IDM launches new design classes for all MIT students|Learn More
Tony Hu - academic director

Tony Hu is an entrepreneurial product development leader who champions design, creativity, and innovation.

Over 25 years as head of product design and development at small companies and large corporations, he has brought more than 200 consumer products to market globally, including electronics, appliances, toys, and sporting goods. As an inventor, he’s licensed 22 products and been awarded 18 patents.

As a teacher, he is a rarity: an engineer with a deep background in design and business who loves sharing his holistic approach to product design with students. He has taught product design at MIT and Stanford for 13 years prior to joining IDM where he is responsible for the core curriculum. Hu earned his BS in electrical engineering at MIT, conducting research at the Media Lab, and his MS in product design from Stanford.

Headshot of IDM & SDM Faculty Co-director Warren Seering

Warren Seering is the Weber/Shaughness professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and the engineering co-director of the System Design and Management Program and IDM.  His interests are in understanding the ways that design happens when done by individuals and by teams.

Professor Seering’s teaching activities are focused on conveying how the confluence of user needs and design ideas leads through various processes to the delivery of useful products.  He has taught undergraduate and graduate project-based courses in design, manufacturing, and product development.  His teaching is motivated by curiosity about the creative processes that bring products into being.

With his students, Professor Seering studies design professionals and design teams.  The purpose of his research is to understand the implications of use of selected design processes and to find ways to improve product outcomes.  He is particularly interested in the ways that members of design teams collaborate.

Professor Seering earned his BS and MS degrees from the University of Missouri at Columbia and his Ph.D. from the Design Division of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.  He is a member of the editorial boards of several design journals and a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Design Society.

headshot of michael cusumano

Michael Cusumano is a professor of management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the management co-director of the System Design & Management Program and IDM. He is the SMR Distinguished Professor of Management and deputy dean at Sloan. He specializes in strategy, product development, and entrepreneurship in computer software and digital platforms, as well as automobiles and consumer electronics. Michael previously held a joint appointment in the School of Engineering. He has served as thesis advisor for many IDM students and teaches the courses 15.358 Platform Strategy and Entrepreneurship and 15.904 Strategy and the CEO. Michael is part of the Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management group at MIT Sloan. He holds a BA degree from Princeton and a PhD from Harvard.

Headshot of technical instructor Andy MacInnis

Even before Andy MacInnis went to college, his life was full of creative pursuits—from constructing his first train sets, plastic models, bicycles, and tree forts to garage boat building and art classes. The Rhode Island School of Design set fire to the designer in him and gave a purpose to his burgeoning skills.

Upon graduating, he joined a team of seasoned builders to create world-class racing boats, fabricating components from composite materials. That led to an apprenticeship with a designer/engineer who gave MacInnis an old-school foundation in model-making and prototyping for product design. With a move to Boston, MacInnis entered the mainstream of design as the shop manager at the area’s largest firm, where he created a professional shop and implemented best practices. Newfound confidence and a desire to be challenged prompted him to found Monster Prototype, which over a period of 10 years grew into the go-to model and prototype firm in the Boston area. Clients included designers and manufacturers in the consumer product, medical, footwear, and sports industries. His product development work led to his involvement in soldier-worn protective equipment, resulting in the introduction of several groundbreaking products for industry leaders.

All of this experience is now making it’s way to MIT’s IDM students by way of hands-on workshops, where dirty hands are expected. And, when he’s not at home with his young family, MacInnis finds restoring cars, bicycles, furniture, and houses competes for time with his love of small boats.

Headshot of IDM lecturer Sheila Pontis

To Sheila Pontis, creativity, imagination, and collaboration are the foundation for understanding the past and reimagining the future. She is an educator, researcher, and practitioner blending information design, cognitive science, and field research with creative problem solving. She has a deep interest in focusing on solutions that address people’s needs and behaviors.

During more than 20 years in higher education, Sheila has worked at universities in her native Argentina, Spain, the UK, and the U.S. Prior to MIT, she taught information design and human-centered research at Princeton University, Parsons School of Design, Rutgers University, and University College London. Sheila’s research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, and she is the author of Communicating Knowledge Visually: Will Burtin’s Scientific Approach to Information Design (RIT, 2021) and Making Sense of Field Research: A Practical Guide for Information Designers (Routledge, 2018).

