The Center for Socially Engaged Design empowers students and practitioners with perspectives and skills needed to design effective technology interventions that are good for the world. We believe this requires designers to take into account the fullest social, cultural, economic, and environmental contexts that their design process and intervention will interact with.  C-SED provides novel educational resources and fosters a community of research and practice.  

Through our Socially Engaged Design Academy, consulting service, education programs, and engagement opportunities, students of any discipline may learn about and apply a broad set of skills, methods, and perspectives that, collectively, inform socially engaged design practice.

Meet the Team

Carey Chesney, M.S. – Managing Director

Carey is the Managing Director of the Center for Socially Engaged Design.  He works with the team of faculty directors and assistant directors to guide the strategic direction and growth of the center.


Shanna Daly, PhD Asst Prof – DIRECTOR

Shanna Daly is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering. She has a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her research focuses on design innovations through divergent and convergent thinking as well as through deep needs and community assessments using design ethnography.


Kathleen Sienko, PhD Assoc Prof – DIRECTOR

Kathleen Sienko is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Miller Faculty Scholar, and Associate Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D. in 2007 in Medical Engineering and Bioastronautics from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, and holds an S.M. in Aeronautics & Astronautics from MIT and a B.S. in Materials Engineering from the University of Kentucky.


Steven Skerlos, PhD Prof – DIRECTOR

Steve Skerlos is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering (2000) and his B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering with highest honors (1994), both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan since 2000.


Christie Donahue, MSW – ASST DIRECTOR

Christie is the Assistant Director of Program Development at the Center for Socially Engaged Design.  She serves as the academic advisor for the center's Specialized Study Programs and Masters of Design Science tracks and as program manager for the Global Health Design Initiative (GHDI) at the University of Michigan.  She also leads the coordination of center events and community-building initiatives.


Charlie Michaels, MFA – ASST DIRECTOR

Charlie Michaels is Assistant Director of Student and Faculty Engagement at the Center for Socially Engaged Design. He leads the center's Socially Engaged Design Consultation Service, manages marketing and communications, and works with faculty across the Schools and Colleges at the University of Michigan to build collaborations and integrate the center's resources into existing courses and programs.