Matthew Wettergreen was appointed director of the department's Master of Bioengineering Global Medical Innovation program in 2020. He is also an Associate Teaching Professor at the award-winning Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University, recruited as the first faculty hire in 2013.
Wettergreen co-developed six of the seven engineering design courses in the design curriculum at the OEDK, including the flagship first-year engineering design and Prototyping and Fabrication course. This practical hands-on course increases student proficiency in the development of prototypes using low fidelity prototyping, iterative design, and advanced manufacturing tools. Dr. Wettergreen’s efforts to scaffold prototyping into all of the OEDK’s design courses were recognized with Rice’s Teaching Award for Excellence in Inquiry-Based Learning. In 2017, four faculty members, including Wettergreen, combined the engineering design courses at the OEDK to create the first engineering design minor in the US, credentialing students for a course of study in engineering design, teamwork, prototyping, and client-based projects.
Wettergreen has over ten years of experience teaching client-based engineering design courses, and a deep interest in engineering education, specifically curriculum that can be employed to build capacity for student development in makerspaces. Building off of this interest, he has taught and mentored faculty in Brazil, Malawi, and Tanzania to launch makerspaces and work with institutions to develop engineering design curriculum. Dr. Wettergreen is the faculty mentor for Rice’s Design for America chapter, for which he has been given the Hudspeth Award for excellence in student club mentoring.
Wettergreen is also a designer of consumer products under Data Design Co, and of a number of academic products that improve students prototyping techniques, including a low fidelity prototyping cart and the Laser Cutter Prototyping Library. His design work has been featured on the cover of NASA Tech Briefs and in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly and Texas Monthly.