Karl Stephan
Professor of Electrical Engineering

Karl Stephan writes an engineering ethics blog and teaches electrical engineering at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. He has a Ph. D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an M. Eng. from Cornell, and a B. S. in engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He has also taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has worked in industry.

All designers want the product they're working on to be successful. Sometimes success just means that a routine business keeps going as usual with a newer...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
2.1.2018
2:02pm
An unfriendly nurse orders the gown-clothed patient to climb onto the gurney. Beside the gurney on a table stands an ominous-looking black box with dials and...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
7.25.2016
10:24am
The Japanese megacorporation Nintendo was founded way back in 1889 to sell playing cards, and when I hear the word "Pokémon" I think of the...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
7.19.2016
9:29am
A passerby on nearby U.S. 60 made a phone video of the wreck even as it was occurring. You can see cars flying off the track, and eyewitnesses testified to the...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
7.11.2016
10:08am
On May 7 of this year, Joshua Brown, owner of a wireless-network technology company and Tesla car enthusiast, was riding in his Tesla Model S on a divided...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
7.5.2016
10:07am
Advertisement
Every once in a great while I raise a philosophical issue in this space. Most people who have tried teaching engineering ethics know that a little philosophy...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
6.27.2016
9:32am
First, the known facts. On Sunday, Apr. 24 of this year, Pete Cordaro had driven his Tesla Model S about 73,000 miles, making it one of the higher-mileage...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
6.16.2016
4:36pm
A week before the 1980 presidential election, Ronald Reagan famously asked a debate audience, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Though...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
6.14.2016
3:52pm
The highly prestigious journal Science carried an unusual article on June 2. Most scientific papers are about new discoveries—we figured out this theory or we...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
6.6.2016
10:05am
Last June, a man named Hamid Sadeghy was installing a car windshield in Austin, Texas when he felt a vibration in his pocket. Sadeghy, who owns his own auto-...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
5.31.2016
10:24am
Early last Thursday morning, May 19, EgyptAir Flight 804, an Airbus A320 carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew members, went down in the Mediterranean on its way...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
5.23.2016
9:47am
In an announcement last Wednesday, Robert Elder, Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
5.16.2016
10:16am
No, I haven't gone off my nut with blind patriotism toward my native state. Yes, I know that ex-governor Rick Perry said in 2014, "Calling CO2 a...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
5.9.2016
4:02pm
Advertisement
Last Friday, President Obama announced a series of actions aimed at making smart guns a reality, rather than a lab curiosity that has never gotten beyond the...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
5.2.2016
2:16pm
Unless you work in the petrochemical industry, you have probably never been near the substance called vinyl chloride. It is a chlorinated hydrocarbon that is...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
4.25.2016
10:11am
Robots build cars, clean carpets, and answer phones, but would you trust one to decide how you should be treated in a rest home or a hospital? That's one...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
4.13.2016
8:58am
On Thursday Mar. 31, around noon, the busy Rabindra Sarani-KK Tagore Street crossing in the city of Kolkata, India (population 4.5 million) was crowded with...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
4.6.2016
9:10am
Last Friday, Mar. 25, the Nevada startup Flirtey announced that it had made the first successful package delivery to a residential area in the U.S. with an...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
3.28.2016
10:05am
First it was chess: world champion Garry Kasparov lost a contest of five games to an IBM computer named Deep Blue in 1997. And now it's the game called Go...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
3.21.2016
9:44am
One family in Petaluma, California reported that after fifteen minutes of charging, their daughter's hoverboard "exploded" into flames, making a...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
3.14.2016
9:55am
In the automotive industry, the F-150 is a legendary success story. It is the single best-selling vehicle in the U. S., and if Texas had a contest to name the...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
3.8.2016
9:22am
When Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik died in a hail of gunfire last December 2 after killing 14 people at a San Bernardino office party, the FBI recovered...
Professor of Electrical Engineering
2.23.2016
10:33am
Advertisement