Sheila also is a partner at Sense Information Design, a New York-area design consultancy. She has produced work around the world for diverse industries and organizations that include Pfizer, Transport for London, NHS, Elsevier, and Unilever.

Sheila received a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from University of Buenos Aires, Postgraduate and MRes degrees from University of Barcelona, and a PhD from the University of the Arts London.

Michael Davies - senior lecturer

Michael A M Davies is the founder and chairman of Endeavour Partners, a boutique business strategy consulting firm that enables leaders in high-tech businesses and businesses being affected by technology worldwide to create value and drive growth through innovation. Endeavour Partners helps its clients anticipate, navigate, and innovate through insight and foresight in order to make better strategic decisions.Its clients include nearly all of the top-tier device vendors, network operators, service providers, and semiconductor businesses. Beyond high-tech, its clients include some of the world’s leading e-commerce, information services, oil and gas, packaging and logistics businesses, along with world-class sports teams. He is an expert on the connections between technology, innovation, product development, consumer choice and behavior, the adoption and diffusion of new products, intellectual property, and the emergence and evolution of platforms and business ecosystems. Michael has spent his career helping top management make strategic decisions and drive innovation. Nowadays, he is focused on the rapid shift toward smartphones, cloud services, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and robotics, particularly the forces driving this shift and its impact and implications over the next few years.

Headshot of Melat Hunde

Melat Hunde is an experienced program manager with a passion to drive operational impact by stewarding effective team dynamics and establishing actionable program cadence. Her international exposure from schooling in Dubai, London, and Boston to working in Ethiopia has engrained an insatiable curiosity, broadened her communication skillsets, and has helped her develop an ability to steward various perspectives. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Suffolk University in International Business with a minor in economics and a dual Masters’ degree in International Business and Marketing from Hult University.

When she isn’t at the office, Melat can be found expanding her love for food by trying out new restaurants in the city, traveling to different countries and experiencing new cultures and immersing herself in a good book.

Headshot of Devin Murphy

Devin provides career education services to IDM students through personalized career advising, seminars and small group sessions. She loves the energy and enthusiasm the IDM students (and staff!) bring to everything they do and is energized by helping them find ways to promote and highlight their strengths and professional accomplishments. Before IDM, Devin spent nine years in the Career Development Office at MIT Sloan where she was a Senior Associate Director and co-founded and managed the MBA Core Fellows Program. Prior to joining MIT, Devin worked at Morgan Stanley and White & Case LLP in Business Development and at Johnson & Johnson in Brand Management. She also consults for Landit, a platform working to increase the success and engagement of women and diverse populations professionally.

Devin holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Colgate University and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. She is a former ice hockey player, a struggling baker and according to her 8-year old son, ‘not the least cool mom he has ever met’.

Bill arrived in Boston from upstate New York not long after his own college graduation, and a temporary job at MIT turned into something that has lasted for more than 20 years. After several positions in various departments, Bill has served as academic administrator for nearly a decade. In this role, he assists students with course registration, degree audits, and the thesis process. IDM students rely on him to help make sure they are meeting their degree requirements, and Bill enjoys getting to know them and offering advice when it comes to what classes to take.

Bill is a self-described board game enthusiast and enjoys horror movies and fiction. He lives on the South Shore with his wife.

Headshot of Jazy Ma

Jazy is the Senior Financial and Administrative Officer for IDM & SDM. She manages finance matters, including budgeting, overseeing spending and financial reporting. Jazy’s responsibilities also include various human resources transactions and processing student research and teaching assistant appointments as well as fellowships. She works with Student Financial Services on tuition-related issues.

Before joining IDM/SDM in May 2019 she worked at the MIT Tata Center and the MIT Energy Initiative for more than seven years and MIT DMSE for 10 years.

Headshot of IDM Steven Derocher

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Steven Derocher earned two bachelor’s degrees from UMass Amherst in English literature and studio art with a concentration in digital design. After graduation he took a job in an art gallery, working with local artists, designers, and conservators. Steven also managed a team that fundraised for progressive nonprofit organizations.

After he moved to Boston, Steven focused on his technical skills, specializing in web design and development for organizations that included Tufts University and thoughtbot.

In 2010, Steven arrived at MIT as the IT manager for the IDM, SDM, and LGO programs. His role includes full-stack design and development, information technology management, and systems administration.

In his spare time, Steven enjoys working on vintage cars, sailing, and doing just about anything that involves repairing the old or making the new. He lives on the North Shore with his wife and two children.