Spotlight on ethics: Industrial pollution from an ageing pipeline and its impact on local communities

What are the environmental effects of textile production? Does an engineer have a responsibility to do anything about potential groundwater pollution from a project they are working on?

These are some of the questions posed in our Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study Industrial pollution from an ageing pipeline and its impact on local communities.

This case requires an engineer to balance multiple competing factors including economic pressure, environmental sustainability, and human health. It introduces the perspective of corporate social responsibility as a lens through which to view the dilemma. The engineer must also make decisions that will affect their professional success.

Now, as well as the activities within the original case study, we have provided an expansion on one of the activities in the form of a Case enhancement, with which an educator can facilitate a class discussion about relevant issues.

We’ve provided this, and other case studies and case enhancements for you to use and adapt in your teaching. If you’re new to ethics, we have a growing library of guidance articles available to support you, and an interactive Ethics Explorer to get you started.

If you would like to give feedback on this or any other Engineering Ethics resource, or submit your own content, you can do so here. We also have a newly created community of practice that you can join, where we hope that educators will support each other, and share their success stories of teaching engineering ethics. You can join our Ethics Ambassadors community here.

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