Maria Yang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Her work focuses on the process of designing. She served as Director of Design at Reactivity, Inc. She is an ASME Fellow, and the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award and the ASEE Merryfield Award. She earned her SB from MIT, and an MS and Ph.D. from Stanford, all in Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Yang’s research considers the early stage processes used to create successful designs, from consumer products to complex, large-scale engineering systems. The impact of this preliminary stage on final outcome is considerable, but its ambiguous nature makes it difficult to model and evaluate and presents a fundamental challenge in design research. Her research focuses on the key role of design representations in driving the early stage design. Her Tata work investigates strategies and representational tools to effectively elicit user needs from culturally diverse communities across India, and methods for incorporating these needs back into the design process.