Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Eric Nauman

Committee Member 1

Karthik Ramani

Committee Member 2

Eric Richardson


It is not uncommon to see both academic and industry institutions speed through, or even outright skip, the different stages of innovation. Industry often considers early stages of innovation, such as needs identification, to be too risky, or a waste of time and resources. They tend to focus more on improving validated solutions and creating incremental changes, resulting in products that lack innovation. Academia often considers aspects of the innovation process to be too commercial to consider during their research initiatives, which often results in the development of great technologies that cannot be implemented due to their lack of commercial viability, resulting in a great deal of wasted time and capital. There is a stark need to train everyone involved in the product development process to properly appreciate and implement all stages of the innovation cycle. Engineers, physicians, and business-minded people need to be taught how to come together to solve healthcare’s biggest problems. They need to learn how to turn technological developments into commercially viable products that solve customer needs. In partnership with the Texas Medical center, I present in this research a framework for providing future medical technology leaders the experience required to create transformational solutions to healthcare’s biggest challenges. I provide a structured process for innovating in the complex healthcare industry, beginning with first-hand observations of clinical needs and ending with a plan for commercializing a medical product. This thesis is intended to describe the proposed framework for medical device innovation and evaluate its potential for success through participation in the inaugural fellowship.