Engineering professor Sang-Hwan Kim won’t be surprised if UM-Dearborn soon becomes a center for human-centered design—an emerging field focused on the intersections of technology and human experience. His department is stacked with faculty specializing in ergonomics and human factors (a cousin of ergonomics). And come fall, the launch of a new Master of Science in Engineering degree program in Human-Centered Design and Engineering will make the university one of the few places in the country—and the only in the region—to offer a degree that Kim says is in demand.
“The automotive companies, in particular, are hiring tons of people in this field as they focus on developing user experiences in their cars,” Kim said. “But here in southeast Michigan, there is no institute or university where students can get in-depth training in user interfaces or user experiences. Right now, companies are having to look well outside the region to fill those positions, so we think we can help open a new local talent pipeline.”