Ethics in engineering education should start with civil engineering & construction, viewed as the most corrupt of all industries in just about every country worldwide according to Transparency International, with plenty of journalistic exposure. There might also be value in taking a retrospective look at the price-fixing conspiracies in the electrical equipment industry back in the 1960s, as since (e.g., Siemens). Engineers were complicit in all this, as in the VW scandal. And there’s plenty of questionable behavior by engineers engaged in, for instance, chasing defense contracts (and also business-to-business contracts).

A good deal of what is sometimes subsumed under ethics, conversely, would be better viewed as poor engineering practice. That’s true of at least some of the more spectacular failures — i.e., those not in fact plainly recognized before the failure. There are of course plenty of lessons there too, but not necessarily lessons in ethics.

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