy in stakeholder perspective taking, motivating student interest in sustainability, and deconstructing dominant worldviews within engineering. He currently is a research and teaching assistant for an NSF-funded project which uses reflexive principlism as an ethical framework for engineers to reason through moral issues, and explores the effectiveness of using a pedagogical framework of scaffolded, integrated, reflexive analysis to deliver the material. He was the 2012-2013 Engineering Education Graduate Student Association President, the Director of Technology and Events for Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) during 2012-2013, and will be the Education Director for ESW during 2013-2014. He is an acting assistant editor for Engineering Studies editor the J-PEER.

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Global Portrayals on Engineering Ethics EducationEthics has recently become a central subject within engineering education, due in part to anincreased focus on professional responsibilities of engineers. Globally, the emergence ofengineering ethics within a given geographic location has varied depending on several aspects,such as the identity of engineers, cultural values, or professional codes and standards. Althoughworldwide engineering ethics is gaining increased attention, successfully implementing anengineering ethics course at the undergraduate level remains a complex and difficult challenge.This paper seeks to understand the nature of engineering ethics education as a globalphenomenon. Guiding research questions include, “In what ways has globalization influencedengineering ethics education?”, “What cases are most important in differing regions of theworld?”, “What topics and cases should be central to a global engineering ethics course?”, and“What pedagogical considerations must go into a successful ethics education course?”Additionally, I will emphasize 5 suggested research questions that engineering ethics researchersshould focus on: “Who is an engineer?”, “What is engineering?”, “What do engineers do”, “Howare engineering decisions made?” and “What can engineers do?” Exploring the literature onengineering ethics, and with these questions in mind, this paper presents a systematic literaturereview of engineering ethics and engineering ethics education cases worldwide, the literaturedating back the past few decades. An inductively developed a coding framework is used tocomparatively assess literature as it differs both temporally and geographically.ReferencesDavis, M. (2001). The Professional Approach to Engineering Ethics: Five Research Questions. Science and Engineering Ethics, 7, 379-390.Downey, G. L., Lucena, J. C., & Mitcham, C. (2007). Engineering ethics and identity: Emerging initiatives in comparative perspective. [Article]. Science and Engineering Ethics, 13(4), 463-487. doi: 10.1007/s11948- 007-9040-7

Hess, J. L. (2013, June), Global Portrayals of Engineering Ethics Education: A Systematic Literature Review Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19659

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