Carnegie Mellon University

Kate Whitefoot

Kate Whitefoot

Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering; Engineering & Public Policy; and Heinz School of Public Policy (courtesy)

  • 358 Scaife Hall
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Katie S. Whitefoot is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the NextManufacturing Center for additive manufacturing research and a Faculty Affiliate at the Carnegie Mellon Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Prior to her current position, she served as a Senior Program Officer and the Robert A. Pritzker fellow at the National Academy of Engineering where she directed the Academy’s Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation program.

Professor Whitefoot’s research bridges engineering design theory and analysis with that of economics to inform the design and manufacture of products and processes for improved adoption in the marketplace. Her research interests include sustainable transportation and manufacturing systems, the influence of innovation and technology policies on engineering design and production, product lifecycle systems optimization, and automation with human-machine teaming.

Professor Whitefoot has gained recognition nationally and internationally for her research and teaching. Her work is featured in the Washington Post, Popular Mechanics, Bloomberg Business, and Business Insider, and referenced in the 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy rulemaking. She has worked with several companies, including Boeing, Cummins, Ford, and IBM, and has been invited to present briefings at the White House, Capitol Hill, the Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.


B.S. Mechanical Engineering 2006, University of Michigan
M.S. Mechanical Engineering 2008, University of Michigan
Ph.D. Design Science (Mechanical Engineering and Economics) 2011, University of Michigan

Selected Publications

  • Donofrio, N. M. and K. S. Whitefoot (Eds.). (2015). Making Value for America: Embracing the Future of Manufacturing, Technology, and Work. National Academies Press.
  • Morrow, W. R., J. Mineroff, and K. S. Whitefoot (2014). Numerically Stable Design Optimization With Price Competition. Journal of Mechanical Design,136(8), 081002.
  • Whitefoot, K. S. and S. J. Skerlos. (2012). Design incentives to increase vehicle size created from the US footprint-based fuel economy standards. Energy Policy41, 402-411.
  • Whitefoot, K. S., H. G. Grimes‐Casey, C. E. Girata, W. R. Morrow, J. J. Winebrake, G. A. Keoleian, and S. J. Skerlos. (2011). Consequential life cycle assessment with market‐driven design. Journal of Industrial Ecology15(5), 726-742.
  • Frischknecht, B. D., Whitefoot, K. S., and P. Y. Papalambros, (2010). On the suitability of econometric demand models in design for market systems. Journal of Mechanical Design132(12), 121007.
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