skip to Main Content
+32 2 502 36 09

Engineering Ethics Education: Navigating Uncertainty

Date: 24-26 April 2023
Location: Pleinlaan 2 – Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium

The event will be held in-person on the campus of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium). There is no designated hotel for the event, but some participants are staying at:

  • Hotel Avenue Louise Brussels Trademark Collection by Wyndham
  • ibis Brussels Centre Châtelain
  • Adagio Access Brussels Delta
  • Hotel Barsey by Warwick

If you plan to attend, please register using this link. If you have already completed the Call for Participation via the Google Form, there is no need to register again.

Confirmed participants: Diana Bairaktarova (Virginia Tech), Nael Barakat (UT Tyler), Tom Børsen (Aalborg University), Shannon Chance (TU Dublin), Inês Direito (UCL), Andrea Gammon (TU Delft), Cécile Hardebolle (EPFL), Aditya Johri ( George Mason University), Siara Isaac (EPFL), Elena Mäkiö (University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer), Lavinia Marin (TU Delft), Diana Martin (TU Eindhoven), Vivek Ramachandran (EPFL), Roland Tormey (EPFL).

Approach: The spring school is intended to maximize opportunities for interaction, discussion, and exchange. The spring school will give a space for those interested in the topic of engineering ethics education, to map out, problematize, combine, and co-create new
approaches to teach and research engineering ethics. It will bring diverse voices together to collaborate on ways forward.

Theme: The theme for the 2023 spring school Navigating uncertainty recognizes the growing unpredictability of the world today. From technologies and jobs that have yet to be created, to ever-evolving political disruptions, to unprecedented environmental change, engineers face uncertainty. Uncertainty operates at the micro-level in terms of risk in engineering and at the macro-level regarding change and complexity in the societal and environmental context. Engineering educators must prepare students to navigate this unpredictability while ethics education itself involves making decisions within ambiguity.

The theme also draws on the location in Brussels as the de facto capital of Europe and home of some of the major European institutions. Brussels aims to be the heart of collaborative decision-making, where voices need to come together to address complex challenges. This serves as a fitting backdrop for engineering ethics education.

Preliminary Programme

  • Monday, 24 April – Room: E.2.03
    • Welcome (9:00-9:10)
    • Introduction to ESTIEM (9:10-9:30)
    • Taking Emotion Seriously in Mainstream Engineering Ethics Teaching, Roland Tormey (9:30-10:30)
    • Coffee break, Q.Foyere
    • Ethics of Using Generative AI-media for Education, Vivek Ramachandran and Cécile Hardebolle (11:00-12:30)
    • Lunch (12:30-14:00)*
    • Cultural Differences in Engineering Ethics Education – Strength or Weakness?, Aive Pevkur (14:00-14:30)
    • Epistemic Beliefs and Cognition, Siara Isaac (14:30-15:00)
    • Coffee break, Q.Foyer
    • Ethics Education Through Change in Higher Education: An Institutional Perspective, Diana Bairaktarova (15:30-16:30)
    • Coffee break, Q.Foyer
    • Panel on Generative AI, Julien Gossé, Denis Steckelmacher, Maximilian Rossmann, moderated by Nael Barakat (17:00-18:00)
    • Dinner @ Wolf Food Market (19:30) (*) Rue du Fossé aux Loups 50, 1000 Bruxelles
  • Tuesday, 25 April – Room E.3.07
    • Including Ethics in any Course at any Moment, Miguel Romá (9:00-9:30)
    • Development of Responsible Software Course, Cécile Hardebolle (9:30-10:00)
    • Tools for Ethical Analysis, Heli Väätäjä (10:00-10:30)
    • Coffee break, Q.Foyer
    • Postnormal Science and Ethics, Tom Børsen (11:00-11:30)
    • Promoting Critical Thinking in Students – How do I Design Lessons?, Elena Mäkiö (11:30-12:30)
    • Lunch (12:30-14:00)*
    • Positionality in Engineering Ethics Research, Shannon Chance and Inês Direito (14:00-15:00)
    • Coffee break, Q.Foyer
    • Why write? Reconsidering the Relevance of the Essay Assignment in Engineering Ethics Education, Andrea Gammon and Lavinia Marin (15:30-16:30)
    • Coffee break, Q.Foyer
    • Engineering Ethics Education: A Global View, Diana Martin (17:00-18:00)
  • Wednesday, 26 April – Room C.4.09
    • SIG Ethics meeting (9:00-10:00)
    • Informal Collaborating and Networking Time (10:30-12:30)
      • Themes:
        • Empathy in engineering ethics education (led by Inês Direito and Diana Bairaktarova)
        • Co-creating the SEFI Ethics SIG Workshop (led by Nael Barakat)
        • Handbook editors meeting (Tom Borsen)

*Lunch is not provided, so participants are welcome to organize their own lunches
(recommendations for restaurants on and near campus will be provided so that we can explore

*Dinner costs will be covered individually by participants. On Tuesday evening, participants
will choose together a dinner location.

VUB Campus Map
For more information, please contact the organizer Madeline Polmear at

Back To Top