Course Instructors

Alissa Burkholder Murphy

When Alissa was in third grade, she and her peers were asked to invent something. Alissa developed a magic tube that turned regular M&M’s into Peanut Butter M&Ms. She has since continued to cultivate her love for (1) designing products that delight their end users and (2) all foods with chocolate/peanut butter combinations.

Alissa graduated from Hopkins with a degree in Engineering Mechanics, focusing in medical device design. She played on the basketball team, admits to having a favorite desk on c-level, and met her spouse in Latrobe Hall.

Alissa received her MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and spent a few years in the medical device industry before moving to Myanmar in Southeast Asia for 4 years. There she worked for Proximity Designs to make low cost, high value agricultural products. Since returning to the states, Alissa has taught at Stanford’s d.school, teaching design thinking to teams of multidisciplinary students across the university. She most recently worked with a Bay Area medical device start-up to ideate, prototype, and test early concepts for an innovative surgical tool.

Please reach out to Alissa with any questions you have about Multidisciplinary Design Courses at alissa@jhu.edu.

Dr. Kate Youmans

For Kate, curiosity and learning are a constant part of life. She is inspired by the beauty of science and engineering that exists in our everyday lives and the “ah ha” moment when others see the same. She loves exploring design and how it impacts each of our lived experiences.

Prior to joining the Multidisciplinary Design Program, Kate earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Utah State University with a focus on improving student success in engineering. Kate holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an M.Ed. in Science Education from Boston University.

Kate brings a broad perspective to her work, drawing from her experience designing surgical instruments in the medical device industry and leading diversity and outreach initiatives for MIT’s Office of Engineering Outreach.  Using these experiences, Kate helped launch a K-12 charter school with 1300 students and developed innovative STEM programs in Design Thinking, Computer Science, and Robotics. As an engineering educator and researcher, she is passionate about breaking down barriers and transforming engineering into a more inclusive field. In addition, her teaching focuses on the implementation of authentic project-based learning to develop students’ 21st century skills such as collaboration and problem solving.

Please reach out to Dr. Youmans with any questions you have about the Multidisciplinary Design Program at kyoumans@jhu.edu.

Course Advisers

These faculty members represent each department involved in the course. If you’d like to reach out to someone in your department to learn more, please find your department representative below: