Kate S. Whitefoot is an associate professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the NextManufacturing Center for additive manufacturing research and a faculty affiliate at the Carnegie Mellon Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Prior to her current position, she served as a senior program officer and the Robert A. Pritzker fellow at the National Academy of Engineering, where she directed the Academy’s Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation program.
Whitefoot’s research advances the theoretical foundations and computational modeling of engineering design and technology change in the context of market and regulatory systems to inform product development, manufacturing, and policymaking. Her research bridges methods in engineering design and economics to examine a variety of topics, including product variety and product-line design, transportation energy, environmental policies, consumer choice, and automation and parts consolidation in manufacturing.
Whitefoot has gained recognition nationally and internationally for her research and teaching. Her work is featured in the Washington Post, Popular Mechanics, Bloomberg Business, and Business Insider, and referenced in the 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy rulemaking. She has worked with several companies, including Boeing, Cummins, Ford, and IBM, and has been invited to present briefings at the White House, Capitol Hill, the Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Clean Air as a Human Right
Improving the Adoption of New Products in the Marketplace
2011 Ph.D., Design Science (mechanical engineering & economics), University of Michigan
2008 MS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
2006 BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
Whitefoot talks future of electric vehicles after California’s ban on gasoline vehicles
EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot discussed future uptake of electric vehicles in Vox after California passed a measure banning the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2035. “It is expected that EVs will dominate the new vehicle market nationwide in the future,” she said. “The uncertainty is exactly when this will occur.”
Engineering faculty featured in events at GCEAF
Many faculty from across the College of Engineering will be featured at events during this year’s Global Clean Energy Action Forum.
Whitefoot honored for work in design automation
EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot has been recognized with the Young Investigator Award by the 2022 ASME Design Automation Committee.
Whitefoot quoted on electric vehicles
EPP/MechE’s Katie Whitefoot was quoted in a Vox article for her expertise in electric vehicles in public policy. “Efficiency regulations are still really important even as automakers are making pledges to electrify their fleets,” Whitefoot said.
Detroit Free Press
Whitefoot quoted on electric vehicle industry
EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted by the Detroit Free Press on competition in the electric vehicle industry.
Whitefoot quoted on electronic vehicle demand
EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted in The Dispatch on electronic vehicles (EV).
Whitefoot reports on fuel economy
MechE/EPP’s Katie Whitefoot will be speaking about improving the fuel economy of light-duty vehicles for the National Academies committee she serves on.
From ensuring the supply quality of powertrain plastics to project managing Ford's new electric pickup truck, master's alumna Stephanie Jennings is applying the analytical and problem-solving skills she learned in MechE to her career.
Carnegie Mellon University
Whitefoot named to World Economic Forum Global Future Councils
MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot has been named to the World Economic Forum’s network of Global Future Councils, where she will serve on the Clean Air council.
There’s no stopping MechE
When life throws lemons to mechanical engineers, they make lemonade... and dynamic systems, geometric models, and thermal fluids experiments. There's no stopping mechanical engineers. See what we're planning for the fall semester.
CMU Engineering faculty awarded Scott Institute seed grants
Eight research projects lead by CMU Engineering faculty have been awarded 2020 Seed Grants for Energy Research by the Scott Institue for Energy Innovation.
Pick your own project
Whether CMU engineering teams are given a week or a whole semester, their projects are always innovative and exciting.