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Alex BirdwellCo-Director, Design Thinking and CommunicationAssistant Professor of Instruction of Undergraduate Engineering


Alex Birdwell is immensely passionate about teaching and has covered an array of courses within the mechanical engineering department and the Segal Design Institute. He currently focuses on user centered design courses at the freshman and senior level.  He aims to engage his students with real-world applications and examples, open dialogue and discussions during class, a thorough understanding of the materials, and unique classroom demonstrations created with everyday objects. His teaching methods seek to bridge the gap between what students are already familiar with, both through classroom theory and personal experiences, and new materials they’re currently learning.

Dr. Birdwell is also a McCormick advisor and provides academic guidance to first-year engineering students.  His advising model centers around helping students define their objectives while working with them to become self-sufficient individuals discovering an optimal path for their time at Northwestern and beyond.


PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

MS, Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA

Research Interests

Robotics, Biomechanics, Rehabilitation Engineering, Engineering Education, Digital Learning Technologies

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