ME110: Introduction to New Product Development

Teaching Design Thinking and Doing

Course Descriptions

This course provides an introduction to the engineering design process and conceptual design of products. It provides an experience in preliminary project planning of complex and realistic mechanical engineering systems. Design concepts and techniques are introduced; the student’s design ability is developed in a design project or feasibility study chosen to emphasize innovation and ingenuity, and provide wide coverage of engineering topics. Design optimization and social, environmental, economic, and political implications are included. There is an emphasis on hands-on creative components, teamwork, and effective communication. There is a special emphasis on the management of innovation processes for the development of sustainable products, from product definition to sustainable manufacturing and financial models. Both individual and group oral presentations will be required. This semester two sections of the class (UGBA290T-2 business and ME110 mechanical engineering and other disciplines) will join forces to enable a multidisciplinary team learning experience.

Teaching Staff

Dr. Euiyoung Kim, the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, 450 Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS Building), LinkedIn


Textbook and Other Required Readings

The primary reading material for the class is the textbook Product Design and Development (Fifth Edition) written by Karl Ulrich and Steve Eppinger. This book is a very basic text that provides a step by step view of how new product development processes are to be conducted.

The secondary reading material will be available on

Supplemental required course reading materials will also be available on bCourses. We will make extensive use of the course bCourses website to both communicate information to you and to converse with you about your homework and your projects. You will find the course listed on Once you have formed your project groups, we will set up group pages on which we expect you to store your working documents for your project. The faculty will review the group pages regularly to provide feedback on your work. Our experience is that the teams that heavily use their bCourses pages and email connections do better in the class, and we strongly encourage you to use them.

Course Learning Objectives

This course provides hands-on and real world experience in the development of innovative and realistic customer-driven engineered products. Design concepts and techniques are introduced, and the student’s design ability is developed in a design project or feasibility study chosen to emphasize ingenuity and provide wide coverage of engineering and business topics. Innovative thinking is nurtured. Students will be expected to use tools and methods of professional practice (e.g., optimal design, solid modeling, life cycle assessment) and use these tools to consider the social, economic, environmental and political implications of their products. Both individual and group oral presentations will be required. Students can expect to depart the semester understanding new product development processes as well as useful tools, techniques and organizational structures that support new product development practice in the context of the “triple bottom line” – economy, environment and society. Topics covered include: Product development processes and organization, product planning, high functioning teamwork, CAD/ solid modeling, customer/user needs assessment, personas and empathic design, translating the “voice of the customer”, concept generation, concept selection, concept development, decision analysis, concept testing, taguchi method and experimental design, product architectures, design for variety, design for environment, life cycle assessment, design for assembly/ manufacture, prototyping, design costing, information technologies, design optimization, engineering ethics, universal design and entrepreneurship, innovation and intellectual property.


Your course grade will be determined as follows:

  • 10% on the quality of your preparation for and participation in class discussions
  • 30% on the quality of your individual assignment solutions
  • 10% for your final design journal and individual lessons learned
  • 30% on the quality of your team’s work on project-related assignments and deliverables
  • 20% on the quality of your team’s final project presentation and deliverables

Team Peer Assessments: At midsemester, we will ask for individual peer assessments of the contributions made by your team mates. This assessment will not be considered in preparing your final team grade; they are considered an “early warning” for struggling teams. There will also be an end-of-semester peer assessment, which could have an influence on individual grades.

Class Participation and Participation

Readings are meant to guide your thinking about the class assignments. Readings are given in the class schedule; we expect you to come to class prepared to discuss the readings and the suggested questions. In any given class session, a handful of students may be called upon specifically to speak about the readings and answer questions about them. If you have prepared in advance according to the syllabus, you will have no problem responding when called upon. Your individual class participation grade will be based upon your in-class remarks during discussions and will be judged by the teaching staff.

Individual Assignments

We have periodically assigned individual exercises to have you experiment with some of the concepts we are teaching. These are due at the start of each class. Late assignments are accepted for one week, but heavily penalized for being late. ALL INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED VIA THE BSPACE ASSIGNMENTS TAB UNDER THE APPROPRIATE HEADING PRIOR TO THE START OF CLASS ON THE DAY THEY ARE DUE. ALWAYS BRING ONE COPY OF YOUR HOMEWORK TO CLASS, AS WE WILL FREQUENTLY ASK YOU TO SHARE YOUR RESULTS.


Each individual in the class is required to maintain a design journal throughout the semester, to be turned in at the final project presentation. The journal will be returned at the end of the semester. This journal should include a student’s individual thinking (both imagery and words) pertaining to her/his project. Students may include sketches, paste in pictures, write words, or choose any other approach that works to capture their ideas, thoughts, and reflections about their product and project. The journal should be used both to capture ideas about the product itself as they move through the process, as well as to document thoughts and insights on the process of product development, group dynamics, project process, etc. Inventors keep design journals to document their original ideas (useful in the patenting process); engineers keep them to work out complex technical details; and designers keep them to help generate and organize lots of ideas (as ideas feed off of one another); project managers keep journals as a management tool to generate “lessons learned” and “best practices” to help run future product development projects more effectively

Project Background

The goal of the class project is to learn principles and methodologies of product development in a real world context. Most product development professionals work under tremendous time pressure and do not have an opportunity to reflect on the development process. In this course, the stress level will be low enough to allow time to experiment and learn. You will be asked to form project teams of 4 to 6 students. Some teams will have the opportunity to work with students from multiple disciplines. You will have opportunities during the first two weeks of class to scope out the possible projects and get to know potential teammates.