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On Friday June 8th, I was pleased to serve as a portfolio reviewer during the Spring Design Expo at Northwestern University. The undergraduate student projects I reviewed addressed several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including: Gender Equality, Life Below Water, Quality Education, and Reduced Inequalities.

As a portfolio reviewer, I was matched with 4 undergraduate students to discuss their work. The students shared their newly created portfolios that demonstrated their experiences in design – which included engineering design, product design, or service design – along with relevant skills and personal priorities. Reviewers provided feedback based on their own industry experience and complete a short feedback form. I met with several impressive students and provided feedback on their projects and presentations with a focus on the compelling examples of effective design process, applied skills related to the student’s discipline and the professional appearance or organization of the material.

The Mission of the Segal Design Institute at the McCormick School of Engineering is to educate the next generation of synthetic thinkers and leaders — people who are able to move across domains and industries, identify convergences, and create impact through the lens of human-centered design. These thinkers are not generalists, but specialists of a different sort. They take a unified approach to solving problems, drawing on skills from engineering, social sciences, design, and management theory. The Design Expo is a collaborative event at Northwestern, including efforts from The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and The Garage.

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