Whitefoot Research Group

The Whitefoot Research Group 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. We bridge 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. Our research is published in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Environmental Science & Technology, and the Journal of Mechanical Design among others, and is featured in the Washington Post, Popular Mechanics, and Bloomberg Business.

Faculty

Kate Whitefoot

Kate S. Whitefoot

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy

Professor Whitefoot is the director of the Whitefoot Research Group, a thrust leader of the NextManufacturing Center, and a Fellow of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. She has worked with several companies in automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and high-tech industries, and has been invited to present briefings at the White House, Capitol Hill, the Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Office
322 Scaife Hall
Phone
412.268.6771
Email
kwhitefoot@cmu.edu
Google Scholar
Kate S. Whitefoot

Publications

Journals

View all publications at Google Scholar.

Working papers

  • Combemale, Christophe, Laurence Ales, Erica R.H. Fuchs, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2020. “A General Theory of the Labor Implications of Technological Change.”
  • Forsythe, Connor, Akshaya Jha, Jeremy J. Michalek, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2020. “Externalities of Policy Induced Scrappage: The case of automotive regulations.”
  • Laureijs, Rianne, Chad Syverson, Erica R.H. Fuchs, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2020. “Mix and Match: The Influence of Person-Task Match Effects on Productivity.”
  • Combemale, Christophe, Kate S. Whitefoot, Laurence Ales, and Erica R.H. Fuchs. 2018. “Not All Technological Change is Equal: Disentangling Labor Demand Effects of Automation and Parts Consolidation.

Books

Conferences

  • Case, Sarah, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2020. “Global Product Design Platforming: A comparison of two methods to find equilibrium solutions.” ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. ASME.
  • Combemale, Christophe, Kate S. Whitefoot, Laurence Ales, and Erica R.H. Fuchs. 2019. “Not All Technological Change is Equal: Disentangling Labor Demand Effects of Automation and Parts Consolidation.” The Impacts of Innovation on Workers. Nashville, TN: Industry Studies Association Conference.
  • Jung, Sangjin, Rianne Laureijs, Christophe Combemale, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2019. “Design for Nonassembly: Current Status and Future Directions.” ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences.Anaheim, CA: ASME.
  • Gowharji, Waleed, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2019. “Influence of Omitted Variables in Consumer Preference Models on Engineering Design Optimization.” ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. Anaheim, CA: ASME.
  • Nie, Zhenguo, Sangjin Jung, Levent Burak Kara, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2019. “Optimization of Parts Consolidation for Minimum Production Costs and Time Using Additive Manufacturing.” ASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. Anaheim, CA: ASME.
  • Yip, Arthur H.C., Jeremy J. Michalek, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2019. “Implications of competitor representation on optimal design.” ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. Anaheim, CA: ASME.
  • Combemale, Christophe, Kate S. Whitefoot, Laurence Ales, and Erica R.H. Fuchs 2018. “Not All Technological Change is Equal: Disentangling Labor Demand Effects of Automation and Parts Consolidation.” Industry Studies Association Conference. Seattle, WA: Industry Studies Association.
  • Combemale, Christophe, Kate S. Whitefoot, Laurence Ales, and Erica R.H. Fuchs. 2018. “Not All Technological Change is Equal: Disentangling Labor Demand Effects of Automation and Parts Consolidation.” Technology Management Policy Consortium Annual Meeting. Delft, Netherlands: Technology Management Policy Consortium Annual Meeting.
  • Yip, Arthur H.C., Jeremy J. Michalek, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2018. “On the Implications of Using Composite Vehicles in Choice Model Prediction.” Technical webinar. US Department of Energy - Vehicle Technologies Office.
  • Yip, Arthur H.C., Jeremy J. Michalek, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2018. “On the Implications of Using Composite Vehicles in Choice Model Prediction.” Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board.
  • Ales, Laurence, Christophe Combemale, Erica R.H. Fuchs, Brian Kovak, Hakki Ozdenoren, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2018. “The Sources of Capital-Labor Substitutability.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Dynamics.Mexico City: Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Yip, Arthur H.C., Jeremy J. Michalek, and Kate S. Whitefoot. 2017. “On the Implications of Using Composite Vehicles in Choice Model Prediction.” Behavior, Energy, & Climate Change Conference. Sacramento, 2017: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
  • Azevedo, Ines, A. Davis, N. Hanus, Jeremy J. Michalek, Kate S. Whitefoot, Arthur H.C. Yip, B. Augustino, et al. 2017. “Characterizing Utility Customer Preferences for Technologies and Services: A Review of Methods and their Applications.” EPRI Technical Report. EPRI. 3002011249.

Research Team

Sangjin Jung

Sangjin Jung

Post-Doctorate

Research interests
Design for metal additive manufacturing, product platform and product family design, and product architecture assessment and design
Email
sangjinj@andrew.cmu.edu
Sarah Case

Sarah Case

Doctorate

Research interests
Mathematical modeling of physical and conceptual systems, particularly the effects of global product planning and environmental regulations on vehicle design.
Email
sscase@andrew.cmu.edu
Christophe Combemale

Christophe Combemale

Doctorate

Research interests
Employment and productivity effects of consolidation of parts in manufactured goods
Email
ccombema@andrew.cmu.edu
Connor Forsythe

Connor Forsythe

Doctorate

Research interests
Survival analysis of vehicles and the impacts of policy and design on vehicle lifetimes
Email
connorforsythe@cmu.edu
Waleed Gowharji

Waleed Gowharji

Doctorate

Research interests
Engineering design, particularly decision-based design and design for market systems research
Email
wgowharj@andrew.cmu.edu
Ria Laureijs

Ria Laureijs

Doctorate

Research interests
Product variety on the production line and its implications for productivity, profitability, and labor outcomes
Email
rlaureijs@cmu.edu

Past students

  • Zhenguo Nie, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • Runze Huang, CEO and Co-Founder of ExLattice
  • Stephanie Jennings, Quality Engineer at Ford Motor Company
  • Ashley Orr, Ph.D. student, Heinz College, CMU
  • Arthur Yip, Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Video

Courses

Course Course Name Location Units Semester Offered
24-441 Engineering Design II: Conceptualization and Realization Pittsburgh 12 Fall, Spring
24-680 Quantitative Entrepreneurship: Analysis for New Technology Commercialization Pittsburgh 12 Intermittent

AVL Partnership

AVL imageThe Whitefoot Research Group uses AVL Advanced Simulation Technologies (AVL AST) software tools as part of AVL AST’s University Partnership Program with Carnegie Mellon University. Learn more about AVL AST.Opens in new window

Media mentions

National Academies

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.

Mechanical Engineering

Driving ahead

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.

Mechanical Engineering

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.

Scott Institute

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.

CMU Engineering

Pick your own project

Whether CMU engineering teams are given a week or a whole semester, their projects are always innovative and exciting.

The Atlantic

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.

CMU Engineering

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.

Scott Institute

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.

Mechanical Engineering

Seeding energy research

Three faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering received Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation’s Seed Grants for Energy Research.

CMU Engineering

Entrepreneurship by the numbers

Quantitative Entrepreneurship course offers students a glimpse into how product design and production affect prospects for success in business.