Rohan Prabhu

I study:Broadly speaking, I study design cognition, i.e., how designers solve design problems. I have primarily studied designers as individuals; however, moving forward, I aim to study design from a multilevel perspective (individual, team, and environment).”

Why:Design is often a fuzzy process that is influenced by numerous factors, both internal to the designer (e.g., cognitive biases) and external (e.g., information and misinformation). These factors, in turn, could have positive and negative effects on design outcomes. By studying design cognition, I aim to, first, find ways in which we can teach design such that designers are more aware of these factors, and second, to develop design tools and methods that can better support designers. In some of my past and ongoing work, I am exploring the integration of additive manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing) in engineering design. In another collaborative project, we are exploring the influence of designers’ empathy on their approach to sustainable design. You can find more about these projects at”

This fall I’m teaching:I’ll be teaching a module in the first-year course Introduction to Engineering. In my module, we will discuss engineering design and creativity from a cognitive perspective while working on a human-centered design problem. I will also be advising a senior design team.”

What students can expect from me: “Lots of hands-on activities! Generally speaking, design is the process of solving problems, and one of the best ways to learn how to solve problems is by solving more problems. In my teaching, I aim to have students work on design problems, identify patterns in their design process, and work toward being better, more reflective designers.”

I’m excited to be here because: “My research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of several disciplines such as engineering, design, psychology, and education. It is great to be part of a community that values interdisciplinarity and gives students the freedom to explore their interests across domains.”

Getting to know me: “Outside of work, you can find me climbing, running, and hiking/backpacking. I also look forward to exploring the music scene around Easton.”

Read about other new faculty members.

Learn More about This Major

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers design the future. Combining technical analysis with creativity, mechanical engineers address challenges facing society both locally and globally.

Learn more
Categorized in: Academic News, Engineering, Faculty and Staff, Mechanical Engineering, News and Features