Engineering, ABET and STS


The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has a list of requirements for accreditation, which include ‘an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility’ and ‘the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context’. The focus on ethical assessments was introduced by ABET in 2000 and this move inspired STS scholars to investigate how social and ethical values may be included in engineering education. Engineers are working within a socio-technical system and designs may be co-produced by more than one stakeholder; in this context, engineers can interact with a range of interested actors and consider how their actions may have an impact on political interests and values. We aim to give students tools that will enable them to consider how to include social knowledge in technical decisions during their future careers.