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Michigan State University

Ethics Information Resources for Engineers


"The National Institute for Engineering Ethics (NIEE) was founded in 1988 as part of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) in an effort to advance the understanding and practice of ethics within the engineering profession. NIEE became an independent organization in 1995.... Over the years, NIEE has been a cooperative effort of various engineering organizations to foster education, training, and discourse in engineering ethics."

This article by Coy M Veach, "There's No Such Thing as Engineering Ethics" suggests that what is really meant by engineering ethics is the application of some set of ethical principles to the practice of engineering.  Whether you call this "engineering ethics, "a code of professional conduct" or think of it as the application of some set of ethical principles to the practice of engineering, making engineers aware of ethical considerations is important.

"Ethics are ethics. If we as engineers want to lead ethical lives, we must practice ethical behavior based on the Golden Rule or one of the similar guiding principles. However, because engineering is a complex profession that encompasses not only technical, business, and social aspects, we must also study and learn about how to apply these ethical principles to the practice of engineering. This study and exercise helps us develop our moral competence, especially when related to the practice of engineering, which can have such a great impact on the lives of others."

Veach, C. M. (2006). There’s No Such Thing as Engineering Ethics. Leadership & Management in Engineering, 6(3), 97–101.





Michigan State University