Kate S. Whitefoot is an associate professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the NextManufacturing Center for additive manufacturing research and a faculty affiliate at the Carnegie Mellon Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Prior to her current position, she served as a senior program officer and the Robert A. Pritzker fellow at the National Academy of Engineering, where she directed the Academy’s Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation program.
Whitefoot’s research advances the theoretical foundations and computational modeling of engineering design and technology change in the context of market and regulatory systems to inform product development, manufacturing, and policymaking. Her research bridges methods in engineering design and economics to examine a variety of topics, including product variety and product-line design, transportation energy, environmental policies, consumer choice, and automation and parts consolidation in manufacturing.
Whitefoot has gained recognition nationally and internationally for her research and teaching. Her work is featured in the Washington Post, Popular Mechanics, Bloomberg Business, and Business Insider, and referenced in the 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy rulemaking. She has worked with several companies, including Boeing, Cummins, Ford, and IBM, and has been invited to present briefings at the White House, Capitol Hill, the Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Improving the Adoption of New Products in the Marketplace
2011 Ph.D., Design Science (mechanical engineering & economics), University of Michigan
2008 MS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
2006 BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
Detroit Free Press
Whitefoot quoted on electric vehicle industry
EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted by the Detroit Free Press on competition in the electric vehicle industry.
Whitefoot quoted on electronic vehicle demand
EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted in The Dispatch on electronic vehicles (EV).
Whitefoot reports on fuel economy
MechE/EPP’s Katie Whitefoot will be speaking about improving the fuel economy of light-duty vehicles for the National Academies committee she serves on.
From ensuring the supply quality of powertrain plastics to project managing Ford's new electric pickup truck, master's alumna Stephanie Jennings is applying the analytical and problem-solving skills she learned in MechE to her career.
Carnegie Mellon University
Whitefoot named to World Economic Forum Global Future Councils
MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot has been named to the World Economic Forum’s network of Global Future Councils, where she will serve on the Clean Air council.
There’s no stopping MechE
When life throws lemons to mechanical engineers, they make lemonade... and dynamic systems, geometric models, and thermal fluids experiments. There's no stopping mechanical engineers. See what we're planning for the fall semester.
CMU Engineering faculty awarded Scott Institute seed grants
Eight research projects lead by CMU Engineering faculty have been awarded 2020 Seed Grants for Energy Research by the Scott Institue for Energy Innovation.
Pick your own project
Whether CMU engineering teams are given a week or a whole semester, their projects are always innovative and exciting.
Whitefoot’s paper cited on Trump policy
MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot’s paper was cited in The Atlantic on the Trump administration’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule policy.
Engineering faculty receive CAREER awards
Four College of Engineering faculty members have been awarded CAREER awards by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Frontiers of Engineering
Whitefoot selected to participate in NAE’s U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
MechE/EPP’s Katie Whitefoot has been selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 25th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium.
Eight faculty receive Scott Institute seed grants for energy research
The Scott Institute recently selected awardees from the College of Engineering for its seventh round of seed grants for energy research.