Ken Derra 
ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) 


Wednesday April 9, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM CDT

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Grohmann Museum Auditorium at MSOE 
1000 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Driving Directions 


  • Park in lot adjacent to Grohmann Museum.
  • Parking Permits will be available upon arrival.


5:00 PM Gathering at Grohmann Museum Auditorium at MSOE
5:30 PM Presentation by Dr. Jon Borowicz
6:30 PM Dinner 
7:30 PM Round table discussions and Summative Comments 

Menu (Buffet)

  • Roast Beef with a Cheron Sauce
  • Parmesan Crusted Orange Roughy
  • Parmesan Crusted Red Potatoes
  • Wild Rice
  • Asparagus Spears with Julienne Red Peppers
  • Fresh Summer Blend
  • Tossed Garden Salad
  • Homemade Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • Fresh Fruit Tray
  • Brownies & Assorted Cookies
  • Lemonade
  • Water
  • Coffee


Members  $25
Non-Members  $30
Students & Spouses $15
Certificate for 2 PDH's  $5 

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ASME - Milwaukee Dinner & Ethics Presentation at MSOE's Grohmann Museum 

 April 9, 2014

Register Now!


This month, the ASME Milwaukee Section is going to the Grohmann Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) for a presentation on Engineering Ethics by Dr. Jon Borowicz, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Sociologist Eliot Freidson and philosopher Michael Bayles characterize engineering as a “scholarly” profession as opposed to a “consulting” profession.  Scholarly professions are employed and characteristically affect many clients simultaneously, if the concept of client has application to their practice at all.  Historian Edwin Layton refers to the “engineer’s dilemma” as the “conflict between professional autonomy and bureaucratic loyalty” that is structural to the practice of the great majority of engineers.  The work of scholarly professions is strongly influenced by organizational dynamics. 

We will consider two, or perhaps three, cases which display this effect.  Beginning with the classic case of the space shuttle Challenger, we will consider the controversial supposed shift in the burden of proof with respect to the acceptable temperature for the performance of the solid rocket booster O-rings.  In the Challenger case, the effect was a collective failure to notice the shift in burden of proof.  In two other cases, we will consider the stakes for the integrity of individual engineers for dissenting to a decision which does raise an ethical issue which they recognize.  What happened in the Challenger case will be argued to be the incentive for engaging in activities which cultivate what we might call “moral taste” which enables us to make judgments—to see the ethical matter—when the stakes are high.  Activities designed to cultivate this capacity constituting what might be called the “active” dimension of professional ethics are being incorporated in the ethics course at MSOE.  They will be briefly described.

Jon Borowicz has been on the MSOE faculty since 1989.  For eight years prior to that he was a systems analyst with Catalyst USA.  Borowicz received the MA and PhD in philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University, and the BA with a major in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He specializes in professional ethics and the emerging field of philosophical practice, which extends the tradition of philosophy in dialogue and as the cultivation of presence of mind and judgment.  His scholarship makes contributions to both areas.  His presentation/workshop will be concerned with their intersection.

During the online registration process you will be able to signup for a certificate worth 2 PDH’s for attending this presentation, for a nominal fee of $5.  You must register for this certificate during registration or by the April 1, 2014 registration deadline!

Register Now!