March 11, 2016

Contact: Amy Hewes

Cal Poly Showcased As Exemplary Engineering Ethics Program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly was recognized as a top university for ethics in engineering education. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) included Cal Poly among 25 universities in the report “Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Exemplary Education Activities and Programs.”

Published by the NAE’s Center for Engineering Ethics and Society (CEES), the report is a resource for institutions and educators working to strengthen and expand their ethics programs and improve the capabilities of practicing and future engineers.

Cal Poly’s inclusion in the report is based on work done by Aerospace Engineering Professor Dan Biezad. Before his retirement in 2009, Biezad developed an unconventional curricular approach to ethics, based in history. Rather than teaching a particular code of ethics, Biezad developed an ethics curriculum based around the history of philosophy and mathematics, presented in class weekly in a short story format.

“The intent is to show the evolution of ethics from antiquity to the present,” said Biezad, “with the goal of having a lasting impact on engineering graduates throughout their working careers.”

The CEES report noted that, “Ethical practice in engineering is critical for ensuring public trust in the field and in its practitioners, especially as engineers increasingly tackle international and socially complex problems that combine technical and ethical challenges.”

The report is available online at

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