ETHICS INTO THE
Exemplary Education Activities and Programs
Infusing Ethics Selection Committee
Center for Engineering Ethics and Society
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING
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This activity was supported by grant No. 1449199 from the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Academy of Engineering. 2016. Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Exemplary Education Activities and Programs. Washington: National Academies Press.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.
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Center for Engineering Ethics and Society Advisory Group
National Academy of Engineering
Gerald E. Galloway, Jr. (NAE), Chair
Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park
Paul F. Boulos
President, COO and CTO
Thomas Budinger (NAE/IOM)
Professor of the Graduate School
University of California, Berkeley
E. O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Glen Daigger (NAE)
One Water Solutions, LLC
Visiting Scholar at the Genetic Engineering and Society
North Carolina State University
Dean of the School of Engineering
University of Portland
Practitioner Adjunct Faculty in Sustainability
George Mason University
American Educational Research Association
Professor and Vice Provost Emeritus
Carnegie Mellon University
Sarah K. A. Pfatteicher
Research Professor & Associate Dean
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Director of Innovation and Development
Texas Instruments, Inc.
Boise State University
Paul B. Thompson
W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food, and Community
Michigan State University
National Academy of Engineering Staff
Director, Center for Engineering Ethics and Society
J. Herbert Hollmon/Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellow
Senior Administrative Assistant
Senior Program Assistant
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
The summary of this publication has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments to assist the NAE in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the manuscript meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the project’s charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of the manuscript:
Paul Citron, Retired Vice President, Technology Policy and Academic Relations, Medtronic, Inc.
Glenn Daigger, President, One Water Solutions, LLC
Christopher Swan, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University
Daniel Vallero, Adjunct Professor, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the views expressed in the summary, nor did they see the final draft of the summary before its release. The review of this publication was overseen by Proctor Reid, Director of the Program Office at the NAE. He was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this manuscript was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this publication rests entirely with the authors and NAE.
Ethical practice in engineering is critical for ensuring public trust in the field and in its practitioners, especially as engineers increasingly tackle international and socially complex problems that combine technical and ethical challenges. This report aims to raise awareness of the variety of exceptional programs and strategies for improving engineers’ understanding of ethical and social issues and provides a resource for those who seek to improve the ethical development of engineers at their own institutions.
Ethics is of crucial importance to the engineering profession, as evidenced both in the codes of ethics published by numerous engineering professional societies and in the requirements for accredited engineering programs maintained by the US Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). According to the ABET criteria, students in accredited programs must demonstrate an understanding of ethics and take it into account when designing a system, component, or process. The ABET requirement applies to both undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering and engineering technology and has spurred schools to provide engineering ethics education for their students in a variety of ways.
A number of these engineering ethics education activities were reviewed for this project, with the goal of selecting and widely disseminating those that may serve as exemplars for broader adoption and adaptation. They were gathered by the advisory group for the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Center for Engineering Ethics and Society (CEES), which invited faculty and administrators at US universities and colleges to submit activities that prepare students for ethical practices, research, or leadership in engineering. Eligible activities were those at the associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s level for engineering or engineering technology. Additional information about and materials from the exemplars in this report will be included in the NAE’s Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science (OEC) collection (onlineethics.org).
Funded by the National Science Foundation, this effort builds on two other NAE reports on engineering ethics education, Practical Guidance on Science and Engineering Ethics Education for Instructors and Administrators (NAE 2013) and Ethics Education and Scientific and Engineering Research: What’s Been Learned? What Should be Done? (NAE 2009). This project also aligns with NAE efforts to improve engineering education,1 prepare engineers for the future, 2 and educate engineers to address far-reaching and fundamental engineering challenges.3
A specially appointed NAE selection committee reviewed the submissions and identified programs that serve as examples for those who wish to prepare engineers to think critically about the ethics of their profession. The following seven members served on the Infusing Ethics Selection Committee:
Stephanie J. Bird, ethics consultant and coeditor of Science and Engineering Ethics
Andrene Bresnan, director, Ethics and Business Conduct, The Boeing Company
Gerald E. Galloway, Jr., Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park
Joseph R. Herkert, visiting scholar, Genetic Engineering and Society Center, North Carolina State University
Sharon D. Kenny, civil engineer and project management professional
Indira Nair, professor and vice provost emerita, Carnegie Mellon University
Chris Schairbaum, director, Innovation and Development, Texas Instruments, Inc.
The committee members were impressed by the variety and quality of the submissions and excited to see the creative approaches to infusing ethics into the development of engineers.
The 25 NAE Exemplars in Engineering Ethics Education described in this report serve as a resource for institutions and educators to strengthen and expand their ethics programs and thus improve the capabilities of practicing and future engineers. The NAE is very pleased to acknowledge these efforts and encourages engineering educators and practitioners to consider and incorporate these strategies.
|Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr.||Dr. Gerald E. Galloway|
|National Academy of Engineering||CEES Advisory Group|
2The Engineer of 2020 (2004); Educating the Engineer of 2020 (2005).
3 Grand Challenge Scholars Program, www.engineeringchallenges.org/GrandChallengeScholarsProgram.aspx
Table of Contents
Exemplars in Engineering Ethics Education
The program descriptions are organized according to board categories: graduate course, undergraduate course, multiyear program (in which students participate at multiple times during their college education), and other (workshop, extracurricular program, and faculty development program).
Institution: Exemplary Engineering Ethics Education
Institution: Exemplary Engineering Ethics Education