Teaching Engineering Innovation and Design

Photo of instructor at the front of class, with students raising hands.

Lecturer Blade Kotelly leads a class discussion about the 10-step design process and toothbrushes.

A well-planned birthday party and your new smartphone might not seem to have much in common. But they’re both examples of how successful design thinking leads to good results.

Making such connections with everyday objects and experiences is a foundation of the course ESD.051J Engineering Innovation and Design, just published in OCWStudents learn to produce great designs, be more effective engineers, and communicate with high emotional and intellectual impact.

The course is taught by lecturer Blade Kotelly and Prof. Joel Schindall. The OCW site includes includes five “instructor insights” videos on the This Course at MIT page, such as this one on Teaching Design Thinking:


What really happens in class? You can see for yourself with two sample lecture videos, which highlight the high-energy Socratic style of instruction and classroom discussion.

As one of the core requirements in the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership program, this course attracts students who are keenly interested to make an impact in the world. For instance, as reported by MIT Admissions blogger Maggie L. ’12, two students parlayed what they learned from their class projects on speech systems into an award-winning submission for GM’s OnStar Student Developer Challenge.

With this course, you’ll get a new appreciation for the well-designed things and experiences you come across everyday…and probably some great ideas for how to make them even better!

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