Fundamentals of Engineering Design Innovation

This first-year course provides a hands-on introduction to design and innovation through team-based, project-based learning. Students work through the iterative design process, practicing new design methods, mindsets, and analysis. The class also includes how to represent their work in visual, verbal, and physical forms. The final projects presented here represent teams’ efforts to discover and define an original problem of their choosing, and then develop and deliver a prototype representing their best ideas as to a solution. Together, the 4 Ds are our design innovation process.


In this course we approach design with a human-centered lens. We ask: what do people really need? How would this design impact various groups that interact with the overall system? Who else should we test the prototype with before moving forward? We also emphasize teamwork and the collaborative nature of innovation. At the end of the semester, the teams present the product, system, or service they have designed to meet the problem they have defined.