Jonathan Cagan is the David and Susan Coulter Head and George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His career spans collaborative and innovative work in education, research, and industry.
Researching engineering design automation and methods, Cagan merges AI, machine learning, and optimization methods with cognitive science problem solving. One focal area is the cognitive basis and computational modeling of designer processes to improve the effectiveness of human designers, with a focus on hybrid human/AI teams. Another area includes computational methods for the design and diagnosis of biomechanical systems. An additional focus is in user-centered design and integrated product development practice. He exemplifies the college’s culture of advanced collaboration, having worked with engineers, psychologists, neuro-scientists, marketers, designers, computer scientists, and architects in his work.
At Carnegie Mellon, Cagan co-founded and co-directed the Integrated Innovation Institute and served as interim dean, and, prior, associate dean for graduate and faculty affairs and chief academic officer, of the College of Engineering. Cagan was recently honored with the Robert A. Doherty Award for Sustained Contributions to Excellence in Education. Active in professional societies and editorial boards, Cagan is a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and was awarded with the ASME Design Theory and Methodology, Design Automation, and Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Design Educator Awards. He has authored several books, more than 300 publications, and is an inventor on multiple patents.