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Balancing technical and social issues: a new first-year design course

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3 Author(s)
Hallinan, Kevin ; Dept. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng., Dayton Univ., OH, USA ; Daniels, M. ; Safferman, S.

The new ABET EC2000 accreditation guidelines call for greater emphasis on social and ethical issues in the education of engineering students. Universities are responding in varied ways - generally through increased liberal arts content and, in a few instances, through design activities, but generally, design education focuses primarily on the technical and process aspects. This is especially true in the new first-year engineering design courses that have evolved in the 1990s. A first-year “Introduction to Engineering Design” course has been developed at the University of Dayton that seeks to achieve a balance between technical, social and ethical issues throughout the design process to help ground the education of engineering students with the ideals of social and ethical responsibility as part of their profession. This grounding has been achieved through interdisciplinary projects, which teach students, through self-discovery, the relevance of social, environmental, cultural, political and ethical factors to their normal engineering functions

Published in:

Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )