• Email Sheldon Davis ([email protected]) for more information on registering for TO548 and ArtDes 416

This innovative course has been featured on CNN and written in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Businessweek. The course is hosted by the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan and is taught jointly by faculty members Sheldon Davis of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and Stephanie Tharp from the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Integrated Product Development

VIDEO > Integrated Product Development: A Glimpse into Real World Engineering

In this course, each team acts as an independent firm in competition with other teams (firms). The instructors announce a product class, and each team must design and build a fully functional product within that class. The product class is broad enough to allow various design solutions.

Given the product class, each team must work through market research, concept generation and selection, technical development, production process design, pricing, inventory stocking, and advertising. Teams must design, build and compete with a real, fully functional, customer-ready product. Teams compete with their products through two channels. The first is a web-based "trade show" where teams promote their products via student-designed websites, and people from around the world log into the IPD trade show to vote. A team's market share (and sales revenues) is computed from the share of total votes it gets nationally. The second, a physical trade show, will be held one day after the week-long we-based trade show. Here, community members are invited to view the physical products, listen to teams' promotions, and vote for their favorites. Again, market shares and revenues are computed based on these votes.

IPD is an energy-intensive, 6-credit course (students get three credits in 2 of the following three disciplines: art & design, business, and engineering). The class typically meets on Wednesdays from 6–9 p.m. in the Duderstadt Center on North Campus, but most of the work is done outside of class to design and build products.


Enrollment Directions

If you are looking for Art & Design grad credit, then register for ARTDES 516, (IPD, three credits for Rackham and Non-Rackham Graduates)

Register for both ArtDes 416 and TO 548 for a total of 6 credit hours.

MBA Students register for TO 548 and IOE 548 for a total of 6 credit hours.

Graduate Engineering Students typically register for both TO 548 and IOE 548 but should consult with their Graduate Program Advisor to confirm how to register for this class (and how it will count). Note: Master of Engineering in Manufacturing (MEM) students may enroll and count IOE 548 at 3 credits toward their "Manufacturing/Design Integration" or "Engineering Core" degree requirement. MEM students may enroll in both IOE 548 and TO 548 (each 3 credits), but MEM students may count only the 3 IOE 548 credits toward their degree program and not TO 548-3 credits. This decision was reached by the MEM Council some years ago; please follow up with the program advisor if you have questions.

Dual MBA/MEng Students: Register for both TO 548 and IOE 548 for 6 credit hours (and use 3 credits toward your engineering requirements and 3 credits toward your business requirements); however, you cannot "double count" this class for your MEng degree (please talk to program advisor if you have questions).

View past IPD Trade shows here >

View photos from all events here >

When asked what advice you have for students interested in the IPD course (or any product development venture): Be prepared to come in and ask a lot of questions. My team had six theme ideas that we ended up scrapping after our teammate interviewed her parents.
Jack Simmons, MBA/MSE ’22
Fall 2021 Design challenge: Aging in Place Safely
Be comfortable with change. During the semester, each team runs into dozens of unintended problems. Having the ability to pivot and work around these problems was crucial.
Gilbert Pasquale, MBA ’22
Fall 2021 Design challenge: Aging in Place Safely
Be prepared to put in the time and effort. You really get out of the course what you put into it. Come in open-minded about the design challenge (since you don't know what it is until the course begins) and working in a multi-disciplinary team where things might not always be smooth-sailing, because you have so much opportunity to learn and grow as a team member and leader.
Claire Covner, MBA ’22
Fall 2021 Design challenge: Aging in Place Safely
I want to emphasize how mind-opening IPD, our conversations, and the insights from the design review panelists have opened my eyes to the possibilities within the creative dimensions of the business world...

I'll always remember the looks a joy and delight that the visitors had at the trade show when trying out our product.

The course was an amazing opportunity for me to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, explore new fields like electronics, design, and UX research, and also finally create something new and innovative that would help society.

I'm glad that I was part of this course where I got a chance to interact with cross-functional people, where each one has different talents and skill sets to bring to the table. Even the process of developing a product from scratch and integrating feedback was fun and challenging.

I'll always remember Eric and Stephanie (IPD Faculty) for their enthusiasm and confidence in our product even when we had no hope of how this idea will turn into a physical prototype. Positive words and affirmations helped us drive our way to success.

I'm glad that I took this class and also looked on the bright side when team dynamics were very challenging. It taught me a lot about not only interdisciplinary teams but also about age differences, communication styles, and attitudes.

I'm glad that: I had the opportunity to work with people in different schools and being able to showcase our individual strengths. Also having the opportunity to work on a physical product that I'm not used to as I'm more accustomed to software solutions.

I'll always remember IPD, since this course was so engaging and helped to understand product development from a more commercial point of view for an engineer like me.

I'll always remember the design jam. That was kind of life changing.

I'll always remember the impact the instructors had on my development during this course. I am grateful to have such supportive yet goal-oriented instructors who were full of energy and vigor to help us succeed. I have made some very meaningful connections here, and it will help me grow as a professional in my future. ~ grad student, Fall 2023 IPD Course
Former IPD Students