This initiative is sponsored by the Human-Centered Engineering Design program at the University of Michigan–Dearborn in partnership with community partners organizations in the Detroit area, Michigan, and the Midwest. 


The human-centered engineering design-related fields are some of the fastest-growing career pathways. Innovative engineering designers, who can lead teams through human-centered design processes, are needed in all fields of engineering. The future demands more and more human-centered engineering designers and we want to prepare you to embrace the future with confidence. 

This initiative seeks to encourage and incentivize a design culture among metro-Detroit. Students (high school, community colleges, and Universities) can participate in different activities promoting design culture. They will use the human-centered engineering design process to develop solutions that address the needs of our community partners. Additionally, this initiative will increase awareness of Human-Centered Engineering Design among students and parents!


Community partners

Are you a student or interested in Human-Centered design? Are you interested in helping your community through design, and human-centered design engineering? Do you want to make an impact through your creativity? Are you interested in interacting with professional Human-Centered engineering designers?  

Participate in the Design 4 Community events that will be organized every year by the University of Michigan Dearborn. We want to activate and build the community through our community's creativity and talents


Are you an active community association or service organization, trying to solve community challenges? Do you want to collaborate with the University of Michigan Dearborn, to formulate your problem statement and use the Human-Centered engineering design toolbox to solve your problem? Would you like to share your community experience with middle and high-school students?

Participate in the Design 4 Community events that will be organized every year by the University of Michigan Dearborn. We want to activate and build the community through our community's creativity and talents.


What is Engineering Design? There are many different ways of thinking about engineering design. Here are the steps that Engineers use to develop solutions to problems in the world around us!

The key to this process is that you rarely follow each step in order. Engineers will often start this process and then go back to a previous stage as they learn more information. This is called iteration.

You will use this process to develop a solution. But do not worry if this is new! The competition planners will provide Friday Office hours to host workshops on skills such as: 

  • Introduction to the Design Process
  • Prototyping
  • Product Pitch
  • Asking the right questions: Community Partner Q&A

For more information about the engineering design process:

Workshop and events Information 

Workshops and Hands-on activities

  • Engineering Design Process 101?
  • Low fidelity prototyping 101?
  • Project Pitch 101?
  • Apply the engineering design process to solve a design challenge.
  • Build, test, and redesign a prototype.
  • Employ teamwork and communication to successfully solve the challenge.


To be announced separately for each competition


1. The first step is to click on "Students interested in HCED" bottom and submit your information, you will be receiving information regarding the competitions and the workshops we will be holding. 

Projected workshop and events: 

1. Design day (Fall event)

2. Design for community workshop (Fall event)

3. Detroit month of Design related activities (September) 

4. Design competition (Soring event)

2021 community partners and community problems



Community Partner



Option 1

Library for me: Restoring Families, One Story at a time

Founder: Desirae Tolbert

Our mission is to increase access to literacy across the city of Detroit and to positively impact the connectivity, unity, and healing of families through strategic programming. 



Library for Me needs to improve the book collection, organization, and re-homing process. 

Option 2

Photo Sensei


Owner: Asia Hamilton

Photo Sensei Tours has been offering first-class photography experiences since 2014. We provide easy and fun ways of learning photography while touring some of the world's most exciting places. Our workshops and tours are currently offered in Detroit, Dallas, Chicago.



Prior to COVID Photosensei hosted in-person single-session photography classes with groups of 10. The business must now pivot and they want to create a way to teach essential photography skills and provide tours through virtually sessions.


Option 3


Human-Centered Engineering Design 

Program Director: Georges Ayoub

Human-Centered Engineering Design is an interdisciplinary and inclusive field of study that bridges human-centered design, engineering design, art design, social sciences, and business principles. The Bachelor of Science Engineering in Human-Centered Engineering Design (HCED) is offered by the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering to address a growing need of engineering designers serving human needs by applying design thinking processes to the whole product life cycle while considering user needs, technologies, and business factors.

The concept of Human-centered design is still not well known by the students and parents. We need a strategy to inform as many K-12 students and their parents to inform them about the importance of HCED and how the future demands more and more human-centered engineering designers.

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Heinz Prechter Engineering Complex (HPEC)
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