Katja Hölttä-Otto

Professor (Associate Professor)

Research units & titles

Artistic and research interests

Prof. Hölttä-Otto is an expert on product development methods. Her current research areas include empathy, user centered design, creativity and need finding. She is interested in how empathy and creativity can be developed and learned and also how creativity evolves during engineering education. She is also interested in novel methods for finding latent needs, needs not expressed by the user. She is also active in the area of systems engineering and does research in complex system architecture.

Prof. Hölttä-Otto teaches product development methods including design thinking. She is in charge of the ME310 Global Innovation Program at Aalto University: http://me310.aalto.fi/, which is part of the global SUGAR network on global interdisciplinary design thinking (http://sugar-network.org/).

Prof. Hölttä-Otto is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award and has won nine best paper awards or similar distinctions. She is an associate editor for the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design and an active member of the ASME Design Theory and Methodology community.


  • Innovation, Creativity, Empathic design, Engineering pedagogy, User involvement, User-centered design, System Engineering, Product development, Mechanical Design

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