Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


Unraveling the relationships between prototypes, people, and emerging technologies in engineering design


Dr. Jessica Menold


The Pennsylvania State University


Monday, February 10, 2020 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 3515


Kate Fu


Research within prototyping and engineering design treats the designer as a black box. It is not known how the cognitive effort invested by the designer mediates the relationship between prototyping efforts and design outcomes. This is problematic because without this information it is impossible to understand the cognitive factors that support or hinder design success during complex design tasks, such as prototyping. Further, recent technologies within engineering design are shifting the way designers and design researchers work. This talk will present findings from a variety of studies aimed at investigating the relationship between prototypes, designers, and technology. Dr. Menold's long-term research goal is to improve engineering design by building fundamental knowledge about for whom and under what conditions design methods are most effective.


Jessica Menold is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Design and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She is the director of the Technology and Human Research in Engineering Design lab and conducts research at the intersection of engineering design, manufacturing, and new product development. Her current work focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of new product development processes, integrating design thinking into engineering education, Design for Inspection in advanced manufacturing environments, and amputee prosthetic design. She has founded two companies focused on improving the well-being of amputees through prosthetics and the STEM education of refugee children through guided play. Dr. Menold is also the inaugural Associate Director for Outreach and Inclusion at the Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory, Penn State's Makerspace.