Prof. Robert C. Maher


610 Cobleigh Hall (northeast corner of 6th floor inside main ECE office)


Office:  994-7759
Mobile:  599-5830


[email protected]

Class Page: (also linked from D2L)

Office hours:

Monday and Tuesday 11:00-11:50AM-noon, or by appointment.
Drop-in questions at other times are always OK if my office door is open.


Junior Standing

Textbooks and Materials

  • Fleddermann, Charles B., "Engineering Ethics," 4th ed., Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2008.
  • Class notes and handouts

Class Objective

Students develop an understanding and appreciation of the need for ethical and responsible professional behavior. Course Outcomes:At the conclusion of EELE 487, students will be able to:

  1. Express in oral and written form an understanding and appreciation of the need for ethical and responsible professional behavior.
  2. Describe and knowledgeably discuss the importance of safety, environmental and other societal issues to the engineering profession.

Class Outline (subject to change)

  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Engineering and the Environment
  • The Space Shuttle
  • Ethical Problems and Approaches
  • Ethical Conflicts and Bribes
  • Risk, Safety, and Accidents
  • Public Safety and New Technologies
  • Code of Ethics of Engineering
  • Ethics and Research
  • Ethics and Professionalism in the Workplace
  • Final Presentations and Discussion

Course Grading

Class attendance and participation:


→ Students are expected to attend each class and participate in the discussion and case-studies.  Student absences are only excused by individual arrangement IN ADVANCE of the absence.
Homework and papers:


→ Homework and essay papers will be required periodically.  Homework is due on the due date at the BEGINNING of class.  No late homework will be accepted.
Final Presentations:


→ The final presentations will be held during class time toward the end of the semester.



Grade guarantee

Point percentages for course letter grades will not be higher than indicated by the following scale:

A- = 90%
B- = 80%
C- = 70%
D = 60%
F = 59%

A grade of F will also be given automatically if there is a failing performance in any of the individual grade categories (attendance, homework and papers, or final presentations), regardless of the student's aggregate score total.


  • All students must have an electronic mail address listed with the MSU My Info system.  Announcements and reminders for EELE 487 will be sent occasionally via email.
  • You are responsible for all material covered in class and in the textbook and outside reading assignments.
  • Among other details, Section 310.00 in the MSU Conduct Guidelines states that students must be prompt and regular in attending classes, be well prepared for classes, take exams when scheduled, and act in a respectful manner toward other students and the instructor.
  • Late submissions of assignments (homework and papers) will not be accepted. Plan ahead and notify the instructor prior to justifiable absences, or if a bona fide emergency prevented you from attending class.
  • Academic Misconduct:  Unless group work is explicitly assigned, homework, papers, and presentations must be preparedindividually. Submitting the work of others is dishonest, constitutes academic misconduct, and is grounds for dismissal from the course. Paraphrasing or quoting another’s work without citing the source is also academic misconduct.  Even inadvertent or unintentional misuse or appropriation of another's work (such as relying heavily on source material that is not expressly acknowledged) is plagiarism. If you have any questions about using and citing sources, you are expected to ask for clarification.
  • If you have a documented disability for which you are or may be requesting accommodations, you are welcome and encouraged to participate fully in this class.  Please contact the instructor and the MSU Office of Disability, Re-Entry and Veteran Services  as soon as possible.
  • All records related to this course are confidential and will not be shared with anyone, including parents, without a signed, written release from the MSU Dean of Students.  For more information contact the Dean of Students office at 994-2826.