Title: Introduction to Professional Issues
Coordinator: John D. Sahr, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Goals: To discuss some of the many issues beyond those covered in our technical courses that a newly-minted engineering professional needs to know in order to succeed and contribute to the best of his or her ability.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to:
Textbook: (If available): Professional Issues: a Guide for Undergraduate Engineering Students, by Martin A. Afromowitz
Reference Texts: None
Prerequisites by Topic: None
Course Structure: The class meets for one hour each week for discussion of selected topics. A variety of reading assignments will amplify the issues under discussion, and short essays and/or web research may be assigned each week. A final paper will be assigned in lieu of a final exam.
Computer Resources: Students will respond to class assignments on a Canvas site.
Laboratory Resources: None
(1) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics. (L) It is expected that students will be able to apply their engineering knowledge to discussion of engineering ethics.
(2) An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors. (M) We will discuss professional ethics in general, the IEEE Code of Ethics in particular, and provide case studies of real and hypothetical examples of engineering ethics.
(3) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences. (L) The importance of being able to explain engineering analysis to non-experts -- e.g. Environmental Impact Statements, FCC regulations -- will be discussed briefly.
(4) An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts. (H) We will discuss professional ethics in general, the IEEE Code of Ethics in particular, and provide case studies of real and hypothetical examples engineering ethics. Note also the discussion of the role of whistleblowers.
(6) An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions. (L) The application of engineering judgment will be lightly explored in the context of a discussion of engineering ethics.
(7) An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies. (L) Students will be asked to find additional examples of engineering ethics cases for discussion.
Prepared By: John Sahr
Date: 18 January 2019