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Announcing our five year strategic plan

Leah Pistorius
October 10, 2019

Illustrated text of Build Possibility on a white background

The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering is announcing the launch of our new strategic plan, designed to align the department around a bold path for the next five years.

The HCDE strategic plan was developed over the past year and a half by a committee of HCDE faculty, staff, and students, with broad input from the community. Our goals represent our commitment to expanding awareness of our research and academic programs, advancing diversity and equity across our work and communities, and ensuring that we maintain a world-class educational experience.

HCDE Strategic Plan 2019-2024


Goal: Advance HCDE as a high quality, influential, interdisciplinary design and engineering program, and ensure our mission and vision are widely recognized.

We are dedicated to expanding awareness of our program and strengthening our reputation as the leading interdisciplinary design and engineering program.

Goal: Balance total HCDE program size and scope with demand, ensuring the financial stability and sustainability to maintain excellence in teaching and research.

We will respond to the growing demand of our programs while ensuring we have proper resources — personnel, financial, and space — to maintain a world-class student experience and maximize our research impact.

Goal: Advance and sustain diversity and equity across our work and communities.

We are committed to further developing practices to support diversity, equity, and inclusion across our teaching, research, learning, hiring, and outreach.

Goal: Develop and execute a strategic approach to bolster and diversify high-quality research and research impact.

In the next five years we will identify and pursue new research collaborations and opportunities to communicate our research impact.

Goal: Strengthen connection with the College of Engineering’s current goals and influence future goals.

We will continue to pursue interdisciplinary collaboration across the College to strengthen research output and raise the visibility of HCDE’s signature pedagogical methods.


We build possibility. We advance systems and technologies for people and communities to create accessible, sustainable, and prosperous futures.

We create intersections. We thrive at the critical junction of research, education, and community to cultivate equity, access, and opportunity.


We believe a just future is possible. We will be the leading academic program integrating empathy and collaboration to design and engineer equitable practices, tools, and technologies across the globe.



Our work is continuous. We are committed to the ongoing, evolving process of teaching and practicing equitable design, acknowledging our responsibility for the things we create and the actions we take. These are the principles that guide our work: 

Respect for people

We respect all individuals, communities, and their agency. We assume positive intent on behalf of those we work with and strive to understand before acting.


We centralize the needs of those who are often marginalized. We work to create environments and practices that are open and safe for all participants and perspectives from all social identities.

Interdisciplinary exploration

We celebrate innovation, iteration, and reflection using interdisciplinary methods and perspectives. As we endeavor toward excellence, we take considered risks and learn from mistakes. We seek opportunities for collaborative exploration and partnerships.

Thoughtful impact

We are action-oriented toward challenges while continually questioning and improving. We continue to follow and study the repercussions of our actions so that they maximize the possible benefits while anticipating and minimizing possible harms.


With this strategic plan, the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering is charting a path forward, aligning around a central vision of working toward a just future. Be sure to look out for new initiatives over the next 5 years as we put our strategic plan in action.