Steven Eppinger

General Motors Leaders for Global Operations Professor of Management
Professor of Management Science and Engineering Systems
Co-Director, System Design and Management Program


Steven Eppinger Steven D. Eppinger has created an interdisciplinary product development course at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in which graduate students from engineering, management, and industrial design programs collaborate to develop new products. He also teaches MIT Executive Education programs in the areas of product development and complex project management. From July 2004 through June 2009, he served as deputy dean of MIT Sloan, and was acting dean from July 2007 to October 2007. From 2001 to 2003, he served as faculty co-director of the Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) and the System Design and Management (SDM) programs. He served as co-director of the Center for Innovation in Product Development from 1999 to 2001. Before joining the MIT faculty in 1988, he worked as a machinist, a manufacturing engineer, a product designer, and a consultant in both prototype and production operations.

Eppinger's research efforts are applied to improving product design and development practices, with a focus on organizing complex design processes to accelerate industrial practices. He is a pioneer in the development of the widely used Design Structure Matrix (DSM) method for managing complex system design, which is applied primarily in the automotive, electronics, aerospace, and equipment industries. His current research explores the emerging practices of globally distributed product development processes.

In addition to coauthoring a leading textbook entitled, Product Design and Development (fourth edition, 2008), he has authored more than 50 articles in refereed academic journals and conferences. In 1993, Eppinger received both the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award and the MIT Sloan Award for Innovation and Excellence in Management Education. He received the ASME Best Paper Award in Design Theory and Methodology in 1995 and again in 2001.

Eppinger lectures regularly for international corporations and in executive education programs, and has consulted for or conducted research with more than 100 firms. He serves on the advisory boards of several technology-based small businesses, on the editorial boards for a number of academic journals, on the research advisory council of the Design Management Institute, and on the advisory board of directors of the Society of Concurrent Product Development.

Eppinger earned SB, SM, and ScD degrees from MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Faculty Media

  • UI Labs Opens on Goose Island Amid High Expectations

    Steven Eppinger, a professor of engineering and management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, said the design and engineering communities are excited about...

  • Technology Readiness Levels at 40: A Study of State-of-the-Art Use, Challenges, and Opportunities

    The technology readiness level (TRL) scale was introduced by NASA in the 1970s as a tool for assessing the maturity of technologies during complex system development.

  • The Design Structure Matrix: A Tool for Managing Complexity

    How do you ensure the flow of information among people and teams in a large organization without information overload? This problem is addressed by a technique called the Design Structure Matrix (...

  • Better Product Design Through a Simple Square Chart

    Welcome to the world of Design Structure Matrix (DSM) modeling, a management exercise that forms one branch of MIT’s long-running institutional fascination with the analysis of complex systems.

  • The Design Structure Matrix: Helping to See Complexity in Systems

    Many global business organizations develop and manage complex systems with multiple interacting parts. In an effort to become more effective, efficient, and profitable in the face of growing...

  • Will Risk Result in Reward for Boeing's Dreamliner?

    The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been making headlines since it was introduced to the public in 2003. Unfortunately, recent headlines have not been good.

  • Webinar: Systematic Innovation by Design with Steven Eppinger

    Learn how the essential elements of "design thinking" can be applied with great success to product and service innovation.

  • Design Structure Matrix Analysis: Better Product Design Through a Simple Square Chart

    Now suppose someone said you could accomplish these assignments by drawing a simple square chart on a piece of graph paper. No need for buggy software systems, labyrinthine flow charts or bloated...

  • The Future of Engineering Design: Eppinger Keynote Speech

    MIT Sloan Professor Stephen D. Eppinger shares his perspective on the future of engineering design and the key trends affecting engineering design processes, engineering organizations and...

  • Eppinger New Book Release on DSM Methodologies

    Design structure matrix (DSM) is a straightforward and flexible modeling technique that can be used for designing, developing, and managing complex systems.


Contact Information

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Fax: 617-258-6617
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Systematic Innovation by Design: Application to Development of Products and Services
Understand how the essential elements of "design thinking" can be applied to product and service innovation.