Meet some of the student and faculty socially engaged designers in the C-SED network.


 Abril Vela

“I was missing this sense of working with and for people, and not for myself”

Senior in the School of Information, Abril Vela brought Design for America to campus in hopes of creating an interdisciplinary space for students to impact their local community through design. 

Read more about Abril here.


Rachel Ross 

“I’m really glad I got to start a project from its infancy and use good, ethically sound methodology from the beginning.”

Completing her final year in the College of Engineering, Rachel Ross has been involved with BLUElab’s India Project and Global Health Design Initiative during her time on campus.

Read more about Rachel here.


Erik Thomas

One of the nurses at a Nicaraguan health center “picked up our table, hoisted it on his back, and pretended to ride a broom as he demonstrated how they had to travel by horseback up to five hours to reach their furthest communities… we realized just how portable our table needed to be.”

Rackham graduate student, Erik Thomas reflects on the perspective-challenging experiences he’s had working internationally with M-HEAL and the Global Health Design Initiative.

Read more about Erik here.


Jesse Austin-Breneman

Engineers as People: Understanding the human elements of decision making on a design team.

C-SED consultant and Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor, Jesse Austin-Breneman, conducts research focused on the decision making process of complex system design. He hopes to use his findings to help project teams improve their technical outcome.

Read more about Professor Austin-Breneman here.