Ethics, Technology and Engineering

Course code PHIL3910Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

The engineering profession in Australia aims to facilitate its practice for the common good based on values of ethical behaviour, competent performance, innovative practice, engineering excellence, equality of opportunity, social justice and sustainable development.

This course integrates values at a senior level so that on successful completion the student will be able to demonstrate a professional competency embracing all these values with a specific focus on ethical behaviour and a sustainability ethic. Students will be able to demonstrate their ability both orally and in writing, individually and in group situations.

The course teaches engineering ethics appropriate to contemporary Western commercial, political and social contexts of engineering practice. It provides the framework within which social understanding and responsible behaviours are conveyed to future professional engineers. It also examines the ethical implications of contemporary technology in its full technical and organizational complexity.

The course meets Engineering Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for Professional Engineer (Section 3.1) - Ethical conduct and professional accountability where the professional engineer is to demonstrate commitment to ethics, understand the need for accountability, ‘due-diligence’ and an awareness of intellectual rights.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
UoN SingaporeTrimester 3
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesBy the end of this course, students should be able to:
(1) Understand the nature and impact of human values when making design decisions, in particular in engineering, in the context of a complex technological and organizational setting.

(2) Appreciate critically the technological and organizational complexity of contemporary technology and the ethical implications of its usage for practicing engineers.

(3) Understand the key moral frameworks of engineering ethics and their application to specific ethical dilemmas encountered in engineering practice.

(4) Effectively communicate one's understanding of the impact of human values and technology design in both verbal presentation and essay format, interact effectively with peers in group tasks, and solve problems in diverse communal groups.
ContentThe course covers
• the basic concepts and moral frameworks of engineering ethics
• the techniques of normative analysis of technology and engineering practice
• effective writing and oral communication skills
• the complexity of technology and its implications on market and corporate organization,
• the ethical implications of the complexity of technology and of the organizations which design, construct, and operate the technology.
Replacing Course(s)N/A
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge60 units of successfully completed courses
Modes of DeliveryFlexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsTwo or more written assignments, which might include individual or group essays, blogs, exam essays, approximately 1000-4500 words, 70%.
Presentations - TutorialOne or more verbal presentations, or other similar exercises, 30%.
Contact HoursTutorial: for 2 hour(s) per Fortnight for Full Term
Lecture: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for PHIL3910