List of all IE courses

4 Credits
Available Winter term
Synthesis Bacc Core Elective

Ken Funk
212 Rogers Hall

Course Description

The idea of responsibility and the ethical responsibilities of the engineer. Introduction to value, ethics, and ethical systems. Engineering as value creation and the ethical ramifications of engineering. Codes of engineering ethics. Recognizing and addressing ethical dilemmas in engineering. Examination of the individual, social, and environmental effects of engineering and technology. (Baccalaureate Core Course) This course satisfies the Bacc Core Science, Technology and Society requirement.


  • Resolving ethical dilemmas
  • Making moral choices
  • Engineering codes of ethics
  • Ethical systems
  • Engineering as social experimentation
  • Safety and risk
  • Technology preview
  • Workplace responsibilities
  • The engineer’s rights
  • Whistleblowing
  • Engineering sustainability, ethical frameworks for sustainability
  • Global issues
  • Honesty: truthfulness and trustworthiness, ethical research
  • Engineers as consultants, expert witnesses, and advisers
  • Technology/The good life
  • Worldviews

Learning Outcomes

The student, upon completion of this course, will be able to:

  1. Define and describe the fundamental terms and concepts of ethics and explain how they apply to the practice of engineering.
  2. Describe, compare, and contrast several ethical systems (e.g., utilitarianism, duty ethics, virtue ethics, religious ethics) and apply them to the examination of ethical issues in engineering.
  3. Clearly state your own personal ethical principles and apply them to ethical issues in engineering.
  4. Recognize an engineering ethical dilemma and apply a systematic process of moral reasoning to resolve it.
  5. Explain the advantages and limitations of engineering ethics codes and apply one to the resolution of an ethical dilemma.
  6. Define responsibility, identify to whom and to what you will be responsible as a practicing engineer, and give examples of how you might fulfill – or fail to fulfill – those responsibilities.
  7. Describe the effects of technology on individuals, society, and the environment and apply your ethical principles, as well as those of other ethical systems, to the critical examination of technology in light of those effects.
  8. Analyze relationships among science, technology, and society using critical perspectives or examples from historical, political, or economic disciplines.
  9. Analyze the role of science and technology in shaping diverse fields of study over time.
  10. Articulate in writing a critical perspective on issues involving science, technology, and society using evidence as support.