Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Often, engineering students do not study engineering failures or discuss ethics until they take upper division undergraduate courses or graduate level courses. One drawback to this approach is that problems analyzed in introductory courses are often contrived, uninteresting, and bear little relation to the problems encountered in engineering practice. At the point when educators need to grab the student's interest in engineering most, they should show the excitement and relevance of the profession. Another is that the students encounter the issues of ethics, responsibility, and accountability that are often highlighted by a failure, late in their engineering education. As a result, they may see these issues as secondary to engineering practice rather than fundamentally embedded. Examples of failure case studies and their incorporation into introductory engineering mechanics courses are discussed, along with ethical implications. When possible, problems should be selected so that the students can perform the calculations. By incorporating this material earlier in engineering education, it is possible to forge a stronger link between engineering education and practice.
Delatte, N.J. (1997). "Failure Case Studies and Ethics in Engineering Mechanics Courses." J.Prof.Issues Eng.Educ.Pract., 123(3), 111-116.