2.009 Quest: Searching for a ‘Perfect Product’

While my mechanical engineering friends in Indonesia have theses or final projects to do in order to graduate, students from the same major at MIT have sort of the same thing. What do we do for our final/ engineering capstone project? Everyone needs to take 2.009: Product Engineering Process class.

We need to come up with a product that has market, and satisfies users’ need. Sounds easy, right? Not really. Each of us has to come up with 25 different product ideas in the first week of class, which adds up to 500 ideas per team, or 4,000 ideas in the whole class. Some of my friends come up with even more ideas!

There is nothing such as stupid ideas, they said. Photo taken by (I believe) Georgia.

After we pick ideas that we want to work on, we compare them using Pugh’s chart. This is such an effective way to compare different ideas based on a set of criteria that we believe have to present in our final choice. Then, we pick one idea as ‘reference point’, and compare the other products to this reference based on certain criteria. We also assign points to each criteria for each product, which can be positive or negative. The process can be quite long…

Pugh Chart of other team. Credit to 2.009 TA.

Although the design process is quite long and you cannot come with good product idea right away, I have a great friends in my team: Pink team.

Yes, we get our own pink goggles. Jealous? Credit to 2.009 TA.

This class is so much fun, though. Each team has a budget of $6500 that can be spent until the end of the term to build prototypes. Besides that, there are different activities which we can’t miss. I honestly feel excited whenever I go to 2.009 lecture, because Prof. Wallace is just amazing. He did a magic trick during class to reveal the product theme for this year: magic.


I also remember, when we first got assigned within our team. We had a balloon challenge, which was really fun (I heard). Unfortunately, I had a clash with other class, so I could not come to this one.


We also had a fun building challenge last week, which I will talk about in later post, where we learnt how to implement our idea in a quick prototyping (and build it in less than 1 hour). We also learnt from stripping off an existing product in the market, and identifying different parts and how much each of the component costs.

Besides that, it’s just so much fun to see what the professor and TAs up to from looking at their instagram (or you can also check #009mit to see what we’re up to every week):

we'll work on our selfie skills over this semester

A post shared by 2.009 MIT (@009mit) on

I know, this class looks like so much fun, right? However, it is going to get harder and I have a feeling that I will live in Pappalardo Lab at some point during this semester. Well, that’s what I need to do to graduate from this place. Moreover, it is amazing to see how everything, 3+ years of learning engineering, comes together into one piece of amazing product. The immense support from the mentors, instructors, teaching assistants, and professor is also really great to keep us going. We can ask anything we want and get feedback for what we do.

This class also makes me feel really grateful to choose to be a mechanical engineering student: I can actually change the current condition using my mind and hand (mens et manus, FYI, it’s the motto of MIT).

I will keep you updated with my quest in 2.009! Wish me luck!


2 thoughts on “2.009 Quest: Searching for a ‘Perfect Product’

  1. wah mbak pas banget ini bahasannya, aku juga lagi ada team project, intinya disuruh cari tema untuk projectnya tapi pas brainstorming cuma satu ide yang keluar TT_TT. menarik juga Pugh's chart-nya mbak, boleh dicoba nih besok.
    oh iya mbak, salam kenal dari jogja~


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