Engineering Ethics Conference

Bringing engineering ethics to life in education, professional development and industry.

Engineering Ethics Conference

Date: 06-09-2018
Time: 10:00 - 18:00

This interactive and engaging national conference looks at some of the big ethical challenges facing engineering today and in the future, and how engineers can tackle them.  It brings together decision makers from industry, higher education, regulators and professional engineering institutions. Through questions, discussion and use of technology, delegates will have the opportunity to offer their views and to shape a 10 year vision.

Presenters include:

  • Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) 
  • Professor Chris Atkin, Chairman of the Engineering Council
  • Sara Parkin OBE, Founder-Director and Trustee of Forum for the Future

Download the programme here.

To register, please visit the University of Leeds Online Store * Early Bird Booking available up to and including Thursday 28th June *

For more information on the event, please contact Rosena Stevens at

Presenter biographies

Professor Christopher Atkin CEng FRAeS

Professor Chris Atkin is the Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at City, University of London. He completed an MA and PhD in Engineering at the University of Cambridge and then spent four years working for BAE Systems, six years at DERA and seven years with QinetiQ. Chris joined City, University of London in 2008 and is presently Head of Engineering.

Chris joined the Engineering Council Board in 2015, becoming Chairman in 2017, and is committed to effective self-regulation of the engineering profession. He previously sat on the Engineering Council’s Registration Standards Committee and has undertaken several roles on behalf of the Royal Aeronautical Society, of which he was President in 2016-2017.

Professor John Uff CBE QC FREng

John Uff originally trained and practised as a civil engineer before  moving to the Bar where he specialises in construction and engineering arbitration.  He has maintained close links with  the engineering profession through which he has written and lectured extensively on engineering ethics including the Lloyd’s lecture for the Royal Academy of Engineering “Do Engineers owe duties to the public?” This led to involvement in several initiatives including the Royal Academy’s Statement of Ethical Principles. He was invited to address the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand on ethical issues arising from the Christchurch earthquake in 2011.

He was the founding Director of the Centre of Construction Law at King’s College, London, and currently continues to teach and supervise research as an Emeritus Professor. He has chaired several Public Inquiries both in UK and most recently in Trinidad and Tobago He was awarded CBE in 2002 and the ICE Gold Medal in 2003.

Richard Maudslay CBE FREng

Richard Maudslay is an engineer with a wide-ranging business career. Following roles in the UK and Mexico, he was appointed to run Rolls-Royce's £1.3Bn Industrial Power Group, covering all Rolls' non-aero interests, and joined the Rolls-Royce plc main Board. He remained in this role until Rolls’ major structural reorganisation in 1997 led to its exit from most of its land-based power interests.

Since then he has enjoyed a plural career on the boards of various private and public sector organisations including Chairman of MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Chairman of the National Nuclear Laboratory and Deputy Chairman of the Regional Development Agency One NorthEast.

Richard is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering where he chairs the Academy’s Engineering Ethics Working Group. He was appointed CBE in 2006 for services to business in the North East. 

Dr Kevin Macnish 

Kevin Macnish is Assistant Professor in Ethics and Tehnology at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Previously, Kevin was Teaching Fellow and Consultant in Applied Ethics at the IDEA Centre. His research is in the ethics of surveillance, security and automation, and he has published a book and several articles on surveillance ethics. Kevin has been interviewed by BBC national television and radio and has spoken at both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in relation to his research. A witness to the Select Committee on Science and Technology, he was quoted several times in the committee’s final report on social media and data analysis. Kevin also conducts ethical analysis for security and ICT projects. He has been involved with several European Union FP7 and Horizon2020 projects and is an independent Ethics Expert with the European Commission.

Full biography:

Professor Kevin Jones FIMarEST FBCS FIET

Professor Kevin Jones is currently Professor of Computing Science and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Plymouth, responsible for the Schools of Computing, Electronics & Mathematics, Biological & Marine Sciences, Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences and Engineering. Prior to joining Plymouth, he was Head of Computer Science at City University London.  Previously, he had spent a number of years in the Silicon Valley in CA, holding executive, managerial, technical and research positions, in both successful start-up companies and major corporations. His research and teaching interests cover the Trustworthiness of Complex Systems, including Cyber Security, with a focus on the Maritime domain. Kevin is a Fellow of the IMARest, IET and the BCS, a Senior Member of the IEEE and the ACM, and a Liveryman of the WCIT.

Sara Parkin OBE

Sara Parkin is Principal Associate of The Sustainability Literacy Project, and Co-founder Director of Forum for the Future. She has collaborated with the engineering profession for many years, including leading The Engineer of the 21st Century Inquiry, an influential project with young engineers. She is a Founding Fellow of the Engineering Council, honorary fellow of the Institute of Energy and the Institution of Civil Engineers and received an OBE for services to education and sustainable development in 2001.  Amongst other things she advises the NUS, Chairs the Richard Sandbrook Trust and sits on the board of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. Her last book, based on the Masters course she designed and ran for 20 years at Forum, Positive Deviant: Sustainability leadership in a perverse world, is a course book in several countries. 

Full biography:

Professor Helen Atkinson CBE FREng

Professor Helen Atkinson is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Aerospace, Transport, Manufacturing at Cranfield University. She was made CBE in the Queens New Year’s Honours 2014 for services to engineering and education.  Professor Helen Atkinson was the first woman President of the Engineering Professors’ Council (the body which represents engineering in universities throughout the UK) in its 50-year history and has also served as a Vice President and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering.  

