Ethics education in the consulting engineering environment: Where do we start?

Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (2):325-336 (2004)
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As a result of in-house discussions stimulated by previous Gonzaga engineering ethics conferences, Coffman Engineers began the implementation of what is to be a company-wide ethics training program. While preparing a curriculum aimed at consulting engineers, we found very little guidance as to how to proceed with most available literature being oriented towards the academic environment. We consulted a number of resources that address the teaching of engineering ethics in higher education, but questioned their applicability for the Consulting Engineering environment. This lack of guidance led us to informal research into the ethical knowledge and attitudes of both consulting engineers and engineering students. Some of our findings were unexpected, and suggest that a simpler approach to teaching ethics to working professionals might be preferred to that typically promoted in higher education.



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