ITEC-Ethics of technology and engineering


About this course

How does one engineer for a rapidly changing world? And how can one use engineering to make the world a better place? In order to be successful, technological innovations must take into account the societal and ethical aspects of technology. Future engineers will work in multidisciplinary teams – whether they work in high-tech startups, large established companies, government agencies, or research institutions. They will be expected to cooperate and combine their technological expertise with ethical skills in order to realize successful and responsible innovations that improve society while at the same time addressing ethical concerns about new technologies.

Ethics of Technology and Engineering introduces students to normative skills that help engineers, designers, and researchers to make decisions concerning ethical questions. These skills are needed e.g., to understand the complex societal context of sustainable mobility and energy systems, to deal with and to identify privacy aspects of all kinds of smart systems, to help solve controversial health and risk issues, etc. Students acquire insights into basic ethical concepts (such as values, risks and responsibilities) and analyse the role these concepts play in the context of the development and design of technologies. Furthermore, students will get acquainted with codes of conduct (such as the TU/e code) and classical ethical theories (such as utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue-ethics) and learn how to apply these theories to ethical decisions making in the field of ethics of technology and engineering ethics.

Students will work in groups on a case related to their interest and field of study. They will analyze their case with the help of the “ethical cycle”: a systematic step-by-step problem-solving method meant to identify relevant ethical issues and recommend ways to tackle them in the light of ethical theories. Ethics of Technology and Engineering will offer different themes that students can enroll in, tailored to the interests and to the fields of study of the different students of the TU/e.
Year 1 Q4 (0LVX10)
Year 1 Q4 (0LVX30)
Year 2 Q2 Timeslot A Timeslot E Timeslot E Bachelor program Automotive Technology X Architecture, Urbanism & Building Sciences X Biomedical Engineering X Computer Science & Engineering X Electrical Engineering X Industrial Design X Innovation Sciences X Chemical Engineering and Chemistry X Industrial Engineering X Applied Physics X Applied Mathematics X Mechanical Engineering X Medische wetenschappen en Technology X Psychology & Technology X

Learning outcomes

The overall aim of Ethics of Technology and Engineering is to introduce students to the role of ethics in engineering and innovation. It covers the following learning outcomes

  • Basic ability to reflect on ethical aspects of engineering in a societal context
  • Basic ability to conduct a normative analysis of engineering with the help of ethical concepts (such as values, risks and (shared) responsibility)
  • Basic ability to conceive and evaluate solutions to engineering challenges with the help of classical ethical theories (such as utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics)

Required prior knowledge

You must meet the following requirements

  • Enrolled for one of the following degree programmes
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics
  • Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Industrial Design
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Sciences and Engineering
  • Psychology & Technology
  • Sustainable Innovation
  • Registered for a degree programme other than
  • Automotive Technology
  • Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Completed none of the course modules listed below
  • Introduction to modeling (0LEB0)
  • ITEC ET (0LVX30)
  • USEbasic: ethics & history of technology (0SAB0)
  • Data Science Ethics (JBG000)

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of TU Eindhoven.


  • Start date

    21 April 2025

    • Ends
      22 June 2025
    • Term *
      Block 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      15 Nov, 00:00 - 23 Mar 2025
    Enrolment starts in 123 days
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University