Fairfield Students Impress at Lockheed Martin Engineering Ethics Competition

Fairfield Students Impress at Lockheed Martin Engineering Ethics Competition

During this annual competition, university teams of two competed against one another to solve a fictional case involving ethical dilemmas within the industry.

This spring, School of Engineering and Computing students Megan Rourke and John Chiodo competed in the seventh annual Lockheed Martin Ethics in Engineering Case Competition in Bethesda, Maryland. The team was led by the director of the Patrick J. Waide Center for Applied Ethics, David Schmidt, PhD, and professor of the practice in mechanical engineering Naser Haghbin, PhD.

The students underwent rigorous preparation, focusing on ethical insights and effective presentation skills led by Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Haghbin beginning earlier this fall. “In order to prepare for this competition, we first needed to fully understand the case study and all the information it held,” explained Rourke. “After understanding the content of the case study, we needed to understand the format of this competition. Unlike a typical debate formation, the two teams were not in direct opposition to one another. The two teams were role-playing the companies described in the case study, and trying to reach mutual agreement and plan of action to solve the issue.”

The competition unfolded in a unique format, where teams from different companies collaborated on projects, tackling ethical dilemmas outlined in provided case studies. Working in separate rooms with advisors, each team had a brief window to present their ethical concerns and proposed solutions, followed by a debate and evaluation by judges. Out of 72 teams, Chiodo and Rourke clinched the 13th spot, advancing past the second round of the competition.

“Because this was Fairfield’s first year entering the competition, our team was unsure of what to anticipate regarding the specifics of the competition, said Rourke. “Overall, placing 13th felt incredibly gratifying and gave us the confidence we needed to move forward with the other rounds.” 

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