Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

Integrated Innovation Institute

Steve Leonard

Steve Leonard

Adjunct Professor

Pittsburgh, PA


Steve has been a practicing industrial designer and innovator for more than 30 years and has worked in a variety of industries including industrial/commercial products, materials, aerospace, defense, children’s toys, medical/surgical equipment, and fast-moving consumer products. Steve has a background in many areas of innovation, including processes, facilitation, ideation and brainstorming, idea visualization, invention and design practices, IP, technology & innovation road mapping, customer/end-user insights and cultural impacts of innovation. 

Steve currently works for Arconci (formerly Alcoa) at the Arconic Technology Center (ATC). As a senior Innovation Leader of the Growth & Insights group, he is responsible for orchestrating front-end innovation programs for Arconic’s business units. He has contributed to the rollout of Arconic’s stage gate processes and was a key orchestrator of the establishment of the Growth & Insights Group at ATC. He has recently co-led the ATC’s Cultural Transformation initiative to help promote organizational transformation via collaboration and innovation practices. In 2013, he was the Alcoa project lead responsible for the design and development of the newly announced Central Park Conservancy waste container system which has won several prestigious design awards.

Steve is a recipient of other design recognitions for consumer products and surgical equipment and has published work in areas of surgical equipment and DFMA practices. He is an avid golfer, coach for youth lacrosse and is first degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Advice for Future Innovators

"Be persistent, and never look at a problem solution as being right or wrong... only better."

Areas of Expertise

Design Strategy, Design Thinking, Innovation Strategy & Practices, Business Value/Proposition Development, Quality Processes, Ethnographic Research and Voice of the Customer™ Techniques, Stage Gate Project Management, Ergonomics & Human Factors

Integrated Innovation Courses

  • Design for Manufacturing
  • Design for Environment


  • Master of Science in New Product Development - Northwestern University
  • Bachelor of Industrial Design - Syracuse University


  • Transformation Leader at ATC orchestrating and leading approaches to integrate efficient and effective processes and initiatives to impact innovation and culture in a positive way - 2014
  • DFMA for Sustainability 2011: "Using DFMA in the Front-end Innovation Process to Develop Sustainable Solutions," International DFMA Forum - 2011
  • Thermal treatment technologies (devices and formulations) for maintaining heated personal care products leading to several product applications and 4 patents for the Edge and Skintimate brands (SC Johnson) - 2008
  • Led the design and development of air care’s Glass Scents product line. Glass Scents was recognized as one of the "top ten" most successful and enduring SCJ product launches of the decade (2000) and achieve revenues of $500M over the course of its product life cycle. - 2003
  • Led the design and development of SC Johnson's OFF Insect Repellent Lantern. Product provided leading edge repellent efficacy and became the #1 area repellent product in SC Johnson's history. Total revenue for the product over the course of its life cycle has exceed $1.5BM - 2000
  • Designed the first orthopedic surgical table using carbon fiber-based abductor bars which resulted in the ability to image through the bars for the first time and enable the reduction of patient stress during the surgical procedure - 1991


  • DFMA for Sustainability 2011: “Using DFMA in the Front-end Innovation Process to Develop Sustainable Solutions”, International DFMA Forum
  • 20 Designers 10 Questions 2005: Innovation - Quarterly of the Industrial Designers Society of America
  • AMSCO Orthovision Orthopedic Table 1993: “Transgenerational Design: Products for an Aging Population”, James J. Pirkl
  • Cuisinart Hand Mixer 1991: “Design for Humanity: Award-Winning Designs Meeting People's Changing Needs”, IDSA

Patents & Awards

  • 55 Patents issued
  • Cannes Lyon Gold Award 2014: Central Park Conservancy Waste Receptacle
  • Good Design Award 2013: Central Park Conservancy Waste Receptacle
  • IDSA IDEA Bronze Award 1989: Cuisinart Hand Mixer
  • Several officer and technology awards while at SC Johnson and Son, Inc.