The 4th Annual Sydney and Anne Braudy and Louis and Edith Manker workshop on Ethics in Engineering Management for M. Eng, Law, and Business School Students was held on Oct. 12, 2012.
The 2012 Sydney and Anne Braudy and Louis and Edith Manker workshop on Ethics in Engineering Management for M. Eng, Law, and Business School students was held on Friday October 12, 2012 from 5:00 – 8:00 in the ILR Conference Center at Cornell. Faculty facilitators at the workshop included Prof. Ron Kline, Director of the Bovay Program in History and Ethics of Engineering, Prof. Zelman Warhaft, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dr. Dana Radcliffe, Day Family Lecturer in Business Ethics, Johnson School of Management, Carol Grumbach, J.D., Associate Dean, New Student Programs, Dr. Neelam Sethi, Dept. of Philosophy, Dr. Park Doing, Bovay Program in History and Ethics of Engineering, and Dr. Robert and Judi Braudy – the sponsors of the workshop. Dr. Braudy holds a B.S. in Engineering Physics and an M. Eng. in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell and a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from Drexel University. He has 30 years experience as and executive, consultant, and researcher in the transportation, heath services, and financial industries. Of the 23 students participating in this year’s workshop, 8 were MBA students from the Johnson School of Management, 2 were Law students, and 13 were M. Eng students. Once again, the students appreciated close collaboration and interaction with the faculty, and responses to the workshop were again quite positive. This year the workshop benefited from the perspective and participation of the business and law students present, and efforts will be made to continue the trajectory of the conference as a joint Business School, Law School, Engineering School forum.
As with previous years, the workshop revolved around analysis and discussion of the fictional case Incident at Morales produced by the American Association for Engineering Education. The workshop began with welcoming remarks by Prof. Ron Kline. Dr. Park Doing then gave a presentation linking the issues in Engineering Management raised in the case to recent cases of software errors that cost Knight Capital over $400M and affected the U.S. stock market and the recent ‘patent wars’ between Samsung and Apple. After that, the case was viewed by the group as a whole, but stopped before the final conclusion. After that, the group was broken into 4 small groups and as a new discussion technique this year each student was assigned a role to argue from the perspective of a particular character in the case. This technique proved fruitful as the students were free to push the various perspectives. After that, the conclusion of the case was viewed by everyone. Then small group discussions were held again and this time the students gave their own views on how decisions in the case should have been handled. After that, the group again convened as a whole to bring forth perspectives from each of the groups. Some of the themes that came forth were the difficulty of ‘institutional momentum’ vs. individual action in decision making, the consequences of going against corporate constraints, the interplay between design and operations, and the nature of intellectual property. The workshop concluded with Dr. Braudy sharing some of his experiences from his career in Engineering Management, and then lively discussions continued into and through dinner catered by the Cornell ILR Conference Center.