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The SLC Seminar on Friday, October 27th will be given by Dr. Daryl Armentrout, retired Senior Advisor for TVA. 

Presenters: Dr. Daryl Armentrout

Time: Friday, October 27th, 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM EST

Location: Min Kao Building, Room 404

Remote viewers may watch with Zoom. Zoom instructions follow the seminar abstract and bio

Title: Volkswagen Scandal: An Engineering Ethics Review

Abstract: Volkswagen (VW) had an ambitious plan to improve their global market share.  Crucial to their plan was the growth in the U.S. market.  VW’s expertise is in small diesel automobiles.  However, they were unable to meet the U.S. tougher standards on nitrous oxide emissions.  In 2006 VW charged their engineers to design an engine that would meet the U.S. emission standards.  From the outset, the engineers recognized that it was impossible to meet the U.S. standards, along with obtaining the desired fuel efficiency, performance, and price.  Instead of acknowledging this fact, and influencing the adjustment of corporate expectations, the engineers decided to design and implement software that would circumvent U.S. emission testing.

The presentation will address the following five questions:

  • What is the VW fraud all about?
  • What drove the engineers to act unethically/illegally?
  • What was the culture like at VW?
  • What did VW do?
  • Why is this case important for you?

 Finally, the presentation will examine how the VW engineers violated the IEEE and ACM Codes of Ethics.

Bio: Daryl Armentrout, Ph.D., P.E., retired as a Senior Advisor from the Tennessee Valley Authority, where he served 45 years in engineering design and construction of power generating facilities, nuclear power operations, and in environmental engineering and compliance.  He began his engineering career with Humble Oil and Refining Company (now named ExxonMobil) designing plans for deep well drilling and oil and gas recovery.  He taught courses in professional practice to civil and environmental engineering undergraduates at The University of Tennessee.

He received the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from The University of Tennessee and a M.S. degree in Structural Engineering from Virginia Tech. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Tennessee.

He is a Fellow and Life Member, American Society of Civil Engineers; a Life Member, National Society of Professional Engineers; a Member, United States Society on Dams; an ASCE appointed Senior Program Evaluator for ABET, Inc.; and a Member of the Board of Advisors for the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at The University of Tennessee. 

Zoom Instructions

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/698365902

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +14086380968,698365902#  or +16468769923,698365902#

Or Telephone:
    +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
    +1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)
    +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)
    Meeting ID: 698 365 902
    International numbers available: https://tennessee.zoom.us/zoomconference?m=2FHz53ADqbVJKGGi0pfqT1gkS_Ogc3y-

Or an H.323/SIP room system:
    H.323: (US West) or (US East) 
    Meeting ID: 698 365 902

    SIP: 698365902@zoomcrc.com

About the CURENT Seminar Series: CURENT invites industry leaders and academic experts to participate in our seminars at the center's lead institute, the University of Tennessee, typically on the last Friday of each month (Note: Other Fridays may be scheduled based on speaker availability). Seminars cover a variety of topics related to the ongoing research and technical development of the nation's power grid.

CURENT is a National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Engineering Research Center headquartered at UT. Partner institutions are Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tuskegee University.