Engineering Innovation & Design

• ESD.051, 6.902: MW 3-5; Building 4-231

• Taught by Professor Joel Schindall and Lecturer Blade Kotelly

• You can register for EID either as ESD.051 or as 6.902. It is a 9-unit course.

"This class gave me the greatest factor in creativity—the belief that I was creative." — Course 2, Sr.

How EID is Described in MIT's Course Catalog...

Project-based seminar develops skills to effectively conceive, evaluate, plan, organize, lead, and implement engineering design projects. Includes techniques to sharpen creative thinking and critical analysis of designs, as well as utilize iterative processes. Students innovate, implement, and communicate designs that are practical, successful, elegant, interactive, robust, and holistic. Focus on project scope, and balancing real-world constraints against the limitations of technology and human cognition. Limited to 60; preference to juniors and seniors.

What EID is Really About...

In Engineering Innovation & Design, you'll discover a different way of looking at the world in which you'll engineer products and services. You'll be presented with seemingly simple problems and discover that your solutions don't work. Your reasoning will be challenged by examples of real-life designs from diverse fields. You'll discover that, like EECS, "Design is Everywhere."

You'll do a real-world design of a voice response call-in system (like the automated responses you get when you call an airline)... and by the end of EID, you'll discover something highly valuable to your career: A way of framing problems or of looking at the world that you had not previously known.

So forget about solving P-sets. In EID, you'll:

  • Work in small groups
  • Create your own problems to solve
  • Address and solve your problems using simple (and somewhat unusual) software
  • Improve your communications skills (learn how to present more like Steve Jobs and less like Dilbert's boss)
  • Gain valuable experience that will help you know how to solve problems when you get your first job or start your first company
  • Pick up techniques from instructors who have decades of real-world experience designing, leading, and deploying complex technologies

Who Should Take EID?

A Mechanical Engineer would apply these concepts all the time when they take a capstone course like 2.009, while a Chemical Engineer would apply the same concepts when they make drug-upscaling systems. An Aero-Astro Engineer would consider how to make sure the systems they build provide clear information to an astronaut, and an EECS Engineer would use the material when designing anything from a circuit board to any application with a user interface. In fact, any kind of engineer will face these issues. Don't believe us? Send us an email and we'll tell you how.

Here's What Previous EID Students Have Said:

  • "I learned a lot more from this class than I expected."
  • "I'm beginning to apply design concepts to how I will live my life and pursue my career."
  • "This class helped me view the world in a different way."
  • "I learned that every problem is an opportunity to be creative."
  • "This class totally changed my view of design and our role as engineers—everything we make, whether it's an integrated circuit or an aeroplane, is made for a person and a purpose."

More Information (or, Got a Conflict and Want to Take EID Anyway?)

Interested? Just register! If you have questions, email Blade Kotelly. Blade can give you more insight about the course and help answer any questions you have about the material.

Did you know? EID is part of the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. To learn how you can become an engineering leader, contact Executive Director Leo McGonagle.

The fine print: EID is cross-listed as 6.902. It is intended for engineering juniors and seniors, and it is open to all undergraduates (and graduates, too). It carries 9 units of academic credit, but it does not satisfy any specific departmental prerequisites. Previous class enrollments have included freshmen, sophomores, and a cross-registered Harvard student.