Work in progress - Engineering ethics in a design paradigm

Mark L. Bourgeois, Suzanne A Olds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Many engineering students may feel that ethics is ambiguous and subjective, and that studying ethics is not a good use of their time. Ethics is indeed far from the cut and dry precision of their technical coursework, but it is hardly without structure or rigor. To bridge the perceived gap between engineering and ethics, we felt that the abstract aspects of engineering and the concrete aspects of ethics should be brought closer together. One such area of engineering, in which students already have explicit training dealing with ambiguous non-quantitative problems, is design. We have therefore attempted to model an approach to engineering ethics on the principles of engineering design. The ethical problem is analogized as a design problem, with the principles of the Belmont report as the design goals. We are assessing this approach by employing a pre- and post survey of ethical attitudes, and a pre- and post essay response to an ethical case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication37th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Event37th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE - Milwaukee, WI, United States
Duration: Oct 10 2007Oct 13 2007


Other37th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
CountryUnited States
CityMilwaukee, WI


  • Curriculum
  • Design
  • Ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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