"Eric Svaan and Stephanie Tharp bring the energy, know-how and set the bar high. The product and service challenges are creative and bold, the process is rigorous, the methods taught are broad, the critique is direct and the sense of learning and accomplishment is high. It has been my pleasure to be involved with the IPD program." Parrish Hanna, Global Director, Interaction & Ergonomics, Ford Motor Company.
Ryan Kennedy (BSE/MSE-IOE '17): “This class has everything from business fundamentals to scaling up production to wiring and soldering with microcontrollers to thinking about design and wearability from the customer’s perspective,” he explains. “It also places an emphasis on teamwork and working across functions, which I believe to be critical today. As an engineer, you are bound to work with people who have different backgrounds.”
Besides the development work, the IPD course and Trade Show provided Samuel Dion (BSE-ME and MSE-IOE '17) with an opportunity to hone skills beyond the usual engineering focus. “By participating in IPD, I have broadened my perspective on how to tackle complex problems while developing my hard and soft skills,” he explains. “I have developed numerous projects during my engineering education, but this experience usually stops when the product has been created. I am excited to work on the brand and convey our story to consumers. The trade show will be an exciting conclusion to an enlightening and fun experience.”
Dan Muir (Dual MBA/MSE-IOE ‘03): "To say that I am using what I learned in IPD would be an understatement. I graduated with a dual degree (MBA and MSE, IOE) in 2003. I took the IPD class in 2002. Dr Lovejoy was my instructor. Our product during the course was to design a chair – simple in concept but brutal in competition. I believe my team name was “Sling Chair” but it was a long time ago! The class was different than any other course I have ever taken – or any corporate training for that matter – in that it required a student to wear multiple hats at various times throughout the course. And then put on and take off those hats as required, depending on what the current challenge was. Each student had to understand design, marketing, sales, customer needs, manufacturing, cost control, etc. The list goes on. And if you failed to take into account one aspect, you paid the price in sales.
I currently work for Emdeon. My official title is Director of Production Services. Emdeon is in the business of simplifying healthcare. The easiest way to explain this – think about each time you go to the doctor. Not only does your doctor need to know who your insurance company is, but they need all the information about your plan, what they will get paid for , what they won’t, what your deductible is, what your plan is, etc. We help medical providers do all the electronically – turning what used to be an extremely high dollar administrative cost into pennies. And just how does something like IPD fit into that?
My current role is actually in IT. I have all the support teams for all production applications across the company – more than 300 applications supporting over 60 services to move more than four billion transactions per year. The ONLY way I can actually support a service that we provide is to truly understand what the customer expectation of that service is. For some services, we are essentially a manufacturing environment – moving a product through multiple processes to get to a finished good. I wear a product improvement hat every day – what can we do better, what can we streamline, what needs to improve so that the transaction move through our processes quickly and correctly ALL the time. For our existing services I am constantly updating what the customer needs and turning that into Service Agreements. I have to work with marketing, sales, product and business owners to ensure that where I put my people is actually where our customers need support. For our new services I get engaged upfront in the design stages. My team is critical to support decisions that end up affecting what market we play in and how we release these services. And I get to define how the service moves from concept to production – as well as getting the final signoff for production ready.
Without some of the knowledge I picked up from IPD, I would be FAR less able to make these decisions in a manner that set the business up for success! It was an awesome class from an awesome instructor." (Dan is now the Vice President - IT for Cotiviti).