You are the software engineer responsible for the integrity of the system in a community of smart homes. During a routine inspection you discover several indicators suggesting a data breach may have occurred via some of the smart appliances, many of which have cameras and are voice-activated. What do you do?

These is one of the questions posed in our intermediate level Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study Smart homes for older people with disabilities.

This case involves a software engineer who has discovered a potential data breach in a smart home community. The engineer must decide whether or not to report the breach, and then whether to alert and advise the residents. In doing so, considerations of the relevant legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities need to be weighed. The case also addresses communication in cases of uncertainty as well as macro-ethical concerns related to ubiquitous and interconnected digital technology.

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.

Who should be responsible for the messaging and processes for public health decisions? How are engineers connected to this system? How did power, privilege, and politics influence the response to the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in the United Kingdom versus other countries?

These are some of the questions posed in our Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study Financially and politically motivated misinformation about STEM research,

The case involves an engineering student whose personal choices may affect her future professional experience. It highlights both micro- and macro-ethical issues, dealing with the ways that individual actions and decisions can scale to create systemic challenges, and offers several approaches to engaging students in the critique and improvement of their critical digital literacy skills.

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.

Our original Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study, Facial recognition for access and monitoring, addresses the ethical issues of diversity, bias and privacy, and examines situations that professional engineers need to consider, such as informed consent, misuse of data, and conflicts with leadership.

This case involves an engineer hired to manage the development and installation of a facial recognition project at a building used by university students, businesses and the public. It incorporates a variety of components including law and policy, stakeholder and risk analysis, and both macro- and micro-ethical elements. This example is UK-based: however, the instructor can adapt the content to better fit the laws and regulations surrounding facial recognition technology in other countries, if this would be beneficial.

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: Prompts to facilitate discussion activities.

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.

You’re a biomedical engineer working for a company that develops Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) for specialised applications. You have designed a BCI that can measure brain activity non-invasively and assess the job-related proficiency of a person. What are the physical, ethical, and social difficulties that could result from the use of devices that have the ability to directly access the brain and decipher some of its psychological content such as thoughts, beliefs, and emotions?

This is one of the questions posed in our Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study Neuroethics of brain-computer interfaces.

We’ve provided this and other case studies – which include classroom activities and additional resources – for you to use and adapt in your teaching. We also have a growing library of guidance articles available to support you in your teaching, 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.

What are the legal issues relating to machine condition monitoring? What ethical codes relate to data security and privacy? What responsibilities do engineers have in developing these technologies?”

These are some of the questions posed in our Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study Protecting data in an auto parts production facility.

This case study involves an engineer hired to develop and install an Industrial Internet of Things online machine monitoring system for a manufacturing company. It incorporates a variety of ethical components including law and policy, stakeholders, and risk analysis. 

We’ve provided this and other case studies for you to use and adapt in your teaching. We also have a growing library of guidance articles available to support you in your teaching, 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 are excited to launch the EPC engineering enrolment survey 2023/4. The survey will be open throughout October and we encourage each engineering department to respond. If you have completed the survey previously, look out for an email from us in the next couple of days. Otherwise, if you would like to get involved, please contact us.

The annual EPC survey remains ever valuable as it provides an early check on the health of HE undergraduate and postgraduate engineering enrolments. It provides early signals of the changing patterns of enrolment long before the official sector enrollment data becomes available.

We would like to thank everyone who responded last year and contributed to its massive success in 2022. Thanks to our data explorer, analysing the results of the survey has never been easier and we are excited to implement this feature again for the upcoming year. See last year’s results in the data explorer.

Everyone who submits a completed survey will be entered into a prize draw for a free ticket to the EAN Access and Admissions Forum. Simply enter this by simply completing and submitting the survey.

This year the survey will be opening on the 2nd of October and will be open until the 30th of October. If you have any concerns about meeting HESA data collection deadlines, please feel free to contact us. The results for this year will be launched at the EAN Access and Admissions Forum. Watch this space for further details.

