Professional Ethics in Engineering and Science

Dr. Anil Kulkarni, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Friday, September 26, 2014, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

Is the role for ethics in engineering significant? If it is, can we incorporate it into academic curricula and teach it to students and practicing professionals? Or, does it come naturally? This presentation will attempt to answer these questions by using video clips, examples, case studies from engineering practice, and fundamental principles. A brief introduction to the frameworks of ethics will be offered followed by a discussion of a code of ethics for professional engineers developed by a professional society. Results of a pedagogical study on whether ethics can be taught effectively to students will be presented. Audience will be strongly encouraged to participate in the discussion. The motivation for undertaking such ethical training is that it will prepare the young graduates as well as the practicing engineers to expect what can be an unethical practice (in order to avoid it) and to resolve an unethical situation (if they happen to find themselves in it by circumstances beyond their control), while being fully aware of the legal and regulatory constraints.

About the Speaker

Professor Kulkarni joined as a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University in 1979 after completing B.Tech. degrees in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Sc.M. and Ph.D. degrees at Brown University. His academic areas of interest are energy, materials processing, computational fluid mechanics, and professional ethics. In Energy area, Dr. Kulkarni was involved in work on hybrid power plants for rural/remote areas. In Materials Science, he has been conducting research on various topics, including laser glazing, welding in microgravity, Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition (EB-PVD), and Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST). Recently, Dr. Kulkarni was awarded Fulbright Scholarship by the U. S. government to Norway in 2014 for working on Indoor and Outdoor Fugitive Emissions in the Materials Processing Industry. As an invited US scientist, Dr. Kulkarni has participated in various programs, including an Information Tour on Regenerative Energies in Germany, delegation of US scientists in the area of combustion science to China, delegation to the USSR (Soviet) Academy of Sciences, and as a Foreign Research Specialist Awardee to the Building Research Institute, Japan.

For more information, contact Haley Tucker at