Engineering design students working on computers

Engineering Design Program

The SEDTAPP Engineering Design Program (DESIGN) is based on the concept of integrated engineering design: the integration of the ideas, disciplines, people, and resources within engineering and beyond that are necessary to achieve optimal design solutions for products, systems, processes, and services. Strengths of DESIGN include design methods, systems design, design for human variability, design cognition (decision making), global design with worldwide partners, innovative design, community engagement, and client-based design project experiences. Faculty in DESIGN conduct collaborative research in many of these areas and offer courses from the first year to the graduate level.

What’s So Important About Design?

In the hyper-connected, increasingly globalized society of the 21st Century, we have arguably arrived at a time when a good design can impact more people in a more profound way than at any other time in human history.

In this era, engineering designers mold everything from the products we buy and use every day to the homes we live in. Even the systems by which we eat, travel, stay healthy, and learn about our world are influenced by engineering design.

Is There a Demand for Engineering Designers?

As our society and its systems grow evermore complex, engineers must consider an increasing number of variables, requiring a greater need for design-specific knowledge. Whether you plan to pursue a career in academia or industry, engineering design is a promising field of study.

Leading universities across the U.S. have turned their eye toward the process of engineering design as a viable area of deep research and innovation. Forward-thinking universities across the United States have already begun to offer graduate programs in Engineering Design. Penn State’s College of Engineering, with its storied history at the forefront of multi-disciplinary education, research, and service, is poised to take a leadership role in this emerging field.

Additionally, business leaders spanning a wide range of industries increasingly recognize the value of engineering design excellence. This recognition has already sparked the creation of a new class of jobs that focus on human/technology interfaces, information architecture, consumer trend analysis, and process innovation, to name just a few.

Typical career paths available to a graduate of the M.Eng. in Engineering Design include product designer, corporate design/innovation leader, and entrepreneur.

Potential Research Topics Include:

  • design automation and optimization
  • design theory and methodology
  • engineering design pedagogy
  • systems engineering
  • design decision-making
  • product architecture and families
  • design of complex systems
  • design for the developing world
  • design of sustainable products and systems
  • product-service systems design
  • simulation-based design under uncertainty
  • design cognition
  • design innovation
  • human centered design
  • value driven design
  • decision-based design
  • multidisciplinary design optimization
  • data-driven design
Apply now button Faculty Openings

Contact information

Scarlett Miller
Program Director
213P Hammond Building



The School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) delivers effective engineering education and unrivaled research opportunities through active, collaborative, project-based, and professionally oriented classroom experiences. SEDTAPP offers a variety of programs that partner faculty, students, and industry in the study of real-life engineering problems. Our programs teach students to solve real-life problems with innovative solutions. 

School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs

213 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2952