Background and activities

Research interests

Fuzzy front end of new product/service development and design: optimizing the intersection of engineering design thinking and new product development, the diversion/conversion design process.
man-man, man-machine, machine-machine interactions, especially in critical environments and contexts such as automotive, health, maritime, experimental laboratories and emergencies.
Physiology frameworks and mobile in-situ measurement setups for divergent and convergent problem solving activities.
Technology and Innovation management issues with special interest in disruptive technologies, their socio-economic implications, and their underlying industry dynamics such as adoption and diffusion. 


  • TMM 4220 - CoTeacher, Innovation by Design Thinking (7th semester)
  • TMM 4245 - Fuzzy Front End Engineering (8th semester)
  • TMM 4501 - Engineering Design, Calculation and Manufacture, Specialization Project (9th semester)
  • TMM 4901 - Engineering Design, Calculation and Manufacture, Master's Thesis (10th semester)
  • MM 8101 - Engineering Design Methodology (PhD seminar, spring and winter)


  • CERN - Challenge Based Innovation CBI, 6 month course with and at CERN (2 NTNU teams, jointly IPM/Steinert and IPD/Boks) 
  • Stanford University - ME310, 9 month course with and at Stanford (1 NTNU/IPM team, challenge sponsored by Renault/Nissan)

Short CV, Martin Steinert, Ph.D.

I am Professor of Eng. Design and Innovation at the Department of Eng. Design and Materials at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). I teach fuzzy front-end engineering for radical new product/service/system concepts and graduate research seminars for PhDs engaged in topics related to new product design and development. My various research projects are usually multidisciplinary (ME/CS/EE/Neuro- and Cognitive Sc.) and often connected with industry. The aim is to uncover, understand and leverage early stage engineering design paradigms with a special focus onto human-machine/object interactions. Recently I have published in Int. Journal of Product Development, Int. Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, Journal of Eng. Design and Technology, Int. Journal of Design, Int. Journal of Eng. Education, Tech. Forecasting and Social Change, Energy Policy, Information Knowledge System Management Journal … Ever since a short stint at MIT and my time as Deputy Director at the Center for Design Research and at the d.research program (Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research program) at Stanford University, the overarching aim of my research and teaching is to always push the boundaries for Norwegian product development teams, so that they will ideate, more radical new concepts, faster.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Part of book/report

  • Al-Falou, Katam; Heck, Johannes; Kriesi, Carlo; Steinert, Martin; Meboldt, Mirko. (2014) Discovering concept patterns in spatial design. Proceedings of NordDesign 2014.
  • Aldaz, Gabriel; Haydell, T.; Szafer, D.; Steinert, Martin; Leifer, Larry. (2014) User Experience in Training a Personalized Hearing System. Third International Conference, DUXU 2014, Held as Part of HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014, Proceedings, Part III.
  • Aquino Shluzas, Lauren; Steinert, Martin; Katila, Riitta. (2014) User-Centered Innovation for the Design and Development of Complex Products and Systems. Design Thinking Research - Building Innovation Eco-Systems.
  • Heck, Johannes; Al-Falou, Katam; Steinert, Martin; Meboldt, Mirko. (2014) Iterative Creation and Analysis of Generic Ideation Spaces for SMEs. Proceedings of NordDesign 2014.
  • Kriesi, Carlo; Steinert, Martin; Meboldt, Mirko; Balters, Stephanie. (2014) Physiological Data Acquisition for Deeper Insights into Prototyping. Proceedings of NordDesign 2014.
  • Leifer, Larry; Steinert, Martin. (2014) Dancing with Ambiguity: Causality Behavior, Design Thinking, and Triple-Loop-Learning. Management of the Fuzzy Front End of Innovation.
  • Aldaz, Gabriel; Steinert, Martin; Leifer, Larry. (2013) Instrumenting the user: Needfinding by combining data logging and immediate self-reporting. Proceeding of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.7: Human Behaviour in Design, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013.
  • Steinert, Martin; Jablokow, Kathryn. (2013) Triangulating front end engineering design activities with physiology data and psychological preferences. Proceeding of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.7: Human Behaviour in Design, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013.
  • Vignoli, Matteo; Ferioli, Gabriele; Steinert, Martin. (2013) Building agile design teams. DS 75-3: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13) Design For Harmonies, Vol. 3: Design Organisation and Management, Seoul, Korea 19-22.08.2013.


  • Balters, Stephanie; Steinert, Martin. (2014) Decision-Making in engineering—A call for affective engineering dimensions in applied engineering design and design sciences. International Conference on Innovative Design and Manufacturing (ICIDM) . IEEE; Montreal. 2014-08-13 - 2014-08-15.
  • Jablokow, Kathryn; Spreckelmeyer, K.; Hershfield, M.; McEachern, C.; Steinert, Martin. (2014) The Impact of Individual Cognitive Differences on Design Decisions while Prototyping. ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference . ASEE; Indianapolis. 2014-06-15 - 2014-06-18.
  • Aquino Shluzas, Lauren; Sadler, Joel; Currano, Rebecca M.; Sanks, Taryn; Steinert, Martin; Katila, Riitta. (2013) Comparing Novice and Expert User Inputs in Early Stage Product Design. IASDR 2013 (5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research) . Design Society; Tokyo. 2013-08-26 - 2013-08-30.
  • Bushnell, Tyler; Neelappa, Aman; Senescu, Reid; Fischer, Martin; Steinert, Martin. (2013) Automatic Alert System: Improving Information Management on Construction Projects. CIB W78 (30ies International Conference on Applications of IT in the AEC Industry) . (CIB) Int. Council for Res. and Inno. in Build. and Const.; Beijing. 2013-10-09 - 2013-10-12.
  • Elverum, Christer Westum; Welo, Torgeir; Steinert, Martin. (2013) Early concept development in the automotive industry: challenges related to the creation and implementation of viable solutions. R&D Management Conference 2013 . R&D Management Journal; Manchester. 2013-06-26 - 2013-06-28.
  • Steinert, Martin; Jablokow, Kathryn. (2013) Triangulating Front End Engineering Design Activities with Physiology Data and Psychological Preferences. ICED13 (19th International Conference on Engineering Deisgn) . Design Society; Seoul. 2013-08-19 - 2013-08-22.

Postal address

Department of Engineering Design and Materials Norwegian University of Science and Technology 7491 Trondheim Norway