University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

PE Ethics Workshop V Exploring Problems with Bias, Influence, and Conflict of Interest in Professional Engineering See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Mark your calendars! The next online session is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 2022. Registration closes Thursday June 16 – enroll early!  Same-day registration is not available.

Need it sooner? No problem! You can choose the recorded online anytime webinar version and earn your certificate anytime. 

In this fifth version of the popular engineering ethics series, the first half of the workshop explores this question: What strategies can we use to better identify when our own judgment may be biased by pre-existing relationships or influences that may compromise our objectivity? While the first half of our workshop is inward-looking, focused on self-analysis of conflicts of interest, the second half of the workshop is outward-looking, focused on more practical strategies for communicating with others about problems that have ethical dimensions.

While this course was developed for engineers, engineering knowledge is not a prerequisite. Those practicing architecture may also find the ethics principles beneficial for their careers and business relationships.

Additional Information

This course has been approved for 2 LU AIA credits.

Course Outline

During this ethics workshop you will:

  • Develop awareness of bias or compromising influence in your professional relationships
  • Recognize the kinds of personal or professional entanglements that lead to conflicts of interest
  • Identify strategies to communicate challenges, risks, and consequences to those in leadership positions
  • Implement multiple methods for giving "bad news" to a resistant listener


Laura Grossenbacher

Laura Grossenbacher, PhD, is the Director of the Technical Communication Program in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been teaching courses in engineering communication for over twenty years. Dr. Grossenbacher has been an active member of the Association for Practical and Profession Ethics, serving as a judge at the National Ethics Bowl Intercollegiate Competition for several years. She has served a three-year rotation as an NSF proposal reviewer for the Ethics in Engineering and Science Education panel, and actively develops cases for her undergraduate capstone course, Contemporary Issues in International Engineering.

Upcoming dates