An Industrial Design Engineer often acts as the linking pin in product development trajectories; simultaneously analyzing, directing, coordinating, conducting and contributing to the project. Such projects are ordinarily embedded in multi-disciplinary environments. Therefore, Industrial Design Engineers require adequate information, knowledge and skills to govern the development cycle, to interrelate different projects and ensure alignment to company strategies. Often, they cannot—nor want to—become specialists in all distinct fields. However, they should be capable of initiating, coordinating and governing the interactions between all parties involved. The master track Management of Product Development aims at acquiring this expertise.
Management of Product Development techniques help students to answer such questions as: who determines when, where, how and with which resources development trajectories can be executed, as effectively and efficiently as possible according to the specifications. Although the focus is on the rationale of the methodologies and the working methods, thorough attention to the quality of the resulting product is inherent. The master track concentrates on the full breadth of the product development cycle. It emphasizes the aspects that play a role in the different phases, rather than focusing on the exact and specific completion of those phases.
The master track offers the student the possibility to analyze, develop, implement and evaluate generic working methods, but also to elaborate them in a selected area of product development. This area can be very specific, for example, a certain type of product, or a detail of the entire development cycle, or explicitly very broad, for example, an aspect that plays a role in the entire cycle. Therefore, the range of topics is nearly unlimited. To mention just a few: from patents to ergonomics, from design method to biomedical products, or from cost estimation/calculation to human resource management.
The master track includes a number of core courses, such as Governing Product Development and Product Life cycle, in which frameworks for product development cycles are explored. Courses like Packaging Design and Management and Intellectual Property and Design Tools concurrently elaborate a number of important aspects of the development cycle. Simultaneously, the master track explicitly offers room for integration of individual aspects. Students can, for example, select a specific application for closer exploration and relate it to their gained knowledge on product development.
The co-ordinator and contact person for this track is dr.ir. Eric Lutters: