Category: News

Opening session of fPET-2012

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By , November 2, 2012 1:22 am

fPET-2012 is underway in Beijing, China.  The opening session is just over with remarks by GUCAS VP Su, Prof Li Bocong, myself, and

Carl Mitcham.  First up is a talk entitled: Engineering and Philosophy of Engineering: A Reflection of an Engineer by Ruiyu Yin, a former government minister and currently a professor with the China Iron & Steel

Research Institute, China.

Philosophy & engineering forum issues 2nd call for papers

By , October 21, 2009 7:53 am

The 2010 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering & Technology (fPET-2010) has issued its second call for papers (pdf here).  fPET-2010 will be held 9-10 May 2010 (Sunday evening – Monday) at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Co.  Organized by the Committee on Philosophy, Engineering & Technology, the event is held in cooperation with a number of organizations:

  • the Society for Philosophy and Technology (
  • the IEEE Society for the Social Implications of Technology (
  • the Liberal Education Division (here) & Technology Literacy Constituent Committee (here) of the ASEE
  • the International Network for Engineering Studies (
  • the Engineering Philosophy Committee of the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of ASCE (

Abstracts (500-750 words) are due electronically (here) 28 December 2009 (Monday) and notification of acceptances will be sent 1 March 2010.  All papers will be blind reviewed in one of three tracks (1) philosophy (reviewed by philosophers), (2) engineering ethics and other disciplinary subjects (mixed reviewing), and (3) reflections of practitioners (reviewed by engineers).

The forum builds on the success of the two previous Workshops on Philosophy & Engineering (WPE-2007 & WPE-2008) and examples of previous submissions may be found in the abstracts booklets from those events (2007 here and 2008 here).

More information is available about fPET-2010 from forum co-chairs Diane P. Michelfelder ( and David E. Goldberg (

fPET-2010 welcomes Cherrice Traver to steering committee

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By , September 4, 2009 9:23 pm

fPET-2010 is pleased to announce that Cherrice Traver of Union College has joined the steering committee:

Cherrice Traver is the Dean of Engineering and David Falk and Elynor Rudnick-Falk Professor of Computer Engineering at Union College. She received her BS in Physics (summa cum laude) from the State University of New York at Albany in 1982 and her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1988. She has been a faculty member at Union College in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department since 1986, and directed the Computer Engineering program from 1997 to 2005.

Recently Dr. Traver has been involved in initiatives at the interface of engineering and the liberal arts. She has led two national symposia on Engineering and Liberal Education at Union College and she was General Chair for the 2008 Frontiers in Education conference.

Courses that she has taught include Electric Circuits, Digital Design, Embedded Systems, Comparative Computer Architecture, and VLSI. She has co-taught international project courses in Turkey and in Spain. Her research has been focused on timing issues in digital systems.  She has directed local and national outreach programs, including Robot Camp and the P. O. Pistilli Scholarship. She serves on the MOSIS Educational Advisory Committee and the Dudley Observatory Board of Trustees and is a member of Sigma Xi, ACM, and a senior member of the IEEE.

More information is available here.

Ibo van de Poel joins fPET steering committee

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By , August 29, 2009 7:09 am

TUDelft’s Ibo van de Poel has accepted an invitation to join the fPET steering committee:

Ibo van de Poel is an associate professor in ethics and technology at Delft University of Technology. He studied philosophy of science, technology and society, with a propaedeutic exam in mechanical engineering. In 1998, he obtained his PhD in science and technology studies (STS) with a dissertation on the dynamics of technological development; his supervisor was prof. dr. A. Rip. During the last few years, he has done research and published in the following areas: the dynamics of technological development, codes of conduct and professional ethics of engineers, the moral acceptability of technological risks, ethics in engineering design, and ethics and responsibility in R&D networks. He receives regularly invitations for international conferences and workshops and contributions to encyclopaedias in these areas. Since 1997, he is lecturing in ethics and technology for several engineering course programs at Delft University of Technology. He has been involved in several educational innovations in this area, including the development of the web-based computer program AGORA and the first Dutch textbook on ethics and technology.  He was founding co-chair of the Workshop on Philosophy and Engineering in 2008 (WPE-2008).

Additional information is available here.

fPET Steering Committee welcomes Vermont’s Domenico Grasso

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By , August 27, 2009 3:49 am

fPET is pleased to welcome Domenico Grasso to the Steering Committee:

Dr. Domenico Grasso (b. 1955 Worcester, Massachusetts) is Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Vermont. Prior to holding this position, he was the Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at UVM. He did his secondary school education at St. John’s High School in Massachusetts and holds a B.Sc. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from The University of Michigan. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Connecticut and Texas, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers

Prior to joining the University of Vermont, Professor Grasso was Rosemary Bradford Hewlett Professor and Founding Director of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first engineering program at a women’s college in the United States, and Professor and Head of Department in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He has been a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, a NATO Fellow, and an Invited Technical Expert to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna, Austria.

