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Petroleum Engineering Students' Views of Corporate Social Responsibility

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Social Responsibility and Social Justice II: From Classroom to Community

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

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Paper Authors


Jessica Mary Smith Colorado School of Mines

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Jessica M. Smith is Assistant Professor in Liberal Arts and International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines. Trained as anthropologist, her research engages two major areas: the sociocultural dynamics of extractive and energy industries, with a focus on corporate social responsibility, social justice, labor, and gender; and engineering education, with a focus on socioeconomic class and social responsibility. She is the author of Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West (Rutgers University Press, 2014), which was funded by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her current research project, “The Ethics of Extraction: Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into Engineering Education,” investigates the sociotechnical dimensions of CSR for engineers in the mining, oil and gas industries and is funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Carrie J. McClelland P.E. Colorado School of Mines

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Carrie J McClelland is an Associate Teaching Professor at Colorado School of Mines. Carrie is a registered professional engineer with a passion for teaching the next generation of engineers to be well-rounded professionals who consider the technical aspects and the broader effects of their work. Her current research interests include pedagogical interventions in the classroom, including how to best teach technical and professional skills, and the flipped classroom.

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Nicole M. Smith Colorado School of Mines

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Dr. Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Humanitarian Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. She is a cultural anthropologist with research and teaching interests in livelihoods and extractive industries, corporate social responsibility, indigenous peoples, artisanal and small-scale mining, and engineering education.

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The mining and energy industries present unique challenges to engineers, who must navigate sometimes competing responsibilities and codes of conduct, such as personal senses of right and wrong, professional ethics codes, and their employers’ corporate social responsibility policies. This paper reports on preliminary research that seeks, first, to understand the relationship between engineering and corporate social responsibility (CSR), the current dominant framework used by industry to conceptualize firms' responsibilities to their stakeholders; and second, to better prepare engineering undergraduate students to critically appraise the strengths and limitations of CSR as an approach to reconciling the interests of industry and communities. We share results from an assessment of a pilot interdisciplinary pedagogical intervention in a required petroleum engineering course at the Colorado School of Mines. It suggests that CSR may be a fruitful arena from which to illustrate the profoundly sociotechnical dimensions of the engineering challenges relevant to students’ future careers.

Smith, J. M., & McClelland, C. J., & Smith, N. M. (2016, June), Petroleum Engineering Students' Views of Corporate Social Responsibility Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25895

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