Master of Product Design and Development Management Curriculum

Fall 1


Introduction to Product Development

Overview of the entire process, which includes Understanding the Development Process using Phase Gate and structured criteria. Steps reviewed include market identification, market requirements, fuzzy front end, opportunity mapping, scenario planning, concept design, detail design, and prototyping. Review of manufacturing processes to determine capital and piece part variable costs. Review of blocks to creativity.

Instructor: Walter Herbst


Effective Communication

Oral and written communication in the product development environment. Communication within the corporate environment: presentations, reports, emails, and memos. External communication: interaction with clients/partners, domestic and foreign, crisis communication. Interpersonal and team communication.

Instructor: Beth Bennett


Materials Selection:  Managing Choices

Materials selection; understanding of properties. Methodologies and procedures for material selection as a strategy; assuring suitable material for given applications. Altering properties of a same material. “Cradle to cradle” reuse practices. Composites and advanced materials.

Instructor: Stephen Carr


Team Building & Organizational Behavior

Living with and exploring corporate cultures, team building, motivation, managing change, feedback and mentoring. Cross-cultural issues in the global marketplace. Applying proven concepts in an organizational environment.

Instructor: John Boyce

Winter 1


Accounting Issues for Product Development

Basic accounting skills: financial reporting, statements, budgeting, cost accounting, variable costing, product cost analysis, and activity based costing. 

Instructor: Robin Soffer


Understanding Through Design

Strong emphasis on right brain creative thinking, while looking at how product developers engineer for usability and design for the senses to create memorable product experiences. Study will include: getting to the right idea, ethnography, consumer empathy, creative collaboration, brainstorming, industrial design, design language, brand, storytelling, and the culture of innovation within business.

Instructor: Greg Holderfield


Financial Issues for Product Development

Financial skills necessary for valuing (capital budgeting) and financing (capital structure) investments in product design and development. We will cover discounted cash flow and real options approaches to valuing investments. Capital structure sessions examine how the nature of an investment influences how it should be financed.

Instructor: Leo Brubaker


Project Management

Basics of project management and how to apply the techniques and key factors for success in technology intensive projects. Matching the project management techniques to the needs of the organization.

Instructor: Mark Werwath