Topic outline

  • MEC-E3999 Design thinking in innovation projects

    In addition to tailored studies that can be completed in MEC-E3999 (negotiated with professors Kalevi Ekman, Katja Hölttä-Otto, Kevin Otto or Tua Björklund), in 2020-2021, we offer MEC-E3999 Design thinking in innovation projects as a 2 ECTS fully online course that you can do at your own pace. It is open to all Aalto students in all schools on all levels, but can be included in master’s level advanced studies in product development at Aalto ENG. 

    Online self-study course now open

    In this course, you’ll learn the key principles of design thinking and how it can be applied to organizing innovation projects, particularly in the context of industrial digital transformation. How do we develop new technology in a human-centered manner? How do we leverage diverse capabilities in managing innovation projects? Drawing on design thinking as a way to organize development activities and innovation management principles for strategic renewal and competitive advantage, it provides key concepts and practical tools to be applied in innovation work. 

    After the completion of MEC-E3999 Design thinking in innovation projects, the student:

    • can recognize features of design thinking in innovation projects 

    • can identify the main characteristics of innovation and their influence on the management of these initiatives 

    • can describe and analyze supportive conditions for innovation in organizations 

    • is familiar with some key design thinking tools and frameworks in practice

    The course is organized into 4 modules with a series of short 5-10min videos (with captions), a few papers to read, and related small individual assignments. In the videos, you’ll not only learn about design thinking and managing product development projects from us, but explore a recent strategic, design-driven digital innovation project at ABB Marine and Ports. You’ll get to know the Pilot Vision and Control case and meet the engineers, developers, designers and managers developing these autonomous vessel solutions, bringing together engineering, design and business. If you’re curious to see a real-life example of how such innovation projects look like in industry, look no further! 

    ABB case study used in the course

    The four course modules are:

    1. Design thinking in innovation projects
    2. Learning through experimentation
    3. Designing internal collaboration
    4. Managing design-driven innovation projects

    While you can complete the exercises whenever you wish, course completions will be verified and feedback provided in batches for all courses completed by the end of the exam week of each odd period, i.e. 23.10.2020 (I), 26.2.2021 (III), and 4.6.2021 (V). The course is graded as pass or fail. 

    Note that all Aalto students can see the module and task descriptions without enrolling, but videos, papers and assignment return boxes are only visible once you have enrolled to the course through WebOodi or through asking prof Tua Björklund (Design Factory & ENG Mechanical Engineering, or Dr Satu Rekonen (SCI Industrial Engineering and Management, to manually enrol you. 

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about design thinking in innovation projects!