Lockheed Martin Ethics in Engineering Case Competition

  • About the Competition

    Lockheed Martin, in partnership with the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, has collaborated on three annual Ethics in Engineering Case Competitions. The events take place at the Lockheed Martin Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, and feature a tour of their state of the art Global Vision Center in Arlington, Virginia.

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  • Competition Objective

    The competition aims to prepare undergraduate students from technical disciplines to face the ethical challenges of the 21st century. To this end, Lockheed Martin will prepare a case with engineering, ethical, and business implications. Each team will receive a brief summary of the case before the competition and be asked to analyze it from a variety of different perspectives and present their recommendations during the competition.

  • Competition Logistics

    Each of the invited schools can bring one team of two undergraduate students and a faculty advisor. Because the case will address an engineering issue, we recommend that at least one of the students be studying engineering. Students of all nationalities are welcome.

Recent Industry Week article "Ethics for Engineers: Lockheed Martin Challenges the Next Generation" by Leo S. Mackay Jr. (senior vice president of Ethics and Enterprise Assurance at Lockheed Martin) provides the latest details on Lockheed's Ethics in Engineering Case Competition. The article addresses the competition's objectives in "fostering critical thinking around technology and ethics" and further highlights the Center for Professional Responsibility as a key component of the competition's success.

See below for more information and excerpts from the original Industry Week article:

  • CPRBS and Gies Collaborate with Lockheed Martin:

    “Through Lockheed Martin’s Ethics in Engineering Case Competition, undergraduate students studying engineering and business explore ethical dilemmas in the workplace. They are introduced to a wide variety of situations that could arise in the complex world of technology, and they learn the importance of voicing their values. We developed the program with support from the Center for Professional Responsibility, Gies College of Business and the University of Illinois; institutions that brought strong expertise on how to set up the competition.” (Mackay, Industry Week 2020).

  • The Importance of Ethical Leadership:

    “Ethical leadership is critical to Lockheed Martin’s ability to sustain a culture of innovation and accountability, which in turn impacts profitability, talent recruitment, and our reputation with multiple stakeholders. The decisions we make every day have the potential to affect our customers, our communities, our country, and the world.” (Mackay, Industry Week 2020).

    “We hope by sharing this commitment to high ethical standards with the next generation of engineering and business talent that they will put integrity at the forefront of their professional endeavors.” (Mackay, Industry Week 2020).

  • The Third Annual Competition in 2020:

    Most recently, teams from over 21 colleges and universities visited Lockheed’s corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland to partake in the third annual competition. This year’s ethical topic centered around artificial intelligence. Congratulations to Brigham Young University, this year's winning team at the competition!

How to Register for the Event:

Register to participate:

Lockheed Martin Ethics in Engineering Case Competition

Key Dates

Thursday, November 1 – Deadline to register school and pay $450 registration fee.

Friday, December 7 – Deadline to register students.

Monday, January 21 – Student teams receive Lockheed Martin case and can begin analyzing the facts of the case and creating a presentation outlining their recommendations.

Thursday, February 7 – Deadline for student teams to send their presentation decks (PowerPoint or PDF preferred) to event organizers via email.

Thursday, February 14 – Participants visit the Global Vision Center in Arlington,Virginia and compete in rounds 1 and 2 at Lockheed Martin Headquarters.

Friday, February 15 – Student teams compete in final 2 rounds of competition at Lockheed Martin Headquarters.


Round 1 (Thursday): Each team will define the engineering, ethical and business dilemmas of the case and present their solution in a 90-second “elevator pitch.”

Round 2 (Thursday): Each team will have 10 minutes (with no slides) to identify and address only the ethical issues of the case. Why is this an ethical problem, and how should we view the ethics of the case? A 5-minute Q&A will follow.

Round 3 (Friday): Teams will be seeded in groups based on their scores from Rounds 1 and 2. Each team will have 25 minutes to identify and clearly explain the ethical, business, and engineering aspects of the case, and then present their recommendations. A 5-minute Q&A period will follow.

Round 4 (Friday): The winning teams from each Round 3 group advance to the final round. The teams may be given additional information for them to consider. Each team will have 25 minutes to present to a panel of judges their understanding of the issues and their recommendations. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams.


All rounds of the competition will be judged by Lockheed Martin leaders and academic experts familiar with the facts of the case.

Cost to Participate

The cost to participate is $450 per team. Participants are responsible for their travel to/from Bethesda and for their 2-3 night hotel stay. All meals during the event, as well as transportation during the competition, are covered as part of the registration fee.


For any questions about the Lockheed Martin Ethics in Engineering Case Competition, please contact David Gebler, Lockheed Martin Corporate Ethics Office, at david.m.gebler@lmco.com

Or, feel free to contact Gretchen Winter, University of Illinois Gies College of Business Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, at gwinter@illinois.edu