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Engineering Education and Practice

Embracing a Catholic Vision

edited by James L. Heft, S.M., and Kevin Hallinan

Publication Year: 2011

Engineering Education and Practice: Embracing a Catholic Vision is a collection of essays exploring how major themes of Catholic social teaching—respect for the environment, sustainability, technological design, and service to the poor—all positively affect engineering curricula, students, and faculty. Many engineering programs at American universities focus solely on developing technological sophistication without promoting ethical and humanitarian priorities. The contributors to this collection argue, however, that undergraduate engineering education needs to be broadened beyond its current narrow restrictions. The authors of this unique collection, nearly all of whom are engineers themselves, show how some Christian universities in the United States have found creative ways of opening up their engineering curricula. They demonstrate how the professional education of engineers can be enriched not only by ethical and religious themes, which are typically isolated in humanities curricula, but also by special fieldwork courses that offer hands-on service-learning opportunities and embody a rich educational synthesis.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xi

For three days in September 2005, I had the good fortune to participate in a conference on “The Role of Engineering at a Catholic University” at the University of Dayton. I am no engineer, but I am interested in Catholic higher education, and I found the proceedings extremely encouraging. ...

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Preface. Elegant Design Is Not Enough: Embracing the Tangled "We" to Critique Technology

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pp. xiii-xvii

There is a theological premise that underlies my thinking as I have prepared this essay on engineering and Roman Catholicism. It’s a two-sentence description of what is distinctive about the Roman Catholic theological tradition (when contrasted with other Christian theological traditions). ...


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pp. xix

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pp. 1-9

Engineers are nearly invisible. few people in the United States, even engineers, can name a single living engineer who enjoys a high profile in the national media. Not many people really know what engineers do. Surprisingly, some people still believe engineers are the people who...

Part 1: The Shape and Art of Engineering and the Catholic Tradition

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pp. 11

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1. Exploring a Catholic Vision of Engineering

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pp. 13-40

for several years now, the University of Dayton has been making substantial investments in faculty development. Some of those investments are especially focused on relating the research of the faculty to a curriculum that expresses the intellectual dimensions of the university’s founding...

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2. The Theological Origins of Engineering

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pp. 41-55

Knowledge of our roots can sometimes help us figure out how we ought to proceed. Many claim that engineering began in ancient antiquity with the Egyptian pyramids, Archimedes’ inventions, or the Roman aqueducts. Others give contemporary engineering a more recent history, tracing...

Part 2: Building the Bridge

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pp. 57

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3. A Catholic and Marianist Engineering Education

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pp. 59-89

The School of Engineering at the University of Dayton (UD), a Catholic and Marianist University, boasts large enrollments of 1,300 undergraduate and 350 graduate students out of a total of 7,000 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students. It also boasts a faculty very active in research...

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4. Engineering at Santa Clara: Jesuit Values in Silicon Valley

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pp. 90-103

This chapter originated as part of a special project at Santa Clara University called future Directions: Achieving National Prominence as a Catholic, Jesuit University. My original purpose was to issue an invitation to the university community to reflect on the role of engineering at Santa Clara. ...

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5. A Systems View of Time-dependent Ethical Decisions

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pp. 104-117

Every ethical situation has a “system” characteristic with a group of human and nonhuman elements linked in a variety of interactions and interdependencies. The system allows the elements to act in part or as a whole towards achieving a spectrum of goals, objectives, or ends.1 ...

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6. Pursuing Dialogue between Theologians and Engineers

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pp. 118-139

While many reasons should compel theologians to reflect on technology in general and some technologies in particular, five major goals sparked interest in exploring the theology-technology connection at Marquette University: (1) to facilitate the unification of student knowledge and skills...

Part 3: International Service Learning

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pp. 141

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7. Human Development and a Senior Project in Mali

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pp. 143-168

The University of St. Thomas (UST) has two innovative capstone courses available for engineering students. One course is the Engineering Design Clinic, the senior capstone component of the engineering curriculum. Each year, one or two senior design teams are engaged in...

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8. International Service Learning at Marquette University

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pp. 169-182

Most engineering curricula focus on science and mathematics to solve problems for groups of people. However, it is clear that knowledge of the group to be served and ethical discernment are also important to plan, design, and construct engineering works successfully. ...

Part 4: Formation and Preparation of Students

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pp. 183

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9. Vocational Awareness in Engineering Students

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pp. 185-198

As a faculty member I am excited about not only teaching the technical aspects of the engineering curriculum, but also about helping students realize their vocational callings to the engineering profession. While working in industry as an engineer, it took me many years to start understanding...

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10. Helping Students Discern Engineering as a Vocation

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pp. 199-212

Valparaiso University is dedicated to superior teaching based on excellent scholarship. As a scholarly community it actively engages in the exploration, transmission, and enlargement not only of knowledge but also of the cultural and religious heritage of human society. ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 213-219

Index [Includes Back Cover]

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pp. 220-247

E-ISBN-13: 9780268081737
E-ISBN-10: 0268081735
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268031107
Print-ISBN-10: 026803110X

Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 3 halftones???
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Engineering -- Study and teaching -- United States.
  • Catholic Church -- Education.
  • Engineers -- Education -- United States.
  • Engineering -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
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