Proceedings Released for Workshop on Overcoming Challenges to Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers


Wed, June 28, 2017

Washington, DC, June 28, 2017 —

On January 11–12, 2017, the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for Engineering Ethics and Society (CEES) held a workshop designed to help the engineering community identify institutional and cultural challenges to instilling ethics in engineering programs and to develop approaches, programs, strategies, and collaborations to overcome those challenges. The workshop was a follow-on activity to the 2016 CEES report Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Exemplary Education Activities and Programs. The proceedings are available online.

This workshop convened current and emerging leaders in ethics and engineering who are working to improve the ethical development of engineering students. Attendees shared their work, experiences, and lessons learned; discussed strategies for overcoming institutional and cultural challenges; and developed plans and collaborations for advancing efforts to infuse ethics into the development of engineers. Formal sessions reviewed effective practice and scholarship on creating cultural, institutional, and pedagogical change. Attendees also had both informal and guided opportunities to strategize and develop plans for incorporating ethics in engineering curricula. The information, expertise, mentoring, and facilitated discussions and collaboration at the workshop helped attendees advance their work and develop effective plans for their own institutions.

The proceedings of the workshop presentations and discussions are divided into three sections. The first, “Background, Context, and Organization of the Workshop,” details the impact of the 2016 report, the planning and development of the workshop, and the selection of teams to attend. The second section describes the challenges to infusing ethics into the development of engineers, from the perspective of workshop participants. The third section, “Responses, Opportunities, and Possible Next Steps,” reports promising approaches described by workshop participants for overcoming the institutional challenges presented in the previous section, as well as some of the opportunities for funding of research on the formation of engineers.

Video and presentations from the workshop are available on the event page.

The mission of the NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.


Randy  Atkins
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Senior Program Officer for Media/Public Relations
National Academy of Engineering
Maggie   Bartolomeo
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Communications/Media Associate
National Academy of Engineering