“Students who become really good at design become experts at a process that they can apply to anything, from designing medical devices to improving the lives of infants in their car seats. The same process can be applied, no matter what the problem is.” —Professor Peter Robbie
Engineering products, services, structures, tools, and electronics that people love to use takes more than math and science. It takes an understanding of human nature, needs, habits, desires, abilities, and cultures.
At Dartmouth we give students the skills to assess those human factors and incorporate them into technological design.
Courses that emphasize engineering design include:
- ENGS 2: Integrated Design: Engineering, Architecture, and Building Technology
- ENGS 12: Design Thinking
- ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering
- ENGS 44: Sustainable Design
- ENGS 75: Product Design
- ENGS 89: Engineering Design Methodology and Project Initiation
- ENGS 90: Engineering Design Methodology and Project Completion
- ENGG 176: Design for Manufacturing
- ENGS 146: Computer-Aided Mechanical Engineering Design
Engineering Modified with Studio Art
Human-Centered Design Minor
The minor in human-centered design is an interdisciplinary program focused on the process of innovation for addressing human needs.
"Human-centered design, Robbie said, has recently become a dominant branch of engineering sciences. In the past, he said, engineering was focused on technology, but improving how humans interact with technology and creating products that fit human needs has become increasingly important." —The Dartmouth
Design for America
Dartmouth is an official Design for America (DFA) workshop. Founded by Elizabeth Gerber ’98 at Northwestern University in 2009, DFA uses human-centered thinking to improve communities. Members collaborate with community organizations and nonprofits to solve real-world problems. Dartmouth’s chapter meets weekly and consists of 60 students from such diverse areas as environmental studies, economics, art, sociology, anthropology, and cognitive science.
In 2010, 12 members of the group competed in a DFA challenge for college students across the country to invent easy ways to conserve water. All ideas were submitted as two-minute videos. Dartmouth’s DFA group won the grand prize and $1000 for its video, “GreenScore,” which illustrated a scoring system for food products based on water and carbon footprint: