Introducing professionalism and ethics in engineering curriculum

Joseph R. Herkert, B. Vincent Viscomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A number of educators have recently called for increased emphasis in the engineering curriculum on the relationship between technology and social, political, economic, ethical, and legal concerns. These observers agree that the typical practice of selection of elective courses in the humanities and social sciences does not adequately facilitate the making of connections between engineering and other modes of inquiry. A solution that does not rely on humanities and social science courses for emphasizing the relationships between technology and society is the development of engineering courses that incorporate the study of these relationships. This paper describes the development of a new course, entitled “Engineering Professionalism and Ethics,” required of all engineering majors at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. The course is designed to provide an introduction to the role of the engineer in society; time value of money concepts and engineering economic decisions; engineering ethics; safety and risk assessment; the professional responsibilities of engineers; and the legal aspects of engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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