2.009 Product Engineering Processes

Course Description

jump to: key goals, lectures, labs, grading


In 2.009, Product Engineering Processes, students work in large teams of approximately 20 individuals to design and build working alpha prototypes of new products. Students learn about creativity, product design, working within a budget, and gain unifying engineering experience.

The effort spans the early phases of product development, including: opportunity identification; generating ideas; gathering customer and market data; selecting ideas, devising concepts and building sketch models; building and testing mockups; customer evaluation of mockups; embodiment design; and construction of a high quality functioning alpha prototype.

The large teams must work effectively to realize this task, so students also learn about group dynamics, team roles and management, consensus building, and the value of communication.

Each year the teams work on projects unified by a theme. The theme gallery for themes of previous years.

At the end of the course, teams present their work to a live audience of ~1300 practicing product designers, entrepreneurs, academics, and classmates, as well as a significant webcast audience.

Examples of projects from previous years and project milestone presentations are available in the course gallery.

Key Goals


2.009 is about experiencing the process of developing new product ideas, improving design skills, and learning strategies/processes for successful innovation. Some of the key goals follow.

Improve creative-thinking capability.
Improve ability to identify the significant product opportunities, and to develop appropriate solutions through a structured product development process.
Improve expertise in constructing models for reasoning about design alternatives. These include estimations, sketches, sketch models, spreadsheets, geometric models, mockups and prototypes.
Improve engineering expertise and proficiency in techniques for building high quality product models and prototypes.
Learn about and experience structured methods for working in large teams on a project that requires teamwork to be successful.
Improve presentation skills using a wide variety of media.
Develop an understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the engineering activities involved with designing a new product.
Develop an appreciation for the significance of societal contributions that can be made as a technological innovator.


Monday, Wednesday and Friday 1-2 PM in room 10-250. See the class schedule for details. Lecture notes are posted on-line shortly after each class.


Tuesdays 2-5 PM, 7-10 PM; Wednesdays 2-5 PM, 7-10PM; Thursday 9 AM-noon, 2-5 PM. All lab meetings are in the Pappalardo Lab (3-069). The lab/team assignments are established after the first week of class (registrar section assignments are not used), and labs begin the second week of class.

The course is organized around the team labs, which are used to define the product development process. See the lab schedule for information about how the labs, lecture and project milestones are coordinated. Lab notes with recommended activities for each week are posted on the course website.


Lab instructors are responsible for grading students in their lab section. The grade allocation is primarily determined based upon: the team's product design and prototype; design reviews and presentations; design notebooks; and peer reviews.

Some components of the grade are individual, some are common to a lab section, and others are shared by an entire team. The project workflow illustrates how two lab sections are combined to make a single team.