For more information and to access the survey, please follow this link.

 

Our original Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study, Developing a school chatbot for student support services, addresses the ethical issues of bias, social responsibility, risk and privacy, and examines situations that professional engineers need to consider, such as informed consent, public health and safety, conflicts with leadership, and legal implications.

This case study involves the employees of a small software start-up that is creating a customised student support chatbot for a Sixth Form college. The employees come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives on the motivations behind their work, which leads to some interpersonal conflict. The team must also identify the ethical issues and competing values that arise in the course of developing their algorithm.

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: stakeholder mapping to elicit value assumptions and motivations.

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. Please take a look and give us your feedback.

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.

Every year, the Engineering Professors’ Council flagship Congress meeting defines what’s hot in engineering academia. Competitively hosted by EPC members themselves on a UK touring model, in 2023 we are thrilled to be visiting the historic city of Hereford; a foodie paradise on the Welsh border. We celebrate six weeks to go with six reasons why you should come too, from 12th to 14th June…

1. A glimpse into NMITE’s new model. Many of us have angled for an invite, here’s yours.

Hereford is, of course, home to NMITE; our hosts and new kids on the block in engineering HE. We’ve all heard of NMITE’s challenger approach and hands-on engineering degrees. No lecture halls. No traditional exams. No physics or maths requirement. But what does this actually look like and how does it relate to our own model of engineering HE?

Congress will be based at Skylon Campus: a new, sustainably built smart building constructed from responsibly sourced timber. We’ll be using the student spaces for ourselves throughout the event. There is also the opportunity to take a guided tour around NMITE’s repurposed, state-of-the-art city centre facility, Blackfriars Campus.

2. Our awesome line up of speakers

Featuring Vivienne Stern MBE, Chief Executive of Universities UK; Vicki Stott, Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Agency; The Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State (Decarbonisation and Technology); Dr Annabel Kiernan, Pro Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University; Dr Ruth Graham, author of Improving University Reward for Teaching: A Roadmap for Change; Ian Dunn; Provost of Coventry University; and Rod Bristow, former CEO of Pearson UK.

Plus a host of expert speakers from on new models of recruitment; delivery; curriculum; assessment; employability; academic employment and progression; and funding. Including: Advance HE; Dyson; Pearson UK; the Royal Academy of Engineering; Siemens; Arden University; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Cambridge; University of East Anglia; Imperial College London; NMITE; Oxford Brookes University; Swansea University; TEDI-London; University College London; Warwick Manufacturing Group; and Wiltshire College

3. An opportunity to try blacksmithing

The Rural Crafts Centre is recognised as the foremost national centre for Smiths and is the largest training based forge in Europe. On Monday, you can enjoy a hands-on blacksmithing workshop and go home with your very own hand forged results to show for it! Spaces on this amazing activity are limited and will be offered on a first-come first served basis. So book your space sooner, rather than later.

4. Food and even more culture

A good lunch is always a draw, and we promise you’ll be impressed with Hereford’s impressive food pedigree. We’ll feed you well in the day, and even better at night, warming up with an all-weather curry social on Monday night before the main event, Congress dinner on the Left Bank overlooking the River Wye, on Tuesday evening. You’ll be entertained by neuroscientist, author and blogger, Dean Burnett, and we’ll celebrate the success of the EPC student Hammermen Award finalists. You will already have experienced the awe-inspiring Hereford Cathedral – home of the mappa-mundi – where world famous physicist, Professor Dame Athene Donald DBE, FRS, will give the public lecture on Monday.

5. Your network, let’s network

This year, Congress truly belongs to the Engineering Academics Network. Annual congress is an event to bring together engineering academics at all levels of their career, from deans and heads of department to postgraduates. We’ve missed the organic opportunity to ask questions, discover and share innovative ideas, and gain important professional insight across a host of engineering-related institutions. We are proud to support early career academics with heavily discounted tickets for Congress. Networking opportunities at Congress are second to none. We want more of you to benefit!

