MIT’s New Master’s Integrated Product Design and Engineering Program

In order to create a successful product, which factor is the most important: that it functions well, that it appeals to the user, or that it reaches its target market? Each factor is necessary, and this intersection of mechanical engineering, industrial design and business has led to MIT creating a new Master’s program: Integrated Design & Management.

Any experienced product design firm can attest to the fact that the symbiosis of engineering, design and business is essential from the very beginning in order to avoid having to redesign the product. Yet typically, schools tend to teach very specialized knowledge, leaving the graduate with a deep understanding of a thin slice of the information pie. It is for this reason that MIT’s Sloan School of Management has partnered with MIT’s School of Engineering to provide a balanced understanding of the product development process.
This new Master’s track, contained within the MIT System Design and Management program, is an expansion of the widely popular Product Design and Development course. Teaching both engineers and business students to appreciate the inclusion of industrial design early in the design process is central to the ethos of this new degree. “We felt it was pretty important to validate this way of thinking at an institutional level and award a degree,” said Matt Kressy, director and creator of IDM and a senior lecturer at MIT.

The degree is a two-year program open to those with a background in engineering, industrial design or business. Through the course of the program, students are exposed to the important factors in each discipline and how they relate to the overall progress of a developing product, regardless of the student’s background. For example, “They’ll know if a particular design is valuable from a business perspective because they’ll know how to go through the right steps and involve the right people to make sure a product is profitable, that the supply chain is in place, and that they understand the market and distribution channels.”

Positions are limited in this exclusive new Master’s program, with only 20 students in its inaugural year, beginning this Fall.

Here, the program director Matt Kressy leads an information session about the program.

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