Integrating Ethics & Engineering: A Graduate Option in Systems Engineering, Ethics and Technology Studies

TitleIntegrating Ethics & Engineering: A Graduate Option in Systems Engineering, Ethics and Technology Studies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsGorman, M.. E., M. Hertz, G. Louis, L. Magpili, M. Mauss, M. M. Mehalik, and J.B.. Tuttle
Secondary TitleJournal of Engineering Education

This paper describes an engineering graduate option in Systems Engineering designed to overcome some of the effects of specialization and compartmentalization by building a link between technical and ethical training. Students in this option produce case studies that emphasize ethical issues in the design process. The goal of the program is to turn out ethical professionals who are able to reflect on the moral implications of technology. The proposed approach uses realistic or real-hypothetical hybrid case studies as a type of vicarious mentoring, and, when supplemented with readings in ethical theory and codes, may serve as a starting point for a deeper understanding of behavioral dilemmas. The developers of this approach are a multi-disciplinary team from the Engineering School and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. The paper describes how the graduate option is structured and provides data on student outcomes. Support for this project was provided by the Ethics and Values Program of the National Science Foundation through PIs Michael E. Gorman, William Scherer, and Patricia Werhane of the University of Virginia. Additional support came from the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Darden School of Graduate Business Administration and from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia. The conclusions are the responsibility of the authors and do not reflect the views of the foundations.