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Integrating Ethics Into Engineered Design Of Construction Process

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engineering I

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.759.1 - 9.759.12



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Paper Authors

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Sunil Sinha

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Randolph Thomas

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John Kulka

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

Paper Session No.: 1121


Sunil K. Sinha, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, 231 Sackett Building, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802. H. Randolph Thomas, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, 206 Sackett Building, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802. John R. Kulka, President, HRI, Inc., 1750 West College Avenue, State College, Pennsylvania, 16804.


Increasingly stringent and pervasive government regulations are a fact of life in our society. There are regulations covering business, manufacturing, finance, safety, the environment, education, research, law, medicine, and government itself. The increasingly stringent application of OSHA standards in the construction industry is based on the concern for human life. Equality, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, security, civic duty, justice, honor, rule of law, privacy, and private property; these are the widely held values in our society, these are the values we must live by to avoid regulation, and these are the values that should serve as a basis for ethics instruction. There is a lack of focus in the construction field regarding the integration of social impact awareness and ethical behavior into professional practice. The challenge engineering educators face is to develop strategies that will raise the awareness of students regarding ethical issues related to construction at the same time that they are developing their technical expertise.

Education has a special opportunity to train people to live and work in accord with societal values. Construction Courses in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University focus on the planning, organization, monitoring and control of the construction projects. The emphasis of these courses is on engineering design of construction process. The student gains the knowledge necessary to apply engineering principles in analyzing economical approaches to construction project. There is currently a scarcity of information relating to an ethical code for construction professionals.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the various disciplines that might be available for input and resources available for research and for use in developing course material and classroom presentation. Problem solving in ethics is the skill most needed by students, and most difficult to teach. The approach under consideration at the construction program is to use interactive videodisc and invited guest lectures from construction industry. The course will explore ethical theories, concepts of critical thinking, and major ethical issues related to construction industry. The Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education and Rock Ethics Institute are helping in development of this new program for the teaching and study of applied professional ethics as it relates to the construction education.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Sinha, S., & Thomas, R., & Kulka, J. (2004, June), Integrating Ethics Into Engineered Design Of Construction Process Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13254

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