Research

My research vision: As a design theorist, educator, and practitioner, I seek to apply the design justice framework to transform our understanding of the structures of solution principles to engineering design problems and their role in the betterment of designs. By conducting long-term and in-depth studies of how design transformations are shaped by systemic oppression, socioeconomic and political norms, I want to update conventional technology innovation theory by integrating analytical and theoretical frameworks from engineering design, gender studies, and techno-feminist theories to connect causal effects of gender norms to design transformation dynamics of a product to unlock new insight about a product’s improvement potential over time.

Through my research I explore how social norms, like gender, give rise to the dominant designs of gendered technologies like the sewing machine and breast pump and draw from intersectional queer-feminist and engineering design theory to examine complex design themes related to gender and power and how these shape the products and systems that govern much of our realities, capabilities, and possibilities. I examine the social determinants of design trajectories and seek ways to develop equitable design tools and methodology to reimagine engineering theory and practice. Some of my goals are to develop:

  1. Theories that describe how technology is shaped over time by social norms and how that affects the design process
    • By understanding the role of design justice in engineering design theory and practice
    • By examining cognitive biases of designers during design process to create equity-centered engineering methodologies
    • Which will help advance pedagogy and assessment approaches to measuring justice in design
  2. Tools to examine design solution principles of highly gendered and marginalized engineered products
    • Critiquing longstanding design theories of innovation like the Technology Life Cycle theory and the engineering design process through a feminist technoscience lens

Past Research areas:

  • MEMS and semiconductor design, fabrication, and process optimization for medical and printing applications
  • Industrial 3D color printing design and analysis, low-volume, high-precision manufacturing, materials research
  • ZnO nanowires with carbon nanotubes for photoelectrochemical applications for sustainable energy solutions
  • Cell biomechanics, design and process optimization for medical device applications
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