profile pic

Madison R

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


engineering, product design, market research, design for social impact, entrepreneurship and business planning

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Become a designer!

You don't need to be an engineer to be a designer; we all design little parts of our lives all the time, from our bedrooms, to our schedules, to our outfits or meals. Good design usually starts with a problem, not a sudden spark of inspiration. To learn to be more intentional with design and how you can design in simple ways to make your day-to-day life better, spend a week going about your daily activities and writing down anything that bothers you, even if it's just a little bit. These can be minor or major inconveniences; flaws in buildings, products, or experiences; or anything else that bugs you. We will go over this list together, considering which problem or problems you might be able to address through design, and select one to focus on. I will guide you through the design process, from problem exploration, to idea generation, to prototyping and testing, and you will end with a solution and new confidence in yourself as a designer and problem-solver!

From idea to product

Have an idea for an invention? Wondering how to turn an idea into a real product? I can mentor you through an overview of the product development process, and we can dig deeper into any part of the process that you find particularly interesting, whether it be design, engineering, prototyping, testing, intellectual property protection, market research, or business plan development. By the end of your project, you will understand how to turn your idea into a real-life product and have practiced some key steps of the same product development process that top companies and inventors use!

Market research for developing a product or starting a business

Have an idea for a product or business, or just want to learn how you can find out if your future ideas will be successful? The key to developing products and businesses that people will love is market research! We can develop a market research plan based on your interests, which can include studying existing products or businesses and what people think of them, observing people use existing products and noting problems, interviewing or surveying potential customers, or testing ideas or prototypes with potential customers. Finally, we can make sense of all of the information that you have gathered and figure out what it means for the idea that you have chosen to study. By the end of your project, you will have a strong understanding of what potential customers think of your idea and how you can make it more appealing to customers, as well as know how to conduct market research for your future product or business ideas.

Coding skills


Interested in working with expert mentors like Madison?

Apply now