Students in class

Learn how to develop your innovative idea and design a wildly successful new product.

EMEN 5400
Product Development and Design
Eben Johnson

A graduate-level introduction to the world of product development and design. From identifying customers’ needs and evaluating alternative solutions, to building and defending early prototypes, students gain first-hand experience and understanding of the commercial skills, tools, and processes used to launch new products.

Product development and design is hard, engaging, and deeply rewarding work. It requires one to define customers’ needs, identify, evaluate, and select different solutions, define and design new products, lead teams, and to demonstrate professional maturity and perseverance. Companies need growth so as to sustain their own success, and this growth is achieved through healthy, vibrant, and well-managed product processes. Employers need people with these product development skills and experiences.

Students who take this course will develop their expertise in the following areas:

  • Identifying and assessing market opportunities
  • Defining the right product to win and grow one’s market
  • Building and testing early prototypes
  • Setting and managing target costs
  • And, designing and managing a healthy and robust product-development process

    • To improve the probability that one’s new product will be a commercial success
    • To improve one’s ability to assess the potential of a new product
    • To improve, from day-one, one’s own contribution to a new-product-development team
    • To improve one’s ability to understand and manage target costs
    • To add excitement and accomplishment to one’s career

    Students who take this course will use the instructor’s prepared materials, his own case studies, the students’ work outside the classroom, and additional guidance and advice from guest speakers to:

    • Identify and assess a market opportunity
    • Select and define a new product that will delight one’s target market
    • Evaluate and test one’s new-product solution
    • Set target costs
    • And, collect a semester-long set of fun experiences, stories, contacts, skills, and tools to help enjoy a full and rewarding career

      • Development Processes and Organization
      • Product Planning
      • Identifying Customer Needs
      • Product Specifications
      • Concept Generation
      • Concept Selection
      • Concept Testing
      • Product Architecture
      • Industrial Design
      • Design for Manufacturing
      • Prototyping
      • Robust Design
      • Patents and Intellectual Property
      • Product Development Economics
      • Managing Projects

      • Learn product development concepts

      • Learn "best practice" methods for developing new products

      • The course is intended to provide you with the following benefits:

      • Competence with a set of tools and methods for product design and development.

      • Confidence in your own abilities to create a new product.

      • Awareness of the role of multiple functions in creating a new product (e.g. marketing, finance, industrial design, engineering, production).

      EMEN 5020 (Finance and Accounting for Engineering Managers)

      EMEN 5090 (Marketing and Technology Ventures)

      EMEN 5400
      Any syllabus provided above may not be the most recent version. Please refer to the course syllabus provided by the instructor of this course.

      Eben JohnsonEben Johnson
      Office: ECOT 424

      From Production Planner to CEO, and with both start-up and large corporate experience, Eben has enjoyed growing companies and bringing new technologies and products to market. With twenty-five years experience and a focus in sales and marketing, Eben has worked domestically and abroad in manufacturing, supply-chain management, marketing, field sales & service, engineering, finance, corporate strategy, and mergers & acquisitions. Electric and hybrid vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, internal combustion engines, waste-to-energy syngas production, medical devices, and tactical combat communications systems are several of the industries in which he has worked.

      • In 2009, Eben was the Sales & Marketing leader for a Boulder, cleantech, H2 fuel cell start-up that secured $8 million in venture funding, delivered its first production contract, and received the 2009 USCA Best of Boulder award for excellence in sales and marketing
      • In 2001, Eben conceived of and led the corporate strategy team that launched the Cummins Emissions Solutions business, now a $1.5+ billion division of Cummins Engine Company
      • In 1991, Eben received a commendation from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Committee for Excellence in Operations and Procurement (medical devices, Baxter Healthcare Corporation)

      Eben holds an MBA from the University of California – Davis, with a concentration in alternative energy, and a BSIM from Carnegie Mellon University.