Michael C. Loui is professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. From 1990 to 1991, he directed the Theory of Computing Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. From 1996 to 2000, he was Associate Dean of the Graduate College at Illinois. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Information and Computation, Teaching Ethics, College Teaching, and Accountability in Research. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science, the Executive Board of the National Institute for Engineering Ethics, and the Board of Governors of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology. In 1985, Professor Loui won the Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award of the American Society for Engineering Education. In 2003, he was selected as a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Ethics and the Development of Professional Identities of Engineering Students
Version of Record online: 2 JAN 2013
2005 American Society for Engineering Education
Journal of Engineering Education
Volume 94, Issue 4, pages 383–390, October 2005
How to Cite
Loui, M. C. (2005), Ethics and the Development of Professional Identities of Engineering Students. Journal of Engineering Education, 94: 383–390. doi: 10.1002/j.2168-9830.2005.tb00866.x
- Issue online: 2 JAN 2013
- Version of Record online: 2 JAN 2013
- engineering ethics;
- professional identity
How do undergraduate students in engineering conceive of themselves as professionals? How can a course on engineering ethics affect the development of an undergraduate student's professional identity? In this project, students responded to questions about the characteristics and responsibilities of professional engineers. The results indicate that students learn about professionalism primarily from relatives and co-workers who are engineers, and rarely from technical engineering courses. Even before they study engineering ethics, students put honesty and integrity on par with technical competence as an essential characteristic of engineers. In the course, students benefit from cases of actual incidents and from classroom activities that encourage diverse perspectives on moral problems. By analyzing cases in groups and by hearing different perspectives, students build self-confidence in moral reasoning. By the end of the course, some students understand professional responsibility not only as liability for blame but in a capacious sense as stewardship for society.