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Ways of Experiencing Ethics in Engineering Practice: Variation and Factors of Change

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: Student Thought

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35495

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/35495

Download Count

144

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Paper Authors

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Carla B. Zoltowski Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Carla B. Zoltowski is an assistant professor of engineering practice in the Schools of Electrical and Computer Engineering and (by courtesy) Engineering Education, and Director of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program within the College of Engineering at Purdue. She holds a B.S.E.E., M.S.E.E., and Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue. Her research interests include the professional formation of engineers, diversity, inclusion, and equity in engineering, human-centered design, engineering ethics, and leadership.

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Nicholas D. Fila Iowa State University of Science and Technology

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Nicholas D. Fila is an assistant research professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. His current research explores engineering students' experiences with innovation, empathy across engineering education and engineering design settings, design thinking in the course design process, and novel uses of qualitative research methods in engineering education.

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Justin L. Hess Purdue University at West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1210-9535

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Dr. Justin L Hess is an assistant professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Dr. Hess’s research interests include exploring empathy’s functional role in engineering; advancing the state of the art of engineering ethics instruction; and evaluating learning in the spaces of design, ethics, and sustainability. Justin received his PhD from Purdue University's School of Engineering Education, as well as a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science from Purdue University's School of Civil Engineering. Justin is the 2020 program chair for the ASEE LEES division.

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Alison J. Kerr University of Tulsa

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Alison Kerr received a doctoral degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa. Her research interests include training development and evaluation as explored across a variety of academic disciplines and organizational settings. She is currently working on a number of training projects aimed at developing engineering students on relevant non-technical professional skills including ethical practice and presentation.

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Dayoung Kim Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dayoung Kim is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her current research interest centers on engineering ethics and social responsibility, and she is specifically interested in cultural influences on engineers’ moral formation. She earned her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Yonsei University, South Korea in 2017.

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Michael C. Loui University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

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Recently retired, Michael C. Loui was the Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University from 2014 to 2019. He was previously Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published articles in computational complexity theory, in professional ethics, and in engineering education research. He currently serves on the Advisory Group for the Online Ethics Center at the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Carnegie Scholar, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the ASEE. Professor Loui was the editor of the Journal of Engineering Education from 2012 to 2017 and the executive editor of College Teaching from 2006 to 2012. He was Associate Dean of the Graduate College at Illinois from 1996 to 2000. He directed the theory of computing program at the National Science Foundation from 1990 to 1991. He earned the Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.

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Andrew O. Brightman Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Andrew O. Brightman serves as Assistant Head for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Engineering Practice in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. His research background is in cellular biochemistry, tissue engineering, and engineering ethics. He is committed to developing effective pedagogies for ethical reasoning and engineering design and for increasing the diversity and inclusion of engineering education.

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Abstract

Engineering education researchers have identified a lack of alignment between the complexities of professional engineering contexts and the ways that we train and evaluate the ethical abilities and dispositions of engineers preparing for professional practice. The challenges that engineers face as practitioners are multifaceted, wicked problems situated in unique and varied disciplinary and industry contexts. Understanding the variations in ways of experiencing ethics by practicing engineers in these complex professional contexts will support a better alignment between engineering ethics instruction and what students might experience in professional practice. While there is a need for richer and more contextually-specific ethics training for many areas, our initial focus is the healthcare products industry. Thus, our NSF-funded CCE STEM project will enable us to analyze the alignment of relationships among frameworks for ethics education in engineering and the reality of engineering practice within the health products industry. As a first phase, the project has focused on understanding the different ways in which practicing engineers experience ethical issues in the health products industry using phenomenography, an empirical research methodology for investigating qualitatively different ways people experience a phenomenon. In the second phase, we have analyzed critical incidents that potentially cause the variation in experiencing ethics in practice. The findings of these studies are anticipated to serve as a guidepost for aligning educational strategies and developing effective training for future ethical practitioners. In our paper, we present an overview of the study (background and methods), progress to date, and how we expect the results to inform engineering ethics education and industry ethics training.

Zoltowski, C. B., & Fila, N. D., & Hess, J. L., & Kerr, A. J., & Kim, D., & Loui, M. C., & Brightman, A. O. (2020, June), Ways of Experiencing Ethics in Engineering Practice: Variation and Factors of Change Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35495

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