Prof. Robert C. Maher


637 Cobleigh Hall (northwest corner of 6th floor)


Office:  994-7759
Mobile:  599-5830


[email protected]

Class Page: (also linked from D2L)

Office hours:

Monday and Wednesday 11:00-11:50AM, 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.


    • 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:

      • Collaboration
        University policy states that, unless otherwise specified, students may not collaborate on graded material. Any exceptions to this policy will be stated explicitly for individual assignments. If you have any questions about the limits of collaboration, you are expected to ask for clarification
      • Plagiarism
        Paraphrasing or quoting another’s work without citing the source is a form of 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 considered plagiarism. Student work can and will be submitted to the TurnItIn online verification service. If you have any questions about using and citing sources, you are expected to ask for clarification.
      • Consequences
        Section 420 of the Student Conduct Code describes academic misconduct as including but not limited to plagiarism, cheating, multiple submissions, or facilitating others’ misconduct. Possible sanctions for academic misconduct range from an oral reprimand to expulsion from the university.

Section 435 of the Student Code allows the instructor to impose the following sanctions for academic misconduct: oral reprimand; written reprimand; an assignment to repeat the work or an alternate assignment; a lower or failing grade on the particular assignment or test; or a lower grade or failing grade in the course.

    •  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 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.