Infusing Ethics into Engineering Curricula

A team from Georgia Tech, including Dr. Colin Potts, Dr. Robert Kirkman, and Dr. Kate Fu, were selected to attend the Overcoming Challenges to Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers workshop in Washington, D.C. last week at the National Academy of Engineering. The team presented a poster on integrating ethical thinking into the engineering design process, and connected with other faculty, administrators, and key stakeholders to collaboratively address challenges to infusing ethics into engineering curricula.

The workshop convened current and emerging leaders in ethics and engineering who are working to improve the ethical development of engineering students in order to share their work, experiences, and lessons learned; discuss strategies for overcoming institutional and cultural challenges; and develop plans and collaborations for advancing efforts to infuse ethics into the development of engineers. Recent research on instructional and cultural challenges for infusing ethics in engineering instruction has begun to identify issues, suggest strategies, and test approaches to changing institutional culture. In addition, scholars who have worked to infuse ethics have invaluable lessons to share from their experiences.

At the workshop, practicing engineers, engineering educators, and engineering ethics scholars were provided opportunities to strategize and develop plans for incorporating ethics in engineering curricula with the goal of helping attendees advance their work and develop effective plans for their own institutions, and ultimately form the basis for a cohort of leaders and agents of change across the United States.