NMSU industrial engineering department head receives prominent ethics fellowship

June 15, 2012 by Isabel Rodriguez, NMSU News Center

For the second year in a row, Edward Pines has been recognized for his efforts by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, a multi-university project to strengthen principle-based ethics education and to foster a high standard of ethics in young people.

The Bill Daniels Fund Ethics Fellowship is awarded to individuals who exhibit excellence in academic ethics instruction.

Pines, New Mexico State University professor and industrial engineering department head, works closely with students. He explained that ethics plays a major role in his discipline where students will work with people and products every day.

“I do a lot of work teaching students who may become engineering entrepreneurs, people who are in start-up mode,” he said. “They’re inventing something, and they have to know how to protect their intellectual property. When you create something, you have to know how to keep other people from taking it, and you have to know the ethical concerns that may result.”

Pines is the director of the Verge Fund Lecture Series in Innovation, Ventures and Entrepreneurship, now in its sixth year, featuring speakers from industry who will provide students with insights into how to take their technologies and innovations and establish a successful business.

In addition to understanding the ethics involved with protecting oneself, Pines emphasized that ethical boundaries must also be established in order for engineers to do their jobs well and efficiently.

“Engineering ethics is really the ethics of how engineers interact with each other and society and how people are able to practice professionally,” he said. “To do a job you have to accept the responsibility of doing that job correctly and in accordance with appropriate laws and codes.”

The fellowship will support research into ethical behavior in supply chains where many firms sell products and services.

“This was the most competitive year for fellowship funds yet,” said Bruce Huhmann, NMSU marketing professor and Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative chair. “We had requests for more than $242,000 in funding, but only half that much available for fellowship grants. Thus, we had to make some tough decisions.”

A total of 19 fellows were selected for the year of 2012. Several other NMSU professors were recognized, including a few from the English, criminal justice and finance departments. Pines is the only NMSU engineering professor selected this year.

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative provides funding for universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

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