TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)
Assoc. Prof. Pieter Vermaas & Dr Mark Theunissen.
Self-paced course on edX
Learn how engineers worldwide can deal with ethical dilemmas. These can include conflicts of interests, bribery, whistleblowing and inadequate information about potential negative effects of products and technologies.
All engineers will come to face ethical challenges in their professional practice. If these challenges are not dealt with wisely, their careers, their organizations, and most importantly, the wellbeing and safety of people and our environment may be exposed to risk.
This course will provide you with a practical framework for dealing with such situations, an understanding of the professional rules of ethics for engineers and how to apply them.
The course discusses the following topics:
Codes of ethics as an expression of professional rules of conduct
Different types of codes of conduct
Challenges and limitations in codes of ethics
Whistleblowing and the circumstances in which it is morally warranted
Conflicts of interest and ways of handling them
The importance of communication with societal stakeholders and best ways of achieving it
Eindhoven University of Technology
4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology
Assoc.Prof. Lambèr Royakkers
9 week course via Coursera
There is an increasing attention to ethics in engineering practice. Engineers are supposed not only to carry out their work competently and skilfully, but also to be aware of the broader ethical and social implications of engineering and to be able to reflect on these.
According to the Engineering Criteria 2000 of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in the US, engineers must have “an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility” and should "understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.”
This course provides an introduction to ethics in engineering and technology. It helps engineers and students in engineering to acquire the competences mentioned in the ABET criteria or comparable criteria formulated in other countries. More specifically, this course helps engineers to acquire the following moral competencies:
- Moral sensibility: the ability to recognize social and ethical issues in engineering;
- Moral analysis skills: the ability to analyse moral problems in terms of facts, values, stakeholders and their interests;
- Moral creativity: the ability to think out different options for action in the light of (conflicting) moral values and the relevant facts;
- Moral judgement skills: the ability to give a moral judgement on the basis of different ethical theories or frameworks including professional ethics and common sense morality;
- Moral decision-making skills: the ability to reflect on different ethical theories and frameworks and to make a decision based on that reflection.
With respect to these competencies, our focus is on the concrete moral problems that engineers encounter in their professional practice. With the help of concrete cases is shown how the decision to develop a technology, as well as the process of design and production, is inherently moral. The attention of the learners is drawn towards the specific moral choices that engineers face. In relation to these concrete choices learners will encounter different reasons for and against certain actions, and they will discover that these reasons can be discussed. In this way, learners become aware of the moral dimensions of technology and acquire the argumentative capacities that are needed in moral debates with stakeholders (e.g. governments, users, and commercial business departments)
IEEE Courses on Engineering Ethics via IEEE Xplore
Steve Starrett explores how people commonly understand the definition of ethics. He reviews the IEEE Code of Ethics. A guided review of ethical decision-making using two case studies. Three historical approaches to ethical decision-making are introduced.
Engineers are trained to think analytically and base their technical decisions on relevant facts and research. Nonetheless, engineers will encounter many situations involving ethical questions during their careers. In order to improve their ability to make ethical decisions engineers require additional tools and training. These include an understanding of the relevant codes of ethics and learning to recognize ethical challenges and solutions through a case study approach. In this tutorial the author discusses how people commonly understand the definition of ethics and reviews the IEEE Code of Ethics. The author also provides a guided review of ethical decision-making using two case studies. Three historical approaches to ethical decision-making are also introduced. The author provides several suggestions and additional references for improving an engineer's ability to recognize, understand and respond to ethical challenges in professional situations.