Ongoing Work at Lafayette

Individual Differences and Sustainable Design

As global resources continue to be depleted, engineers, in general, and designers, in particular, must emphasize sustainability in the design process. However, there might exist a cause-effect disparity in issues related to sustainability; i.e., those who might be in a position to make an impact, might not always see the direct benefits of acting sustainably. Designers’ individual differences could play a role in influencing their perception of and reaction to issues related to sustainability. In this project, we aim to explore these relationships in the context of engineering design education.

Relevant Publications:

  • Alsager Alzayed, M., Starkey, E. M., Prabhu R. (2021). “Exploring the Relationship Between Students’ Trait Empathy, their Attitudes towards Sustainability, and their Reflections on a Workshop on Sustainable Design,” International Journal of Engineering Education.
  • Prabhu, R., Alsager Alzayed, M., Starkey, E. M. (2021). “Not Good Enough? Exploring Relationships Between Students’ Empathy, Their Attitudes Towards Sustainability and the Self-Perceived Sustainability of Their Solutions,” ASME 2021 IDETC Conference.
  • Prabhu, R., Alsager Alzayed, M., Starkey, E. M. (2021). “Feeling the Heat! Exploring the Influence of Students’ Empathy and Attitudes Towards Sustainability on Their Identification of Problem Requirements,” ASME 2021 IDETC Conference.
  • Prabhu, R., Alsager Alzayed, M., Starkey, E. M. (2021). “Student reflections on sustainability and empathy: the outcomes of a sustainability workshop in first-year design courses,” ASEE 2021 Annual Conference.


Rohan Prabhu

Assistant Professor

Mechanical Engineering @ Lafayette College

Mohammad Alsager Alzayed

Assistant Professor

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering @ Kuwait University

Elizabeth Starkey

Assistant Teaching Professor

Engineering Design @ Penn State

Julia Greeley
Undergraduate Researcher, Lafayette College
Emily Mastroly
Undergraduate Researcher, Lafayette College

Designers’ Use of Design for Additive Manufacturing Knowledge in Engineering Design

Additive manufacturing (AM) processes present designers with capabilities and limitations that starkly contrast traditional manufacturing processes. Designers must utilize the knowledge of the various AM capabilities and limitations at appropriate stages of the engineering design process by effectively designing for AM (DfAM). In this project, the aim is to explore how designers utilize their knowledge of the various DfAM techniques at different stages of the design process.

Relevant Publications:

  • Prabhu, R., Simpson, T. W., Miller, S. R., Meisel, N. A., ‘Investigating the Validity of Self-Efficacy to Assess Design for Additive Manufacturing Learning’. (Under Review)