Jonathan Cagan Appointed Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for CIT
Engineers are entrepreneurs. From bridges to paperclips, engineers daily create and design products essential to everyday life. To further hone the skills and novel research of CMU's entrepreneurial engineers, Jonathan Cagan has been appointed Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the College of Engineering.
"I am quite excited about leading new activities that bridge engineers to other disciplines on campus and to promote entrepreneurial and innovation activities and education," said Cagan, the George Tallman and Florence Barrett Professor of Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and co-director of the Master of Product Development program.
"CMU has a long history of innovation in research and strong success in commercialization of these successes. There is an opportunity within the College of Engineering to more explicitly teach students the skills necessary to succeed in product, technology and service innovation, and the ability to develop new businesses around those innovations. I also look forward to exploring more synergies with our Silicon Valley campus, and leverage the Silicon Valley environment to promote new innovation potential," Cagan said.
James H. Garrett, Jr., dean of the College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, praised Cagan for his outstanding contributions to the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at CMU, and for his cutting-edge academic courses underscoring the importance of an interdisciplinary perspective for successful product development.
"In this new post, Jon will seek to bring greater visibility to all aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship in the college," Garrett said. "He'll work as liaison to the new CMU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) to create programs that will promote increased innovation and entrepreneurship.
"He will also develop an overall strategy for better integration and coordination of innovation and entrepreneurship across all campuses of the engineering college, especially our Silicon Valley campus, as well as communicate any innovation and entrepreneurship education or funding opportunities for these endeavors. Jon will also leverage his work on innovation education and practice in seeking new innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for the college," Garrett said.
Cagan, who started as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at CMU in 1990, also holds courtesy appointments in the School of Design and the School of Computer Science. His personal research interests focus on design theory, methods and practice, including computational-based design, cognitive-based engineering and interdisciplinary product development.
A pioneering entrepreneur, Cagan co-founded and serves as co-director of the Master of Product Development, a program in integrated innovation offered between the College of Engineering, the Tepper School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. From 2002 to 2009, he co-founded and served as the chief technologist for CMU spinoff DesignAdvance Systems.
The author of four books about product development, Cagan holds several patents in the computational design and product area. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has received numerous awards, including seven Best Paper awards at premier engineering design research conferences, the 2007 College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award, the 2002 Teare Teaching Award and the 2000 Dowd Teaching Fellowship.
Cagan earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester in 1983 and 1985, respectively, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990.
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