In 1998, Professor Grasso served on a World Bank–funded international team of scholars that established the first environmental engineering program in Argentina. In 2000, the Water Environment Federation named him a “Pioneer in Disinfection.” He recently chaired a U.S. Congressional briefing entitled “Genomes & Nanotechnology: The Future of Environmental Research.” In addition, Professor Grasso was co-founder along with Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman astronaut, of TOYChallenge — a national toy design challenge for 5th to 8th graders to excite them about science, engineering and the design process in a fun, creative and collaborative manner, relevant to everyday life.

Professor Grasso is an environmental engineer who studies the ultimate fate of contaminants in the environment and develops new techniques to reduce the risks associated with these contaminants to human health or natural resources. His research focuses on molecular-scale processes that underlie nature and the behavior of contaminants in environmental systems. He views engineering as a bridge between science and humanity, making it particularly well suited for incorporation into liberal arts universities. His classes, although technically rigorous, also explore the societal and philosophical issues facing engineers and scientists.

Professor Grasso is currently Vice-Chair of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board and Chair of Vermont’s Environmental Engineering Advisory Council. He was formerly President of the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Engineering Science and Associate Editor of Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology. He has authored more than 100 technical papers and reports, including four chapters and two books. Federal, state and industrial organizations have supported his research work. He serves on advisory boards at Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, WPI and the National Academy of Engineering.

More information is available here.

Joe Pitt joins fPET steering committee

By , August 26, 2009 2:48 pm

fPET-2010 is pleased to welcome Joe Pitt to the fPET steering committee:

Joseph C. Pitt is Professor of Philosophy and of Science and Technology Studies at Virginia Tech, where he has taught since 1971.  He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1966, taking both his MA and Ph,D. (1972) from the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of three books, Pictures, Images and Conceptual Change; Galileo, Human Knowledge and the Book of Nature; Thinking About Technology. He has edited eleven additional books and published over 100 articles and book reviews in scholarly journals.  Professor Pitt is also the founding editor of the interdisciplinary journal Perspectives on Science; Historical, Philosophical, Social, published by MIT Press. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Techné, Research in Philosophy and Technology, the journal of the Society for Philosophy and Technology of which he has served as President.

At Virginia Tech, Professor Pitt, an award winning teacher, created  and was Director of the interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Humanities, Science and Technology from 1978-1988.  He was also the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science in Society and he was instrumental in the creation of the Ph.D. granting Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies.  Recently he has been involved in the development of a new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program: The Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought (ASPECT).  From 1991 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2007 he served as Head of the Department of Philosophy.  In addition to chairing several major university committees, he served as Senior Faculty Fellow for Special Projects in the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences for 3 years.

Dr. Pitt’s research interests lie in the area of the impact of technological innovation on scientific change.  He is currently working on a book manuscript, Seeing Near and Far, which explores how innovations in telescopes and microscopes impact astronomy and biology.  Part of the argument he is developing concludes that our understanding of major meta-scientific concepts such as scientific observation, evidence, explanation, etc. also change under the advent of technological innovation, thereby undercutting the notion of some kind of perennial philosophy.

More information is available here.

fPET-2010 on twitter

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By , August 12, 2009 7:55 am

Follow the Forum on Philosophy, Engineering & Technology (fPET-2010) on twitter @philengtech (here).

Save the Date for FPET-2010, 9-10 May 2010

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By , August 11, 2009 8:01 am

Mark your calendars now for the 2010 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering, and Technology to be held 9-10 May 2010 (Sunday evening through Monday) at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO.  This intensive one-day forum will feature invited and participant-presented papers as well as special forum features to help ensure a lively interchange of views between philosophers, engineers and other interested parties.

The business committee for the event consists of forum co-chairs Diane P. Michelfelder (Macalester College) and David E. Goldberg (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) working together with local arrangements chair Carl Mitcham (Colorado School of Mines).  A program committee for the event is being formed.

Papers for the event will be accepted on the basis of short abstracts (Society for Philosophy and Technology style) and will be due in late December.  Formal submission deadlines and a full call for papers will be available shortly.  For more information about the 2010 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering, and Technology email or

New SPT Newsletter Available

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By , April 16, 2009 5:40 pm

The Volume 33 Issue 2 of the SPT newsletter is available for download from SPT’s website or from the direct link here. The new issue talks about SPT2009 and the invitations to host SPT2011, among other topics.

SPT 2009 call extended & track 15 reviewers wanted

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By , December 30, 2008 9:24 am

The call for papers for SPT 2009 has been extended until 31 January 2009.  See here.  Track 15 is especially designed for the kinds of papers that were submitted to the reflections track of the WPE workshops.

Track 15 chair, Darryl Farber, is still looking for a few willing reviewers for that track and he can be contacted by email here.

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