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Texas A&M at Qatar draws global scholars for engineering ethics workshop

Published Oct 25, 2011

Texas A&M University at Qatar welcomed ethics scholars and industry representatives to a two-day workshop titled "Engineering Ethics for a Globalized World." The event, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Qatar Petroleum, featured seven sessions discussing the challenges that arise in developing international standards for engineering ethics and in teaching engineering ethics materials in an increasingly international educational context when these materials are created primarily for US universities.

Dr. Hassan Bashir, assistant professor of liberal arts at Texas A&M at Qatar and workshop co-organizer, commented on the event, saying, "Bringing together this immense range of knowledge and expertise on engineering ethics has enabled us to make progress towards potential establishment of increasingly international ethics codes, licenses and curricula. The scholars at this workshop came from the United States, India, China and Saudi Arabia, among other countries. This wide participation shows the importance of a dialogue on engineering ethics and the reputation Texas A&M at Qatar is gaining as a contributor to this conversation."

Key topics discussed in the workshop included international differences in engineering practice, the relevance of western engineering codes in non-western contexts, a comparison of western and non-western perspectives on moral decision making and pedagogical challenges to teaching engineering ethics internationally.

Dr. Eyad Masad, assistant dean for research and graduate studies at Texas A&M at Qatar and workshop co-organizer, said, "Hosting this workshop demonstrates Texas A&M at Qatar’s commitment to serve as a meeting of cultures and meeting of minds. Scholars converged from around the world to engage in a very timely dialogue on engineering ethics.

"As globalization increases, we are likely to see a larger debate on the shape of ethics in this environment," continued Masad. "Texas A&M at Qatar is well positioned to serve as a venue for this dialogue and center of excellence for research in the field."