Carnegie Mellon University
February 12, 2013

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Pioneering Interdisciplinary Program Designed To Promote Innovation


Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

PITTSBURGH-Carnegie Mellon University's Master of Product Development (MPD) program will host a panel discussion with industry leaders and entrepreneurs, titled "Innovating in the Next Decade," from 9-11 a.m., Friday, April 12, in the Singleton Room of Roberts Engineering Hall.

Because innovation moves at a rapid pace, companies often struggle to achieve and sustain a process that is effective, efficient and repeatable. For every Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs, a thousand talented innovators vanish into obscurity.

But Carnegie Mellon has developed a unique collaborative professional program in design thinking, innovation and management that includes tools and methods to train future innovators to effectively lead an innovative process. The program, a one-year graduate-level offering, taps the interdisciplinary expertise of CMU's Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tepper School of Business and School of Design.

"We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our successful MPD program by engaging industry leaders in an open discussion about trends and insights that will be necessary to lead innovation efforts over the next decade," said Jonathan Cagan, the George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering at CMU and co-director of the MPD program. Cagan is the co-author of three books on product innovation: "Creating Breakthrough Products," "The Design of Things To Come" and "Built to Love."

Panel members include Eric Close (TPR'97), an entrepreneur and former president and CEO of RedZone Robotics; Dee Kapur (TPR'76), entrepreneur and former vice chair and chief product officer of Navistar, Inc.; Megan Stanton (MPD'05), associate director of business design at BMW DesignWorks; and Donna Sturgess, founding partner and president of Buyology, Inc.

"Hands-on experience in dealing with actual product development challenges is the cornerstone of our MPD program," said MPD co-director Eric Anderson, an associate professor of design at CMU. "Each year we work closely with industry sponsors to identify and realize new product opportunities. We see this panel discussion as a celebration of new ideas and the opportunity to carve out new products still waiting to be discovered."

The MPD panel and anniversary celebration also will explore what it takes to be innovative and how that energy can be infused into the economy and our daily lives. The event will be hosted by Cagan, Anderson and Peter Boatwright, program co-director and an associate professor of marketing at the Tepper School.

For additional information about the MPD panel and anniversary celebration, go to Space is limited. To RSVP go to