6. Outstanding value for money

With early bird member tickets discounted to under ÂŁ300 until 5th May, and an even bigger EPC subsidy for early career staff and staff from the hosting university, the professional development on offer is a steal. Where else can you get so much for so little?

Bookings are now being taken for EAN Annual Congress. Tickets and further information here.

The results of the 2022 EPC Engineering Enrolments Survey are now available. Deep dive the results through our members-only Data explorer, view the slide-deck, or read the summary blog.

To start, many thanks to members who completed this year’s EPC engineering enrolments survey. The survey gives us all an early temperature check of the health of HE undergraduate and postgraduate engineering enrolments and provides early signals to changing patterns of enrolments. Our survey is the only place you can gain this insight, long before official sector enrolment data for 2022/23 is available.

Following the introduction of EPC Online earlier this year, we are delighted to present an enhanced survey report in 2022. Results are now showcased in our pioneering Data explorer service which provides you, our members, the opportunity to access and explore the findings through dynamic and flexible data visualisations. Using our new service, you can drill down and dissect results by specific cohorts, filter to your own discipline(s) of interest and view charts, tables and data personalised to your needs.

Please remember that this is a survey – not a data collection – but with more than half of EPC member providers submitting a response we celebrate better coverage (c35K students) of more discrete disciplines (210) than ever before. Net of the increase in responses, this leads us to a relative increase in enrolments suggesting a healthy Engineering intake in 2022.

In another first for our survey, IT systems sciences & computer software engineering leads the pack in Engineering enrolments in 2022, following a pattern of year-on-year growth in our survey. Mechanical engineering is a close runner up this year.

Last year, early signals of a contracting overseas market in First degree engineering raised concerns over Engineering’s ability to retain its relative strength in overseas recruitment. We were seeing sector-wide recruitment of overseas students increasing, possibly in subjects more easily accessible remotely in the pandemic recovery period than lab and kit dependent Engineering courses. While we can’t corroborate this trend in the HESA enrolments data for 2021 for a few months yet, our 2022 survey shows an encouraging, stronger, First degree overseas Engineering market this year.

In another overseas twist, a massive 82% of postgraduates in the 2022 sample were from overseas, continuing an upward trend since at least the 2019 survey and witnessing a sharp increase from 71% in 2021. Our surveys consistently show that Russell Group universities dominate the overseas postgraduate cohort so it is of note that our sample this year is weighted 2:1 to non-Russell group providers (compared to only a marginal non-Russell group majority typically). This may suggest we will see an even more pronounced swing when the full data collection becomes available in 2024.

Meanwhile, our members report declines in traditional Engineering disciplines of Civil; Mechanical; and Chemical, process and energy engineering this year, as well as Bioengineering. Growth is reported overall in Mineral, metallurgy & materials; Production and manufacturing; and IT systems sciences & computer software engineering. Of course, we are reminded that that market forces aren’t the only factor at play when it comes to changes in the engineering enrolments profile year on year.

More detail is available in the Recruitment + Admissions Forum launch presentation slide deck (and a recording will be available via the event page in due course). If you wish to explore the data for yourself, discover insights most relevant to your setting, and dive deeper into this this year’s findings, please do visit our to our members-only Data explorer. Do tell us what you think using the comment, discussion and takeaway channels available to you.

You may have noticed our beta Data explorer on EPC’s new website.

Student enrolments on the site is now fully formed and we were excited to recently bring members the first of a series of Data dive workshops to help them explore the amazing possibilities this brings. You won’t want to watch a whole hour of an interactive workshop, so we have recorded the demonstration to share with members who were unable to make the Data dive event but want to learn more about this member only service. You can review the recording via the past event page EPC Data dive workshop: student enrolments.

If you have any problems logging in or accessing the page, please contact us.

We pledge to bring you regular updates and a monthly hands-on online workshop to guide you through our new exclusive-to-members service. Check our website regularly to see what’s up next.

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