Haig Khachatoorian

The Product Innovation Lab (PIL) was originally co-founded by Professor Haig Khachatoorian (Design), Dr. Mitzi Montoya-Weiss (Management), and Dr. Clare Maday (Engineering). This was a graduate-level project course conducted with student teams comprising Industrial Design (ID), Marketing (MBA) and Mechanical Engineering (ME) disciplines. The course ran over 20+ years and served the sponsors…citizens of North Carolina, as well as Fortune 500 / 100 level sponsor companies. During this more than two decades of research, design development, prototyping and marketing strategies for each problem statement accepted by PIL, the course evolved to include faculty and students from Textiles Engineering (TE), Electrical & Computer Engineering (EE), Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE), Bio-Medical Engineering (BME), Marketing (MBA / Marketing & Innovation Management), and always Industrial Design (ID). There were usually 10 cross-functional teams working on various projects over a semester period. Each project kick-off was presented by the client. The final project from each team involved a comprehensive report including a: design concept, technical analysis, and marketing strategy, as well as testable prototype. Sponsors were invited to the preliminary and final presentations. In later years, an off-campus celebration event took place with teams presenting to invited guests from industry and academic communities. The clients are too numerous to list. Along with Prof. Haig Khachatoorian, Prof. Percy Hooper participated, as ID representative in the last three years of the course. The contributions of colleagues from the Colleges of Management, Engineering and Textiles were extraordinary and invaluable to the new experiences and knowledge acquisition of our Design students. The NCSU Vet School and the UNC Medical School were also important contributors to the innovation process.