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To ship or not to ship: an engineering ethics case study

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2 Author(s)
Latcha, Michael ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Oakland Univ., Rochester, MI, USA ; Jordan, W.

The authors have developed a numerical-based engineering ethics case study for use in engineering courses. It has been shown that ethics case studies that involve technical calculations and real-world situations appeal more to engineering students than do purely qualitative cases. The case is a fictionalized account of several incidents that the second author witnessed while employed at a steel manufacturing company. In this study, students are asked to evaluate several coils of steel and determine which ones meet certain minimum standards for yield strength. Statistical analysis is necessary to evaluate the strength of the steel. Test data is given for each of the steel coils, from one to five test samples per coil. After analysis, the students are presented with several scenarios and asked to decide which coils meet the minimum standards. In making the decision to approve coils for shipment, students must decide on the appropriate statistical measures to use and in particular how much of the confidence interval needs to be above the minimum standard

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1996. FIE '96. 26th Annual Conference., Proceedings of  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

6-9 Nov 1996