The research programme at CPDM (MTech by Research and PhD) in Product Design and Engineering is carried out in a variety of areas in advanced design and engineering, including ideation, PLM, medical diagnostics, human factors, product and process informatics, virtual/augmented reality, engineering safety and sustainability. CPDM pioneered design research in India (since 2001) to support development of its capability to pursue basic and applied research into design. CPDM also initiated India's first design observatory in 2001. Equipped with a strong faculty, a well-groomed library and an array of sophisticated facilities, CPDM has a congenial atmosphere to develop future leaders in design and associated research.

CPDM hosts one of the first five Design Innovation Centres (DIC) funded by MHRD, GOI to support innovators and mentor teachers via a programme that straddles incubation, training and online courseware. CPDM also initiated India's first Joint Center of Excellence on Design of Sustainable Systems, in collaboration with University of California Berkeley, Syracuse University, Washington State University, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy Bangalore, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad.

major thrust of research at CPDM is developing knowledge-intensive and testable tools for supporting development of complex products and systems. Outcomes include the world's most advanced Digital Human Models, a biomimetic tool called Idea-Inspire that pioneered systematic bio-inspired ideation, and lightweight 3D compression systems for fast transfer of complex geometric models across the internet. Research from CPDM directly impacts practice: it enables product developers and manufacturers tackle challenges more efficiently, and stretches the boundaries of what can be tackled.

For fostering international research into design and informatics in India, CPDM initiated two major conferences that have become benchmarks. The first is the PLM series - the world's first Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) conference series started in CPDM in 2003 that has now gone global. The second is ICoRD - the International Conference series on Research into Design that started with only 20 papers and as many people in 2006, but grew rapidly to about ten times its size in a decade to become the benchmark international conference in India, providing international quality at affordable price.

Research students are selected thorough a stringent selection procedure comprising a rigorous and extensive interview, in order to determine their individual ability and motivation. A research student can select a research topic from among the areas of research offered for admission in the year of admission.

Ph.D. at IISc generally requires three and half years of extensive, in-depth research. A PhD student at CPDM in the area of product design and engineering is expected to make major contributions in philosophy, understanding or enhancement of the state of the art in design.

MTech by Research [MTech(R)] is generally a two years research course. MTech(R) students are required to enrol in a larger number of courses compared to those required for PhD students. MTech(R) is a perfect blend of course work and research, thus providing students with freedom to take up either doctoral research, to be a part of a company where both research and general design are essential, or to initiate/join a startup.

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