IPDE Certificate

The Innovation, Product Design, and Entrepreneurship Program features an interdisciplinary certificate that is open to all Swanson School undergraduates. This flexible program provides students with an opportunity to learn academic principles of design, creativity and entrepreneurship through hands on experiences.

Why Innovation, Product Design and Entrepreneurship?

Employers seek engineers with skills in an array of emerging areas who can move products from conception to market in short time periods. It has become essential for engineers to integrate marketing and business strategies with new products design skills. In turn, technological and business changes in the product design environment have introduced manufacturing and production problems. Further, in addition to entering engineering professional practice, grad school or another field (e.g., medicine, business or law), an increasing number of graduates are becoming entrepreneurs either upon graduation or within a few years of graduation. Hence, it becomes imperative that students become prepared for this emerging career path.

The Curriculum:

We have innovative, challenging, and exciting courses that cover:
  • Design thinking
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Virtual and rapid prototyping techniques
  • Integrated electronic and physical systems
  • Low and high resolution prototyping
  • Business aspects of product creation

The Certificate:

The Certificate is open to all Swanson School of Engineering undergraduates, as well as qualified undergraduates from other units.  It combines coursework and co-curriculum experiences, with a broad, increasing menu of options. Courses will provide individuals with the necessary exposure and foundational theory that complements their major and enables them to branch into other areas of inquiry.  Students must choose a set of five courses from three categories:

Area 1:


Students will choose at least one course (Note that only one College of Business course may be used to meet Certificate requirements):
  • ENGR 1060 - Social Entrepreneurship: Engineering for Humanity
  • ENGR 1061 - Intrapreneurship: Entrepreneurship Within the Corporation
  • ENGR 1062 - Start Up Fundamentals
  • ENGR 1080 - Lean Launchpad: Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship (may be used for area 1 or 3 but not both)
  • BUSENV 1785 - Social Entrepreneurship
  • BUSORG 1640 - The Entrepreneurship Process
  • BUSSPP 1750 - Commercializing New Technology
  • The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Living Learning Center (note, this is non-credit, students who complete participation in the LLC need only 12 credits for the certificate)

Area 2:

Engineering and SHRS Innovation and Product Design

Students will choose at least 2 courses:
  • ENGR 0716 - Art of Hands-On System Design and Engineering (first-year honors section)
    ENGR 1716 - The Art of Making: An Introduction to Hands-On System Design and Engineering
  • ENGR 1050 - Product Realization
  • BIOENG 1024 - Medical Product Design
  • BIOENG 2150 - Medical Product Ideation
  • CEE 1609 - Life Cycle Assessment Methods and Tools
  • CEE 1618 - Design for the Environment
  • CHE 0314 - Taking Products to Market: The Next Step in Chemical Product Design
  • ECE 1160 - Introduction to Embedded System Design
  • ECE 1161 - Embedded Computer System Design 2
  • ECE 1188 - Cyber-Physical Systems
  • HRS 1706 - Fundamentals of Rehab & Assistive Technology Design
  • IE 1051 - Engineering Product Design
  • IE 1052 - MFG Processes and Analysis
  • IE 1089 - Additive Manufacturing
  • MEMS 1024 - Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design
  • MEMS 1032 - Automotive Design and Fabrication
  • MEMS 1049 - Mechatronics

Area 3:

Capstone Design Courses

Students will choose one of these courses or the Blast Furnace program:
  • ENGR 1050 - Product Realization
  • ENGR 1080 - Lean Launchpad: Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship (may be used for area 1 or 3 but not both)
  • ENGR 2811 - Hacking For Defense
  • BIOENG 2151 - Medical Product Development
  • CHE 0414 - Product Prototyping for Chemical Engineers
  • HRS 1718 - Project Based Technology Design
  • Blast Furnace hosted by the Innovation Institute (note, this is non-credit, students participating in Blast Furnace need only 12 credits upon completion of the Blast Furnace Requirements)

Additional Information:

Note that equivalent courses offered at other U.S. and international institutions can be considered as meeting certificate requirements.  To review possible courses and for additional information about this certificate, please contact:

Professor William W. Clark
(412) 624-9794
218H Benedum Hall