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Ethics for Engineering

Code: 103817 ECTS Credits: 3
Degree Type Year Semester
2501233 Aeronautical Management OB 3 2


Change in contact: Toni Manresa <Antonio.Manresa@uab.cat>


Jordi Pons Aroztegui

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


There are none.

Objectives and Contextualisation

In the subject, the guidelines are offered to discover and manage the social implications and the polyvalence of technology. Initially, the basic concepts related to morality, ethics and responsibility are introduced. It shows how professional practice expresses the importance of analysis in decision making in order to recognize complex situations and assess the consequences of possible alternatives. It presents the fundamental ethical frameworks, the deontological codes associated with the professions and the global commitments for a fair, peaceful and sustainable human development.


  • Act ethically and professionally.
  • Identify, develop and maintain the necessary resources to meet the tactical and operative needs inherent to air transport activities.
  • Make choices on investment projects.
  • Participate in human resources management, correctly applying the different concepts involved: psychology applied to organisations, internal and external communication and economic and legal factors.
  • Personal work habits.
  • Thinking skills.
  • Work in teams.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse possible alternatives and social impacts when evaluating investment projects.
  2. Contribute to the welfare of society and sustainable development.
  3. Develop critical thought and reasoning.
  4. Develop the ability to analyse, synthesise and plan ahead.
  5. Identify, manage and resolve conflicts.
  6. Resolve ethical conflicts in the management of activities inherent to air transport.
  7. Resolve the ethical conflicts that can arise in a teamwork context.
  8. Respect diversity in ideas, people and situations.
  9. Take on the social, ethical and professional responsibilities deriving from professional practice.
  10. Work independently.


The subject introduces what are the main points of view about technology and what responsibility professionals have regarding the exercise of their profession. The main ethical frameworks that can help us in the analysis of situations where ethical conflicts appear are presented. It describes how ethics is focused on technical studies and how deontological codes have been established in different professions related to engineering. Cases of conflicting areas are studied to identify the consequences of possible courses of action. The topics are structured as follows:


Concept, origins and topics

Foundations and relationships with other disciplines

Three ethical theories

Moral relativism

Areas of ethics. Applied ethics


Exploring neutrality in science and technology

Instrumental rationality

Technology assessment

Moral responsibility in science and technology

Duties derived from science and technology


Professional responsibility

Deontological codes and professional ethics

Conflicts between standards

Conflicts of interest

Ethics in research


Ecological and social crisis

Sustainable development


Economy and sustainability

2030 Agenda: opportunities and limits


The subject consists of a theoretical part, a practical part, and a personal part where the student works home. A total of 25 face-to-face hours are taught to the student which are distributed according to the table of training activities. The total dedication of the student is 75 hours, therefore, there is a outside dedication of 50 hours.
Sessions where the basic contents that the student must know are presented. Likewise, the possible ways to complete or deepen the information received in these sessions are indicated. In some of these sessions, group learning activities can be carried out in which the participation of all students will be requested.
Seminar sessions
In these sessions, an academic paper that everyone has had the opportunity to read and analyze previously is analyzed in common. The objective is to induce active participation through the proposal, criticism, or reasoned defense, of options to be followed or measures to be adopted. It will be possible to form dialogue groups that should expose the analyzed text from an ethical perspective.
Practices sessions
Group activities where conflict cases or ethical challenges are studied using the concepts seen in lectures. From the dialogue in the group the different ways of action that the case allows and the foreseeable consequences are considered. The teams prepare a presentation in which the case is exposed to the rest of the students, describe the actions considered and the conclusions to which they have arrived. At the beginning of the presentation, a written report is presented where the presentation is summarized.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 13 0.52 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Practices 6 0.24 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
Seminars 6 0.24 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
Type: Supervised      
Case of study presentation 8 0.32 2, 3, 4, 5
Type: Autonomous      
Practices 18 0.72 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Study 14 0.56 1, 3, 4, 5, 10
Study for the final exam 4 0.16 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


This subject does not contemplate the possibility of a single evaluation

a) Both the knowledge acquired in relation to the objectives set in the subject and the degree of the skills and competences that were to be developed will be taken into account.
b) The dates of the assessment tests and the concretion of the practices for the teams will be published in the Virtual Campus as it is convenient.
c) The final grade will be obtained from the sum of the scores of the three scheduled activities: test on the assigned readings (2 points), team practice (3 points) and final test (5 points). The student has the right to a second chance for the final test, over 5 points, if he has not passed the subject in the continuous assessment. To pass the subject it is necessary to have obtained a minimum score of 1.5 points in practice and 2 points in the final test. If this minimum grade is not reached in any of the two activities evaluated, the final grade will be a 3 (fail). The qualification obtained is, non-evaluable, if the student has not participated in any of the evaluation activities that require a minium score.
d) For the final assessment activity, a place, date and time of revision will be indicated, in which the student can review the activity with the teacher. In this context, claims may be made on the activity grade, which will be evaluated by the faculty responsible for the subject. If the student does not attend this review, the activity will not be reviewed later.
e) The current regulations established by the UAB will be applied when deciding what students pass the course with honors.
f) Without prejudice to other disciplinary measures deemed appropriate, and in accordancewith current academic regulations, irregularities committed by a student that may lead to a variation of the grade will be scored with a 0. For example, plagiarizing, copying or allowing an evaluation activity to be copied will imply suspendingthe assessment activity with a 0. The assessment activities qualified in thisway and by this procedure will not be recoverable.
g) All students repeating the subject will be evaluated under the same criteria that new students.

h) This subject does not provide for a unified evaluation system.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Classroom activities 0,3 4 0.16 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Final exam 0,4 1 0.04 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Practices 0,3 1 0.04 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


Bilbao, Galo; Fuertes, Javier y Guibert, José Mª (2006). Ética para ingenieros. Desclée De
Bynum, Terrell Ward and Rogerson, Simon (eds.) (2004). Computer Ethics and
Professional Responsibility. Blackwell Publishing.
Harris, Charles E.; Pritchard, Michael S.; Rabins, Michael J.; James, Ray and Englehardt,
Elaine (2018). Engineering Ethics: Concepts & Cases. Cengage Learning.
Ibarra, Andón y Olivé, León (eds.) (2003). Cuestiones éticas en ciencia y tecnología en el
siglo XXI. Biblioteca Nueva (access online, UAB).
Pieper, Annemarie (1991). Ética y moral. Una introducción a la filosofía práctica. Crítica.
Xercavins, Josep; Cayuela, Diana; Cervantes, Gemma i Sabater Assumpta (2005).
Desarrollo sostenible. Edicions UPC (access online UPCommons).


No software is required.