Otago Polytechnic

Are you an engineering graduate with a keen interest in design?

Design is integral to the creation of innovative products and services, and commercial success is becoming increasingly dependent on the vision of design-inspired, enterprising and business-minded people.    

Otago Polytechnic's Master of Design Enterprise (MDE) now provides a fantastic pathway for graduates with an engineering background who have a passion for design-led enterprise. This qualification is ideal for Bachelor of Engineering Technology graduates. 

This advanced programme has been developed in collaboration with industry. It incorporates strategic design, business and production, plus a major applied research project and dissertation. This may be completed as an industry-based design project or as an independent entrepreneurial venture. 

Click here to read how Kuang Ma's Masters project combined design, engineering and agriculture!  

About the qualification 

This qualification is offered through a work-based learning model broken into three learning modules:

  • MDE401: Taught in Dunedin or online (30 credits) 
  • MDE404: Based around an industry placement (30 credits)
  • MDE501: Major research project and accompanying dissertation (120 credits). 

Graduates from engineering and technology backgrounds will engage with human-centred design research methods on a range of industry-based or self-driven projects, including the following:

1. The Otago Polytechnic Electric Vehicle (EV) 2. Green Power Independent Houses using a Smart Grid system 

This is an industry-based team project. MDE research directions within this project could include: 

  • driver-EV interface based on control method of all wheel independent drive and independent steering 
  • self-parking EV based on control method of all wheel independent drive and independent steering 
  • internet wirelessly connected self-driving EV based on control method of all wheel independent drive and independent steering. 

MDE research directions within this project could include:

  • wind energy harvest for hot water supply at Green Power Independent Houses in Smart Grid
  • solar energy harvest for hot water supply and air conditioning at Green Power Independent Houses in Smart Grid 
  • rain water harvest for Green Power Independent Houses 
  • air conditioning with natural ventilation for Green Power Independent Houses. 

Programme details 

Click here for more programme details about the Master of Design Enterprise. 

Programme Leader

Dr. Tom Qi is an Associate Professor in Engineering and Design, leading a world-class research team on Human-centred Design in Engineering and Technology. He has worked extensively in the tertiary education and engineering sectors and has built up a wealth of knowledge in his research field, having published 76 QA research papers in journals, books and conference proceedings since 2003. He has also logged five patents relating to electric vehicles. 

Dr. Qi and his team have worked on various sizes of electric vehicles, which can carry out parallel parking and in situ U-turns. In addition, the height of each wheel can be adjusted to keep the chassis at a constant level. 

His project Green Power Independent Houses in Smart Grid is to introduce a suitable power model for New Zealand with distributed power generations and distributed power users. 

Read more about Dr. Qi and his work here

For more information

If you have any questions or wish to chat with Dr. Qi before applying for this programme, please email tom.qi@op.ac.nz 

To apply 

  • Click here to access the online programme information sheet for this qualification.
  • Click the blue APPLY tab in the top right hand corner of the online programme information sheet.  
  • This will take you straight to our online application form where you will need to fill in your details and then click Submit.
  • We're happy to answer any question you might have and we're also here to help you fill in the application form if you need support. Please call 0800 762 786 or email info@op.ac.nz for assistance.