PE Ethics Workshop

Upcoming dates (3)

Jul. 24, 2024


Course Overview

In this latest version of the popular engineering ethics series, we explore the following question: Do designers have an ethical obligation to future-proof their designs? What is at stake, ethically, if we continue to design buildings and infrastructure based on existing historical weather/climate data, when that data may not fully capture the possible risks we face in the future? Conversely -- what is at stake, ethically speaking, if climate change concerns drive increasingly costly building and infrastructure designs, codes, and standards? (Who stands to win, and who stands to lose, in both scenarios?) The goal of this session is to gather a group of practicing professionals to hold a civil discussion on this question, even if they do not all agree. 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.

Who Should Attend?

  • Professional Engineers
  • Architects
  • Related technical professionals

Additional Information

Please note:
The Dec 6, 2024 PE Ethics Workshop course subject is, Ethical Considerations in Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater.

Course Outline

During this ethics workshop you will:

  • Debate the ethical implications of designing infrastructure based on known historical data vs. potential future conditions (future-proofing)
  • Discuss the impacts and risks of both approaches to design
  • Examine professional codes of ethics and how these guiding documents provide greater clarity when facing ethical dilemmas
  • Evaluate real case examples of ethics problems


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 (3)

Program Director

Joy Altwies

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