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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Watch the 2.009 final presentations webcast! by Chris Peterson SM '13

banner for this year's product launch

2.009: Product Engineering Processes is a capstone course in Course 2 (Mechanical Engineering) and one of the most famous courses at MIT. For my fellow FIRST alumni out there, it’s sort of like FRC, but for products. From the website:

In 2.009, Product Engineering Processes, [150] students work in large teams of approximately 20 individuals to design and build working alpha prototypes of new products. Students learn about creativity, product design, working within a budget, and gain unifying engineering experience.

the students from 2.009 celebrating before launch

The effort spans the early phases of product development, including: opportunity identification; generating ideas; gathering customer and market data; selecting ideas, devising concepts and building sketch models; building and testing mockups; customer evaluation of mockups; embodiment design; and construction of a high quality functioning alpha prototype.

The large teams must work effectively to realize this task, so students also learn about group dynamics, team roles and management, consensus building, and the value of communication. 

The final project presentations are held annually in before a live audience of ~1300 designers, investors, faculty, and friends who won tickets via a lottery and pack into Kresge, MIT’s largest auditorium, with overflow rooms and a live webcast, and covered by MIT News, the Boston Globe, and other media outlets. The top teams often spin out into companies; back in 2012, blogger Chris M. led the winning Pink Team and took a leave from MIT to become the founding CEO of HelmetHub, which he blogged about here.

This year’s theme is Ignite, which sounds…exciting! There’s an web game you can play, and a archived webcast you can watch on the site or on Facebook.