2.009 Product Engineering Processes

2017 Project Theme

We are part of a successful product development firm that prides itself on being at the cutting edge of technology. Our firm designs a wide range of successful, innovative consumer and professional products that are driven by new technologies, societal trends or challenges, and concerns about quality-of-life and global sustainability.

As part of our innovation strategy, each year our company challenges a select group of teams to propose and develop innovative products in a new strategic direction.

You are a member of one of 8 teams that have been charged with this challenge.

This year our strategic theme is "super!" Products can "super" our powers and to help us realize our dreams. Like super heroes, products can augment our abilities with super-human strength, extend the reach of our minds, help us to master challenges, metamorphosize ourselves, energize, and enhance our reach through tools. We will develop new products fueled by this inspiration.

Like all outstanding products, our designs should afford special meaning or experiences will meeting the needs of their users. Delight, pleasure, satisfaction, confidence, inspiration, protection, thrill, stimulation, amazement. There are many ways products can touch us.

"Super" is your challenge! Any viable, meaningful product related to the spirit of this theme is a potential candidate. Super power association charts for mind/energy, superhuman, tools/mastery, and body/metamorphosis might be a helpful starting point for seeding ideas for needs and product opportunities.

Target customers may include those living in developed or developing countries. Business models may range from products for under-served clients, to products distributed on a non-profit basis, to highly profitable mass-produced goods.


In all cases, you must develop a realistic plan for how the product can be produced and sustained. If the plan is unrealistic, the product will not reach its intended users and thus not have impact.

The product must be something people want. In order to help understand the level of interest in ideas, crowdsourced-based feedback will be used to gauge the pulse of real users.

Your team will consider ideas generated through its own ideation and research, along with themes introduced by potential clients at an idea fair.

Your product development challenge begins on September 8 and culminates on December 11 at the prototype launch.

Good luck!

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." Thomas Jefferson

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." Colin Powell