Skip to main content

Ethics and engineering courses at Delft University of Technology: Contents, educational setup and experiences

Abstract

This article reports on the development and teaching of compulsory courses on ethics and engineering at Delft University of Technology (DUT). Attention is paid to the teaching goals, the educational setup and methods, the contents of the courses, involvement of staff from engineering schools, experiences to date, and challenges for the future. The choices made with respect to the development and teaching of the courses are placed within the European and Dutch context and are compared and contrasted with the American situation and experiences.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Scheurwater, G.J. & Doorman, S.J. (2001) Introducing Ethics and Engineering: the Case of Delft University of Technology, Science and Engineering Ethics 7: 261–266.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Zandvoort, H., Van de Poel, I.R. & Brumsen, M. (2000) Ethics in the Engineering Curricula: Topics, Trends and Challenges for the Future, European Journal of Engineering Education, 25: 291–302.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Bonnet, J.A.B.A.F. (1996) Ethiek en Technologie. Een inventarisatie van universitaire cursussen in ethiek en technologie, Rapport TUD, Vakgroep Filosofie.

  4. 4.

    Sliwa, R.E. & Panicz, J. eds. (1999) Ethics in Engineering. Post Conference Papers. Rzeszow, SEFI Working Group on Engineering Ethics.

  5. 5.

    Didier, C. (2000) Engineering Ethics at the Catholic University of Lille (France): Research and Teaching in a European Context, European Journal of Engineering Education 25: 352–335.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Callahan, D. (1980) Goals in the Teaching of Ethics, in: Callahan, D. & Bok, S. (eds.) Ethics Teaching in Higher Education, Plenum Press, New York and London: 61–80.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Baum, R.J. (1980) Ethics and Engineering Curricula, The Hastings Center, Hastings-on-Hudson.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Callahan, D. & Bok, S. (eds.) (1980) Ethics Teaching in Higher Education, Plenum Press, New York and London: 300.

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Florman, S.C. (1983) Moral Blueprints, in: Schaub, J.H., Pavlovic, K. with Morris, M.D. (eds.) Engineering Professionalism and Ethics, John Wiley & Sons, New York: 76–81.

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Ladd, J. (1983) The Quest for a Code of Professional Ethics: An intellectual and Moral Confusion, in: Weil, V. (ed.) Beyond Whistleblowing. Defining Engineers’ Responsibilities, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago: 130–136.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Davis, M. (1998), Thinking Like an Engineer. Studies in the Ethics of a Profession, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford: especially page 143.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Martin, M.W. & Schinzinger, R. (1996) (3rd edition) Ethics in Engineering, McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Unger, S.H. (1994) (second edition) Controlling Technology: Ethics and the Responsible Engineer, John Wiley, New York: 9–12.

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Lynch, W.T., & Kline, R. (2000) Engineering Practice and Engineering Ethics, Technology and Human Values 25: 195–225.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Eddy, P., Potter, E. & Page, B. (1976) Destination Disaster: From the Tri-Motor to the DC-10, The Risk of Flying, Quadrangle, New York: 175–188.

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Davis, M. (1993) Ethics Across the Curriculum: Teaching Professional Responsibility in Technical Courses, Teaching Philosophy 3: 205–235.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Herkert, J.R. (2000) Engineering Ethics in the USA: Content, Pedagogy, and Curriculum. European Journal of Engineering Education, 25: 303–313.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Johnston, S., McGregor, H. & Taylor, E. (2000) Practice-Focused Ethics in Australian Engineering Education, European Journal of Engineering Education 25: 315–324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Devon, R. (1999) Towards a Social Ethics of Engineering: The Norms of Engagement, Journal of Engineering Education, January 1999: 87–92.

  20. 20.

    Boonstra, H. (1996) Kosten en risico’s van roll-on/roll-off ferries II, in: Werkconferentie Ethische aspecten van de Ingenieurswetenschappen 19 april 1996; TU Delft, Dienst Onderwijs en Onderzoek: 29–36.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Poortvliet, A. van (1996) Kosten en risico’s van roll-on/roll off ferries I, in: Werkconferentie Ethische aspecten van de Ingenieurswetenschappen 19 april 1996; TU Delft, Dienst Onderwijs en Onderzoek: 17–28.

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Poortvliet, A. van (1999) Risks, Disasters and Management, Eburon, Delft: 45–77.

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Code of Ethics, Fundamental Canon 1.

  24. 24.

    Baum, R. (1983) The limits of professional responsibility, in: Schaub, J.H., Pavlovic, K. with Morris, M.D. (eds.) Engineering Professionalism and Ethics, John Wiley & Sons, New York: 287–294.

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Thompson, D.F. (1980) Moral Responsibility of Public Officials: The Problem of Many Hands, APSR 74: 905–916.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Bovens, M. (1998) The Quest for Responsibility. Accountability and Citizenship in Complex Organisations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Ewing, D.W. (1977) Freedom in the Organization: Bringing Civil Liberties to the Workplace, E.P. Dutton, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Glazer, M.P. & Glazer, P.M. (1989) The Whistleblowers, Basic Books, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Weil, V. (1983) Beyond Whistleblowing — Defining Engineers’ Responsibilities, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Koehn, E. (1993) Ethical Issues Experienced by Engineering Students and Practitioners, Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice 4: 402–408.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Elliott, D. & Stern, J.E. (1996) Evaluating Teaching and Students’ Learning of Academic Research Ethics, Science and Engineering Ethics 2: 345–366.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Winner, L. (1980) Do Artifacts have Politics? Daedalus 109: 121–136.

    Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Cross, N. (1989) Engineering Design Methods, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Whitbeck, C. (1998) Ethics in Engineering Practice and Research, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Poel, I.R. van de, Brumsen, M., Kroes, P.A., Kroesen, J.O. & Zandvoort, H. (1999) Teaching Ethics and Engineering at Delft University of Technology, in: Sliwa, R.E. & Panicz, J. (eds.) Ethics in Engineering. Post Conference Papers. Rzeszow, SEFI Working Group on Engineering Ethics: 35–49.

    Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Zandvoort, H., Brumsen, M., Kroes, P.A., Kroesen, J.O. & Poel, I.R. van de (1999) Introducing Ethics in the Engineering Curricula: The Case of Delft University of Technology, in: Engineering Education: Rediscovering the Centre. Proceedings SEFI Annual Conference 1999, 1–3 September 1999, Wintherthur and Zurich, Switzerland, Zurich, Hochshulverlag AG: 333–338.

    Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Rapp, F. (1981) Analytical Philosophy of Technology, Reidel, Dordrecht.

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Shrader-Frechette, K.S. (1993) Burying Uncertainty. Risk and the Case Against Geological Disposal of Nuclear Waste, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to I. R. van de Poel.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

van de Poel, I.R., Zandvoort, H. & Brumsen, M. Ethics and engineering courses at Delft University of Technology: Contents, educational setup and experiences. SCI ENG ETHICS 7, 267 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-001-0048-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • engineering
  • technology
  • responsibility
  • ethics
  • course development
  • teaching experiences