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Product Design Course 39-605/606

This is an interdisciplinary team-based product design course sponsored by the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) which invites the participation of junior, senior and graduate level students from the Colleges of Engineering, Computer Science, and Fine Arts; the Mellon College of Science; the Tepper School; and the College of Humanities and Social Science. The concept of the course is to provide a broad learning experience for students at Carnegie Mellon, and to let them experience, in the context of a “real” design problem, a systematic design process consisting of the following stages: conceptual design, embodiment design, detailed design, and prototyping/implementation. Industry, non-profit, government, and Carnegie Mellon unit partners provide the projects on which the class is based. While projects typically are completed in a single semester, students can take the course for one or two semesters. Students must consider many issues for the products they are designing in class including market opportunities, formal requirements and constraints, the environment in which the product will be used, product look and feel; technical legitimacy, and manufacturing considerations.

As they work on their projects, student team members learn and put into practice Teaming, Project Management, Product Realization, Ethical, and other skills practiced by product developers in industry. Throughout the semester, the student teams have several opportunities to present their progress to their fellow students, partner representatives, and faculty who coach the teams.

For registration purposes, the course’s formal title is Engineering Design Projects.

Companies and other partners that have participated in the Product Design Course include:

  • Air Products
  • American Respiratory Alliance
  • Bayer Materialscience
  • Bombardier Transportation
  • Bosch
  • City of Pittsburgh
  • Cutler-Hammer (Eaton)
  • Dupont
  • McKesson Automation
  • Medrad
  • Neolinear
  • Turner Construction
  • UPMC
  • Westinghouse Atomic Power

If you have any questions about the Product Design Course, or would like more information, please contact Professor Jeffery Hansen by phone at 412-268-1627 or email