Student Research and Academic Activities

The ee lab offers rich opportunities for student research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Past students working in our lab have included individuals from a range of disciplines including Industrial Design, Architecture, and Computer Science.

Completed Theses and Dissertations:

  • Camillo Vargas (MID), Spring 2008, "Universal Checkstand"
  • Xiaoyi Ye (MID), Spring 2008, "CNC Machine Design for Wheelchairs Users"
  • Corey Schulman (MID), Spring 2009, "Barriers and Facilitators in the Use of Medicine Containers by Older Adults with Hand Impairments"
  • Josh Tuminella (MID), Spring 2009, "Design for Personalization through Use"
  • Ted Ulrich (MID), Spring 2009, "Development of a Tangible Display and Metric for Qualitative Human to Human Electronic Communications"
  • Joi Ricks (M.Arch), Summer 2010, "Sustaining the Lifelong Community through Universal Design"
  • Natasha Powell (MID), Summer 2010, "Supporting the Design Process of Distributed and Co-located Multidisciplinary Design Teams by Facilitating Misunderstanding Resolution and through TAG and Thumbnail-based organization of design Documents"
  • Ph.D. Dissertation and Master's in Process

  • Seunghyun Lee (PhD Arch), expected Spring 2012, "Technologies to Improve Communication in Co-Design of Assistive Technologies"
  • Ran Zhou (MID), expected Summer 2011, "Design of a Tub Transfer Bench for Older Adults"
  • Wanlin Xiang (MID), expected Spring 2012, "Design of Grab Bars to Facilitate Toilet Transfer in Older Adults"

Academic Courses

Advanced Universal Design: Investigations in the Built Environment — Arch 8843 and ID 8900

Advanced Universal Design is a graduate course that focuses on the basic issues that create the biggest impact on usability of the physical environment - the interaction between human ability (and dis-ability) and the design of places, products and systems. This is a research-oriented, project-based, 3 credit hour course where graduate students will analyze usability problems at all scales of design, acquire evidence to solve those problems and apply the evidence to new design solutions for all individuals, regardless of ability. Students will be expected to engage people with a variety of abilities of disabilities to develop an understanding of the range of human ability and dis-ability; and to apply that knowledge to the principles of universal design to solve usability problems in industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, graphic design, interior design and interface design for people with all abilities.

Introduction to Universal Design in the Built Environment — ID 4843 and Arch 8843

Intro to Universal Design is an undergraduate course that focuses on the basic issues that create the biggest impact on usability of the physical environment - the interaction between human ability (and dis-ability) and the design of places, products and systems. This is a project-based, 3 credit hour field research and design course for undergraduate students to learn how to design for all individuals, regardless of ability. The focus is on the usability of spaces, buildings, objects, and interfaces based on human ability. The student will develop an understanding of human ability and its importance in defining both disability and usability. The student will also learn how to apply this knowledge to industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, graphic design, interior design and interface design through the principles of universal design.

Universal Design Lab logo