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Program Mission

The mission of the Bovay Program is to be a catalyst for consideration of social and ethical issues in engineering, within Cornell Engineering, across Cornell University, and beyond.

Additionally, the endowment of the program laid out the following goals:

  • To encourage engineering students to develop an appreciation for the history of the profession, and to develop a strong sense of values and moral autonomy to guide them throughout their engineering careers.
  • To teach students that the history and ethics of professional engineering are not just to be studied as ends in themselves, but also to be applied directly to real world engineering problems.
  • To recognize that engineering is not for the sole benefit of any particular group in society—such as industry, government, private practice, or higher education—but rather should serve the public good.
  • To encourage and provide assistance in teaching the history and ethics of professional engineering, in all departments and programs in the College, and in a creative, encompassing, and inspirational fashion.
  • To encourage synergy, cooperation, and collaboration between the engineering faculty and institutions and organizations outside the university, including industry, professional engineering societies, and private engineering firms.
  • To support the expansion of engineering ethics education throughout the United States and the world.

Program Staff

Dr. Trystan S. Goetze, Senior Lecturer in the Ethics of Engineering and Director of the Sue G. and Harry E. Bovay Program in the History and Ethics of Professional Engineering

Trystan Goetze: a fair-skinned, male-presenting person with short dark hair and beard, wearing glasses and a tweed suit jacket.

Trystan grew up in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and attended the University of Waterloo (Honours Knowledge Integration with Joint Honours Philosophy, 2008–12), York University (2012–13, M.A. in Philosophy) and the University of Toronto (2013–14, M.A. in Social Justice Education) before taking their Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Sheffield (2014–18). Before coming to Cornell, they worked as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy at Dalhousie University (2019–21), an Ethics and Educational Development Consultant for Ethically Aligned AI, Inc. (2021), and a Postdoctoral Fellow of Embedded EthiCS at Harvard University (2021–23). In their research, Trystan has written about moral responsibility, epistemic injustice, the ethics of computing technologies, and interdisciplinary ethics pedagogy. At Cornell, Trystan currently conducts all of the Bovay Program’s activities. Trystan is also an affiliate of the Sage School of Philosophy. In their spare time, Trystan designs, runs, and plays tabletop roleplaying games.





Trystan Goetze’s personal website




Trystan Goetze CV

Amber DeJesus, Administrative Assistant

Amber DeJesus: a fair-skinned, female-presenting person with long dark hair that is tied back, wearing heart-shaped earrings and a black top.

Originally from Trumansburg, Amber has lived in McLean for 10 years. She has amazing skills from her past administrative positions, and she loves this kind of work. She says that her four children (a toddler and 3 teenagers) keep her very busy when not assisting the Engineering Communications and Bovay programs with their administrative needs. In her spare time she likes to paddle board and play volleyball.





The Sue G. and Harry E. Bovay Program in the History and Ethics of Professional Engineering was endowed in 1994 through a gift from Harry E. Bovay, Jr., and Sue G. Bovay. From the inception of the program to 2020, the program was directed by Professor Ron Kline, who was cross-appointed between the Bovay Program, the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and the Department of Science & Technology Studies. In 2003, Dr. Park Doing joined the program as a Postdoctoral Associate, becoming a Lecturer in 2005. Dr. Doing gradually assumed more of a leadership role in the program, particularly after Prof. Kline began phased retirement in 2014.

Many of the Bovay Program’s core activities were initially devised during its first twenty-eight years, including ethics sessions in the first-year engineering seminars, standalone ethics of engineering courses, guest lectures in engineering courses across the college, the annual Bovay Lecture on the History and Ethics of Engineering, the Bovay lunchtime seminar, and the Sidney & Ann Braudy and Louis & Edith Manker Workshop on Engineering Management Ethics.

In July 2023, following the retirements of Prof. Kline in 2020 and Dr. Doing in 2022, Dr. Trystan S. Goetze was appointed as the Director of the Bovay Program and Senior Lecturer in the Ethics of Engineering.

Program Sponsors

Sue G. L. Bovay (1910–2001)

Born in Milford, TX, Mrs. Bovay (née Goldston) was a lifelong philanthropist. She attended Texas Presbyterian College and the University of Texas at Austin, graduating in 1931 with a B.A. in English. She then taught in the Athens, TX, public schools for five years. In 1935, she married Dr. Lowell H. Lebermann upon his graduation from medical school in Dallas. With Dr. Lebermann, she established a hospital in Commerce, TX, which she ran when Dr. Lebermann was called to serve in World War II, and again between his death in 1960 and the sale of the hospital the following year. She later married Harry E. Bovay, Jr., and moved to Houston, TX, with him. She and Mr. Bovay worked together on their philanthropic projects, including the Bovay Program at Cornell, until her death.

Harry E. Bovay, Jr. (1914–2011)

A graduate of the class of 1936, Mr. Bovay was an extraordinarily generous supporter of the College of Engineering. In 1994, he made a gift to endow the Bovay Program for the History and Ethics of Professional Engineering. In 2000, Mr. Bovay made a commitment to establish the Sue G. and Harry E. Bovay Jr. Professorship in History and Ethics of Professional Engineering. In September 2004, Mr. Bovay completed the commitment. Also in 2004, Mr. Bovay made another gift toward the construction and implementation of the Civil Infrastructure Laboratory Complex, the Bovay Lab Complex, in Thurston Hall.

In 1946, Mr. Bovay established H. E. Bovay Jr. Consulting Engineers, and later changed it to Bovay Engineers, Inc. The company became known internationally as “the problem solvers,” and undertook projects for such diverse clients as NASA and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, as well as major airports, schools and universities, utility facilities, and manufacturing and construction concerns all over the world. He was chair of Bovay until 1983, and then served as a member of the Board and as an executive consultant until he sold the company in 1984. He was founder of Mid South Telecommunications Company, Inc., a Delaware holding company operating diversified telecommunications companies. For over 40 years, the company owned and operated several telephone companies. He worked in the offices until a few months prior to his death.

A member of nine engineering societies, Mr. Bovay was the recipient of the National Society of Professional Engineers Award. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for Research for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the Chancellor’s Council of both the University of Texas and Texas A&M. A life-long supporter of Boy Scouts of America, Mr. Bovay held local, regional and national level positions in the organization, and was the recipient of the Silver Beaver, the highest award of the Boy Scouts of America. He and Mrs. Bovay established the Bovay Scout Ranch in Navasota, TX, serving the Sam Houston area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Scout Ranch can host up to 4,000 scouts daily for a wide variety of programs and activities. Mr. Bovay was a Director of the Houston Chamber of Commerce and has served on the Houston Commission on Zoning. In 1998, Mr. Bovay was the recipient of the George Washington Distinguished Service Award of the Paul Carrington Chapter of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

The Harry E. Bovay, Jr., Foundation

Bovays’ legacy is managed by the Harry E. Bovay, Jr., Foundation. In addition to our program, the foundation sponsors medical research at the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They also fund college scholarships, educator grants, community grants, and boy scout programs, with a focus on specific communities in the US South. We are grateful for the foundation’s continuing support.