Segal Design Institute

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The Segal Design Institute (“Segal”) is an educational institute within the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. Segal is dedicated to the study of human-centered design, in context, at the undergraduate and graduate level. The Segal Design Institute is co-directed by J. Edward Colgate and Bruce Ankenman.


The Segal Design Institute was established in 2007 through a significant donation from Gordon and Carole Segal, co-founders of Crate & Barrel. [1]



Segal administers one undergraduate degree program, Manufacturing and Design Engineering (MaDE), which teaches product and process design, manufacturing systems, and manufacturing management.

Segal also administers a Certificate in Engineering Design, which augments any undergraduate engineering degree within the McCormick School of Engineering, and consists of coursework focusing on innovative design in a team-based, cross-disciplinary setting.

Additionally, Segal administers a program called Design Thinking and Communication (DTC), which is a mandatory class for all undergraduate engineering students. DTC consists of two quarter-long classes that focus on design and communication within the Engineering discipline. Two professors, one within the Engineering school and another within the Writing Department of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, work with small classes to teach and practice hands-on design. The course is typically taken in the freshman year. [2]


At the graduate level, Segal administers the Engineering Design and Innovation (EDI) program. The Master of Science degree in EDI is conferred by the Northwestern University Graduate School.

EDI is intended for recent engineering graduates from all disciplines, and teaches design thinking, a process of user research, visualization, and rapid iteration. The degree requires 4 quarters of study.

Prominent faculty[edit]

  • J. Edward Colgate, Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Bruce Ankenman, Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences
  • Elizabeth Gerber, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Kellogg Management & Organizations
  • Greg Holderfield, Clinical Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Dan Brown, President and Founder, Loggerhead Tools LLC
  • Don Norman, Breed Professor of Design, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emeritus

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Crate and Barrel Co-Founders Endow Design Institute", retrieved on 2009-04-02
  2. ^ "Designing Solutions", Winter 2006, Northwestern Magazine

External links[edit]