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Setting a New Course for Higher Ed
It’s an innovative and time-tested course at Carnegie Mellon called Integrated Product Development (IPD), and it’s designed to show students and their corporate sponsors the power of interdisciplinary teamwork.
Essentially, IPD is a microcosm of the approach Carnegie Mellon is using to create the future of higher education. Interdisciplinary education and research have become institutionalized within the university to a higher degree than perhaps anywhere else in the world. For a university of its size, Carnegie Mellon has produced an extraordinary number of innovations that have had a significant impact on the world.
The course has been so successful the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) named it winner of the society’s Curriculum Innovation Award.
Ford was so impressed with prototypes created by the Carnegie Mellon students that the company has patented five of 12 IPD products for the Ford F-150® and the Ford Escape SUV®. BodyMedia got ideas for body monitoring solutions in such diverse areas as infant care, fitness, hydration, hypothermia detection and management, and cardiac care.
The course was taught by the faculty team of Jonathan Cagan, professor of mechanical engineering; Craig Vogel, professor of design; and Laurie Weingart, professor of organizational behavior and theory.
The semester-long class teams engineering students with MBA students and industrial design students to create new products for their corporate sponsors. “Several schools teach this kind of approach to product development,” said Vogel, “but none teach it as completely as we do. Carnegie Mellon is the right size for true collaboration, and it’s simply not that common to find world-class programs in business, engineering and design all within a few hundred feet of each other.”(Continued …)