Interdisciplinary Product Development 477 & 478 (IPD I & II) is a yearlong course offered at the University of Illinois at Chicago where students work to develop new innovative product concepts from ideation to commercialization. Students work in interdisciplinary teams with at least one member in industrial design, bioengineering, and business to develop products that solve complex real-world problems.

Each semester welcomes a new sponsor that gives each team an individual problem statement to work on. Solutions may be consumer-based or industry-based and range anywhere from apps and gadgets to treating illnesses. 

Cynthia and her team Ophthimus Prime (formerly known as the Mighty Morphin Moto Rangers) combined their talents to develop and modify products related to health. Look around to see their accomplishments. 


Skills Learned

  • Creativity and Ideation
  • Research and Analysis
  • Prototyping (3-D printing included)
  • Markets and Trends
  • Industrial Design Concepts
  • Bioengineering Concepts
  • Professionalism and Presentation
  • Team Building
  • Time Management
  • Interviewing Others
  • Patent Searching
  • FDA Guidelines 

Sponsored Projects

UIC Ophthalmology Department
Team: Ophthimus Prime
Mentor: Dr. De La Cruz
Group Task:  Modify and validate the patented KSCOPE device invented by mentor, Dr. Jose De La Cruz that will help the estimated 7.5 million people with age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness.

Motorola Mobility
Team: Mighty Morphin Moto Rangers
Mentor: Director of Engineering
Group Task: Consumer based project related to health and wearables. Under non-disclosure agreement. No further details given at this time. 

IPD Comments


We thought it was important to expose our students to best practices and give them the experience they would have in the working world while still in the academic institution."

— S.M.


The students’ work could enhance existing patent applications or potentially generate new intellectual property... In past years, students’ work has been further developed and even commercialized by corporate sponsors."

— S.M.

Team Work

Every year we are stretching the boundaries of the course...These are very high-level problems. I’m incredibly impressed by the technical capabilities of the students individually, but also how they are able to come together and really leverage each other.

— J.S.