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Nov. 11: CMU's Prestigious Master of Product Development Program Hires New Innovative Managing Director To Handle Growth

Contacts: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /
Eric Sloss / 412-268-5765 /

CMU's Prestigious Master of Product Development Program
Hires New Innovative Managing Director To Handle Growth

Vanessa SicaPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Vanessa Sica has been tapped to help grow the successful Master of Product Development Program (MPD) for engineers and designers seeking to help business and industry focus on innovation and product paradigm shifts.

"We are extremely excited to have such an accomplished professional involved with an already leading-edge, interdisciplinary program created to enable engineers and designers to play a leading role in product innovation," said Jonathan Cagan, program co-founder and a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

Sica, who graduated in 1992 from CMU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in industrial design, has a broad range of international experience merging the fields of industrial, interaction and communication design, with new technology to create innovative design solutions in health care, consumer products and the arts. 
"This is a great opportunity for me to combine my broad professional experience and industry connection with a passion for education to help develop the next generation of industrial designers and engineers to lead innovation at top corporations and design firms," said Sica, who has more than 15 years of experience merging design, engineering and business to develop award winning, innovative products.
Prior to joining CMU in her current role, Sica was an adjunct faculty member in the School of Design, most recently co-teaching the graduate design studio last spring, a course sponsored by Microsoft and Motorola.  
"Vanessa is a great representative of the growth and pace of design thinking throughout an ever-changing business and manufacturing landscape. She is a great addition to our team," said Stephen Stadelmeier, program co-founder and associate head of CMU's School of Design.
The MPD program is jointly offered by CMU's Department of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Design, with support from the Tepper School of Business. The program recently admitted its eighth class and is internationally ranked as a leading graduate program in product development and industrial design. The capstone of the program's second semester is the award-winning Integrated Product Development course, in which interdisciplinary groups work with corporate sponsors to develop innovative product solutions for a wide array of consumer and industrial products. 
In addition to a stellar teaching track record, Sica directed the design of several landmark wearable health monitors at Pittsburgh-based Bodymedia, a global pioneer in the field of health monitoring systems. She also was a senior industrial designer at New York-based Smart Design, where she led the design of numerous products for clients including Johnson & Johnson, Oxo International, Corning, Timex and National Geographic.
As a consultant for Louis Nelson Associates in New York, she contributed to the research and development of the Dag Hammarskjold Medal for the United Nations and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Her design work has received numerous accolades including the Gold IDSA-IDEA International Design Excellence Award and the Medical Design Excellence Award. Her work also has been featured in several major exhibitions at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Vitra Design Museum, the Mattress Factory Art Museum, and as part of artist Mariko Mori's Venice Biennale exhibit. Her work also has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Wired and Discover. 
For additional program information, please see

Pictured above is Vanessa Sica.