All engineers will come to face ethical challenges in their professional practice. If these challenges are not dealt with wisely, their careers, their organizations, and most importantly, the wellbeing and safety of people and our environment may be exposed to risk.

This course will provide you with a practical framework for dealing with such situations, an understanding of the professional rules of ethics for engineers and how to apply them.

The course discusses the following topics:

  • Codes of ethics as an expression of professional rules of conduct
  • Different types of codes of conduct
  • Challenges and limitations in codes of ethics
  • Whistleblowing and the circumstances in which it is morally warranted
  • Conflicts of interest and ways of handling them
  • The importance of communication with societal stakeholders and best ways of achieving it

Through informative videos, readings, case studies, assignments and interviews with CEOs we will familiarize you with these topics.

The assignments are application-oriented: in addition to deepening your understanding of the professional responsibilities themselves, we invite you to reflect on how these issues are dealt with within your own work practice and organization. The course will benefit engineers who:

  • want to learn professional rules of ethics and how to act in conflicting situations
  • aim to become a Chartered Engineer or maintain this qualification as part of their continuing professional development
  • Understand the professional rules of conduct for engineers and how to apply them
  • Appreciate codes of conduct as an expression of the professional rules of conduct
  • Understand the conditions under which whistleblowing is warranted
  • Recognize conflicts of interest and develop strategies for handling them
  • Understand the importance of communication with all stakeholders
  • Develop practical strategies for handling ethical dilemmas and apply them
Creative Commons License
Dealing with Ethical Dilemmas in Professional Engineering by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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