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    The Engineer in Society: an exploration of the treatment of ethics in engineering education and practice


    Homan, Eoin (2020) The Engineer in Society: an exploration of the treatment of ethics in engineering education and practice. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis explores the treatment of ethics within engineering education and practice under a sustainability guise. The approach taken has been to consider influences of rationality, power and ideology in shaping modern society and in framing the treatment of ethics within both engineering education and engineering practice. There is also a consideration of how those influences then shape and constrain possibilities of transformation within engineering education, which would be required to support the holistic adoption of a sustainability culture. As a result, the research creates a framing for understanding power and cultural discourses and their influences on engineering education. It also provides a lens through which to view how these influences subsequently shape contemporary engineering positioning within the sustainability domain.The research finds that there are competing rationalities within engineering, with instrumental/technocratic rationality currently dominating over substantive/reasoned perspectives. This positioning has a profound, but arguably misplaced, influence on how engineers then engage within the sustainability domain. Professional body influences, shaped by a dominant capitalist societal paradigm, also feature as an important consideration. The research finds that suchinfluences, imbued with institutional power, have a significant shaping and constraining effect on engineering education. This leads to a validation, at the professional body level, of the type of knowledge currently privileged within engineering education. This research captures a key historical moment within engineering education. The study uncovers a depth and breadth of highly influential structural and agency iiiimbued forces that rigorously shape contemporary engineering education, while also presenting potentially significant and imposing barriers to change. However, in the research, there are signs of emergent educational practices which addresssome of the underlying deficiencies, revealed in the study, which is of real importance when considering the need for transformative repositioning within the sustainability domain.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Engineer; Society; exploration; ethics; engineering education and practice;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 13534
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2020 16:44
    URI:

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