Teaching ethics to engineering undergraduates - lessons learned and a guide for lecturers: perspective from an English University

Hasan, Reaz (2012) Teaching ethics to engineering undergraduates - lessons learned and a guide for lecturers: perspective from an English University. In: Innovation, Practice and Research in Engineering (EE2012), 18-20 September 2012, Coventry, UK.

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The issue of ethics within engineering profession has been gaining more and more importance due to globalisation, increasing awareness of sustainability and the fast changing business culture within engineering organisations. As a direct result of such factors the accrediting bodies such as the IMechE and the ABET are very vocal about explicit ethics content in relevant undergraduate engineering programmes. However it is a very challenging exercise to deliver the topic in an effective way due to a number of reasons. First and foremost is the general reluctance of today’s lecturers who themselves were not taught such topics and hence the vast majority are not very keen to consider such ‘softer’ topics very seriously. It is also difficult to accommodate the contents within the engineering curriculum which is already filled with various technical subjects. At the same time, a significant proportion of students find it difficult to relate ethics to real life working environment due to inexperience and hence would consider ‘ethics’ to be ‘not so rigorous’ a subject resulting in poor engagement. The present paper discusses the complete journey of how engineering ethics has been incorporated into an accredited BEng programme in Mechanical engineering. The three steps in course design i.e., breadth and depth of content, detailed planning for effective delivery and assessment and feedback – are all critically discussed by reference to available literature. The author also provides more than one pathway such that the experience may prove useful to the wider community

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H300 Mechanical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Sarah Howells
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2012 11:44
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:50
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/8444

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