Integrated Product Development Course (IPD)
The Integrated Product Development (IPD) course at Carnegie Mellon pioneered the field of integrated product development, setting the standard for courses of its kind. Originating more than 25 years ago, the course continues to grow and meet the evolving needs of students and industry. Through their extensive research and teaching, the core IPD faculty have created unique tools and methodologies that have become key to the course. The faculty have written multiple books on innovation, including the text Creating Breakthrough Products, by Jonathan Cagan and Craig Vogel, which is the cornerstone of the course.
The IPD course focuses on integrated team-based opportunity identification, understanding, conceptualization and realization of new product opportunities among the engineering, design and business disciplines. It is co-taught by faculty from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the School of Design and the Tepper School of Business. Students in the course are from the Master of Integrated Innovation for Products and Services (MII-PS) formerly called the Master of Product Development (MPD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs.
The emphasis of the IPD course is on the early, "fuzzy front end" stage of product development. The course gives structure and clarity to this stage as well as to the ones that follow and helps direct the product development process to be more efficient and effective downstream.
Through the course, interdisciplinary student teams partner with industry sponsors to bring new opportunities to life. Student teams produce written and oral reports throughout the course. At the end of the semester, each team develops form and function models and marketing and manufacturing plans for the product. Several outcomes have resulted in patents for sponsors with the students being acknowledged on patents as inventors, and sponsors have taken some outcomes to the market.