Asee peer logo

Importance Of Ethical And Business Issues In Making Engineering Design Decisions: Teaching Through Case Studies

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.562.1 - 6.562.22

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Chetan Sankar

author page

P.K. Raju

Download Paper |

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

Session 3225

Importance of Ethical and Business Issues in Making Engineering Design Decisions: Teaching through Case Studies

Chetan S. Sankar and P.K. Raju, Auburn University, AL 36849


This paper discusses the development of a multi-media case study that documents

the events and decisions leading to the January 27th , 1986 teleconference where the

decision on launching the STS 51-L, Challenger Space Shuttle, was made. The

difference between this case study and others is that it focuses on the processes used, the

five design options that were presented to the NASA management during 1977, the

choice made by NASA during 1980, and the final decision instead of focusing on the

disaster alone. Videos, charts, and animations explain the technical material lucidly.

This case study has been tried in engineering classrooms and has received very positive

feedback. Engineering students found the use of the case study methodology that dealt

with a real-world example to be highly motivating and useful in understanding the

importance of ethical and business issues in making engineering design decisions. The

paper summarizes the case study and discusses the students’ and educators’ reactions to

this new approach of teaching engineering design by providing a longitudinal view of the

design decisions. Information on this case study and book could be obtained from


Sankar, C., & Raju, P. (2001, June), Importance Of Ethical And Business Issues In Making Engineering Design Decisions: Teaching Through Case Studies Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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: © 2001 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