Download the full biography here.

Martin Davies

Martin Davies MIET is Head of Digital Learning at The Institution of Engineering and Technology. He has worked in educational publishing for over 25 years and has specialised in digital education solutions for over 10 of those years. Martin heads up the IET Academy, a digital professional education solution ( Martin and his team have been working with the University of Leeds to prepare two courses in the field Engineering Ethics, the first of which launched in June 2018. This first course offers a comprehensive introduction to Engineering Ethics whilst the second course, which is in preparation, offers a more detailed overview of Computing Ethics.

Sir Alan Langlands FRSE Hon FMedSci

Before joining the University, Alan Langlands was the Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (2009 to 2013).

He was formerly the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee (2000 to 2009) and Chief Executive of the NHS in England (1994 to 2000). He has a particular interest in the scientific basis of health services, and from its inception in 2004 until 2012, he chaired the board of UK Biobank – a major genetic epidemiology study. He was also the chair of the board of the Health Foundation, a UK-wide charity committed to improving the quality of healthcare, until 2017. Alan was knighted in 1998 for his services to the NHS, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

He is a science graduate of the University of Glasgow and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University in 2001. In addition, he has a number of honorary degrees from major universities and fellowships from five medical Royal Colleges.

Full biography:

More biographies to follow.

Engineering Ethics Conference Steering Group

Dr Andrew Chilvers

As a Senior Policy Advisor at the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), Andrew works to advise UK government across a number of areas in engineering policy. He also supports the RAEng’s leadership role in the engineering profession, for example, overseeing a review of the Statement of Ethical Principles for the Engineering Profession, undertaken with the Engineering Council. Prior to joining the RAEng, Andrew trained as an environmental engineer before undertaking doctoral research at University College London (UCL). This research focused on how engineers engage with social and environmental considerations in and through their work. This was sponsored by the global design and engineering consultancy, Arup. Andrew is an Honorary Lecturer at UCL’s Department for Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP).

Deborah Seddon

Deborah Seddon has held standards-related posts over the past fourteen years at the Engineering Council, the UK regulatory body for the engineering profession, and previously at the Institution of Civil Engineers.  Currently, Deborah is leading on ethics-related work at the Engineering Council, building on the 2017 refreshed Statement on Ethical Principles, jointly published by the Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Deborah has a background in HE and education for professionals. Before working in engineering, she was at the Architects Registration Board where her work included developing the principles and arrangements for continuing professional development (CPD).

Whilst on the Board of the Intellectual Property Regulation (IPReg) Board 2014-2017, Deborah was instrumental in its provision of ethics training for practitioners, which was developed with the IDEA Centre at Leeds. Ethics for practitioners continues to be a theme during Deborah’s current role on the Board of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Johnny Rich

Johnny Rich is Chief Executive of the Engineering Professors’ Council, which is the voice of engineering in UK higher education, representing over 7,500 academics in 84 universities as an influential force in national policy in HE, skills and industrial strategy. Johnny holds a number of other roles including Chief Executive of award-winning outreach organisation Push and a consultant in higher education and careers with recent clients including the European Commission, HEFCE and a host of recruiters, education bodies, charities and media organisations. 

As a contributor to various think tanks and policy bodies, Johnny contributes widely to debates on education, employability, wider participation and social mobility. He recently spearheaded projects on school-leaver recruitment, international university rankings and on work-related learning.

With degrees from the Universities of Durham and East Anglia, his background also includes journalism, publishing, media relations, television and digital platforms. He appears regularly on television and radio and is author of the highly acclaimed novel The Human Script.

Twitter: @JohnnySRich | @EngProfCouncil | LinkedIn |

Richard Maudslay CBE FREng

Biography above. 

Dr Jim Baxter

Jim Baxter manages IDEA’s consultancy portfolio, providing ethical review and consultancy services, training and continuing professional development (CPD) and applied research. Past and current clients include the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the National Nuclear Laboratory, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Banking Standards Board.  As part of this work, he has written and presented on topics including professional ethics, integrity and organisational culture.  Jim completed his PhD in 2017, investigating whether psychopaths are morally responsible for their actions. 

Full biography:

Dr Neil Williams

Dr Neil Williams works at the IDEA CETL as a Teaching Fellow and Consultant in Applied Ethics. Prior to joining the Centre, he completed a MA and a PhD in philosophy at the University of Sheffield. His thesis was on the ethics of the classical American pragmatists. In general, his research concerns applying concepts from the history of ethics to contemporary practical problems, with a focus on environmental and technological issues. He has extensive experience teaching both theoretical and applied ethics, with courses including: the history of ethics, engineering ethics, the ethics of psychiatry, environmental ethics, and computer ethics.

Full biography:

Dr Carl Fox

Carl is a Lecturer in the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied (IDEA) Centre at the University of Leeds, where he has worked since completing his PhD on hypothetical consent and social contract theory at the University of Sheffield in 2014. In 2015, Carl won the Robert Papazian Essay Prize in the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, and he has also published in Res Publica, and Philosophy and Public Issues. Along with a colleague, he is currently editing a collection on the topic of ‘Free Speech and the Requirements of Democracy’ which is due out in late 2018.

Full biography:

More biographies to follow.

Location: Faculty of Engineering, University of Leeds
Cost: £75.00 Early Bird