Western Libraries

ES 4498 Engineering Ethics, Sustainable Development and the Law

This page points you to resources to help you with your ES 4498 position paper, case study paper and sustainability paper.

Slides from the Librarians' presentation in January 2015.


Position Paper Tips

You are picking one article of the Code of Ethics - one numbered section.  You need to consult organizations' websites, journals, and other library resources to become aware of the profession's perspective on specific part(s) of the Code.  Include your personal interviews with professional engineers too.

Case Study Paper Tips

The best way to find a case is to ask a Professional Engineer!  Talk to your ES4498 professor if you want to confirm that you've found an appropriate case.

If you aren't able to talk to a Professional Engineer, you can use newspapers to identify a case (see links below).  Remember that you cannot choose a case that has already been analyzed from an ethical or legal perspective.

Sustainability Paper Tips

Start with related government sites (see links below) to get a good understanding of sustainable development. You may want to check with your course instructor when you decide on your topic. Once you have your topic confirmed, you can also locate journal articles for more information and idea on the topic.


Finding Related Information

For both assignments, you'll need to find some information to support your analysis.

 Background Information

News Articles and Trade Literature

News articles give you details and commentary on newsworthy events, which can help you verify the details or support your point of view.

You can search for news articles using the following fulltext news database:

Professional Publications Articles

Professional publications articles contain case studies and information on practical application of ethics. (e.g., Engineering Dimensions from the Professional Engineers of Ontario, which can be searched within CBCA Business).

You can search for some of them using full-text news databases and engineering article databases.

Hint: Use Google to search within Engineering Dimensions, e.g., case site:www.peo.on.ca/

Scholarly or Academic Journal Articles and Conference Proceedings

Scholarly or Academic journal articles can give you theory and analysis of cases. Some of these cases may be comparable to your case study, which can help in your analysis.  Conferences proceedings articles give you theory, analysis of cases, example ethical cases, and case studies.

You can search for them using the following engineering article databases:

  • Compendex and Inspec (you can search both at the same time)
  • There is a journal category "sustainable development" in the e-journal portal
    (Environmental Sciences -> Sustainable Development)

Citation Styles

Citing the Code of Ethics?

The Code of Ethics is found in the Professional Engineers Act of Ontario, so to properly cite the Code, you need to cite the Act:

Professional Engineers Act of Ontario, 1990, R.R.O. Reg. 941, s.77. Government of Ontario.

(Note: While the inclusion of 'Government of Ontario' in this case is neither proper Chicago style nor proper legal citation style, it is required for the purpose of these assignments.)

The notes and bibliography will have the same format, but in the notes, if you are referring to a specific clause, you can add that at the end like this:

Professional Engineers Act of Ontario, 1990, R.R.O. Reg. 941, s.77 (3). Government of Ontario.

R.R.O. stands for Revised Regulations of Ontario, Reg. 941 is the regulation number, and s.77 is the section of the Act. Abbreviations like this are accepted practice when citing laws and government statutes.


Getting More Help

Contact Taylor Library (include email Subject: ES4498) if you have questions!