Master’s Students Win Goodyear Innovation Challenge


A team of four Master of Arts in Design students from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design recently won first place at the Goodyear Innovation Challenge. The team, comprised of Mahzi Malcolm, Alice Chen, Ting-Yun Ho and Xuehui Zhang (MA ’20), were one of five teams selected to attend a 2-day hackathon where they had the opportunity to bring a previously submitted proposal to life with the guidance of experienced mentors from Goodyear’s Innovation Team and other experts. Their first place finish won the team $5000.

The Goodyear Innovation Challenge is a business design and innovation competition sponsored by Goodyear in collaboration with the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Master's students from across the United States were given the prompt “How can Goodyear leverage emerging technologies to move forward with its supply chain and meet the demanding customer expectations in this environmentally conscious future mobility landscape?”

The CMU team built their proposal by leveraging the strength of the diversity in their backgrounds. Coming from UX research, animation, environment and information, the team found they were able to bring different perspectives on the table.  “It was truly a constant learning process from each other’s thoughts and skills” said Malcolm.

The largely open-ended prompt required the team to work through many different design approaches.

Xuehui Zhang, Ting-Yun Ho, Mahzi Malcolm, and Alice Chen

“We were able to mull over past experiences and decide as a group what we bring to the table,” said Malcolm. “From analyzing, ideating to prototyping, we went through a thorough and iterative design thinking process.”

Their award-winning proposal detailed a new thinking framework for Goodyear.

“It's a framework where tires aren’t an afterthought to average consumers and instead an explicit consideration, especially since the use of cars as assets is changing,” added Malcolm. They advocated for Goodyear to feel more bespoke on a product level, which involves understanding users, and developing a relationship.

They all agreed that their education at the School of Design helped them structure and present their proposal at the hackathon.

“We are grateful for the opportunity for all of us to work together here,” said the team. “The space here at CMU is extremely conducive to doing great work. We are always looking for opportunities to be new and innovative and this has been a great place to do that.”

The School of Design wants to congratulate the team on their win at the Goodyear Innovation Challenge and we can't wait to see what they design next.

Goodyear's Erin Spring with the School of Design Team

Learn more about the Goodyear Innovation Challenege >>

Learn more about Master's Degrees at the School of Design >>

Date Published: 
Tuesday, November 19, 2019