Welcome to the Engineering Design Research Lab (EDRL) home page!   Here you will find information about our team of researchers, our current projects, publications, and recent news. The Engineering Design Research Lab is directed by Dr. Kate Fu in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, this lab was founded at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2014.


Through our research, we strive to support and enhance design innovation and creativity.  Our approach is interdisciplinary and mixed methodological, focusing on understanding and supporting design innovation through design cognition research, methodological and computational design support development.

Expertise and Capabilities

The researchers in the EDRL have expertise in the following techniques:

  • Cognitive human subjects based studies – ranging from studying design expert practitioners to end users for human centered design processes
  • Machine learning techniques for data mining of large data sets, including unstructured text-based data
  • Integration of engineering and industrial design expertise and techniques for approaching design research and development
  • Education focused research, ranging from K-12 interventions and curriculum to higher education tools and scaffolding to facilitate effective learning in engineering and design
  • Design process and methodology formalization through research based derivation and validation of design principles, heuristics, and guidelines
  • Innovation and creativity support, with a strong emphasis on design by analogy, drawing inspiration from nature, existing technology, and design from far field areas of application


Dr. Kate Fu joins the UW Madison Mechanical Engineering Department as Associate Professor!