Starting in high school and going through graduate school, the Cross-disciplinary Design and Innovation (xDI) initiative is creating an academic path for students interested in interdisciplinary design.



The Cross-Disciplinary Design and Innovation Program (xDI – pronounced “cross-D-I”) provides opportunities for engineering students to work on projects collaboratively across disciplines outside their major. This is being done by creating or supporting multiple design-focused programs while utilizing the resources of the UW Makerspace.

Below is a summary of the programs being supported or created:

  • High School (pre-engineering): During the summer 2018, xDI will support both the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY) and Engineering Summer Program (ESP) for high school students. Approximately 100 high school  students will use the Makerspace to strengthen their STEM skills and collaborate with others.
  • First-year: During the fall 2018, xDI will create and host a 25-student First-Year Interest Group (FIG) around the theme of making. Students will enroll in three courses together, one being a design course taught in the Makerspace by the director and shop manager.
  • Student Organizations: The Makerspace is open to any student organization (orgs) within the College of Engineering. The most active student orgs in the Makerspace have been Insight Wisconsin, Transcend, Wiscwind, Badgerloop and Wisconsin Robotics. They have used the Makerspace for meetings, building their prototypes and for outreach events.
  • Senior Capstone: Starting in the fall 2018, xDI will help engineering students from multiple departments collaborate on interdisciplinary projects as part of their capstone courses. These interdisciplinary projects will be housed in the Makerspace.
  • Masters Degree: Master of Science in Design + Innovation