Teaching Professor | Earl F. Cheit Faculty Fellow
Innovation & Design | Operations & IT Management | Entrepreneurship & Innovation | Sustainability
Expert in integrating design, critical and systems thinking skills for framing and solving problems in multi-disciplinary teams
Sara Beckman has spent her years as a boundary spanner at UC Berkeley, where she has held faculty appointments in both the Haas School of Business and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She served as Chief Learning Officer for the newly formed Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation and facilitated the creation of a multi-disciplinary Certificate in Design Innovation. She teaches courses such as Collaborative Innovation which integrates Art Practice, Theater and Dance Performance Studies and Business perspectives on both collaboration and innovation.
Beckman’s research focuses on the pedagogy of teaching design and on the role of diversity on design and innovation teams for which she developed a Teaming with Diversity curriculum that is being used in classes in engineering, biological sciences, humanities and business courses at UC Berkeley as well as at a local high school. She has published case studies on design for sustainability, design roadmapping, and leveraging design approaches in sales processes.
Beckman directs the Product Management Program for the Berkeley Center for Executive Education, serving over 350 product managers from around the world each year and works with a wide variety of companies teaching and helping them implement design and innovation practices. In her time at UC Berkeley, she has received three Distinguished Teaching Awards at Haas, the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2018 the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award for Senior Faculty.
Before joining UC Berkeley, Beckman worked in the Operations Management Services group at Booz, Allen & Hamilton and ran the Change Management Team at Hewlett-Packard. She received BS, MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management and an MS in Statistics from Stanford University.
Expertise and Research Interests
- Design and Systems Thinking
- Integrating Design into Business
- Sustainable Design
- Innovation as Problem Framing and Solving
- Teaming by Design
- Euiyoung Kim, Sara L. Beckman, Alice Agogino. Design Roadmapping in an Uncertain World: Implementing a Customer-Experience-Focused Strategy. California Management Review.
- Jeremy Faludi, Alice Agogino, Sara Beckman, Alastair Iles. What Green Design Activities and Mindsets Drive Innovation and Sustainability in Student Teams?. 21st International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 17.
- Cobb, Corie L.; Hey, Jonathan; Agogino, Alice M.; Beckman, Sara L.; Kim, Sohyeong. What Alumni Value from New Product Development Education: A Longitudinal Study. Advances in Engineering Education.
- Euiyoung Kim, Jaewoo Chung, Sara Beckman and Alice M. Agogino. Design Roadmapping: A Framework and Case Study on Planning Development of High-Tech Products in Silicon Valley. Journal of Mechanical Design.
- Agogino, Alice M.; Beckman, Sara L.; Castaños, Carmen; Kramer, Julia; Roschuni, Celeste; Yang Maria. Design practitioners’ perspectives on methods for ideation and prototyping. Mudd Design Workshop IX.
- Sara L Beckman, Michael Barry. Innovation as a Learning Process: Embedding Design Thinking (Accenture Award Winning). California Management Review.
- Sara L Beckman, Nathan Shedroff. Designing Sustainable Solutions: Frameworks and Tools for Considering Sustainability Issues in New Product Development. The Handbook of Technology Management, 3 Volume Set, Hossein Bidgoli, Editor-in-Chief. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Nuno Gil, Sara L Beckman. Infrastructure Meets Business: Building New Bridges, Mending Old Ones. California Management Review.
- Jonathan H.G. Hey, Caneel K. Joyce, Sara L Beckman. Framing Innovation: Negotiating Shared Frames During Early Design Phases. Journal of Design Research, Undersciences.
- Sara L Beckman, Jonothan Hey, Alan Van Pelt and Alice Agogino. Self-Reflection: Lessons Learned in a New Product Development Class. Journal of Mechanical Design.
- Sara Beckman, Jeffrey Chan, and Peter Lawrence. Workplace Design: A New Managerial Imperative. California Management Review.
At Haas since 1988
Project Scientist, Haas School of Business
Senior Lecturer with Security of Employment, Haas School of Business
Chief Learning Officer, College of Engineering, UC Berkeley
Faculty Director, Management of Technology Program, UC Berkeley
Visiting Lecturer, Leaders for Manufacturing Program, MIT
Visiting Assistant Professor, Operations Management, MIT
Director, Product Generation Change Management Team, Hewlett Packard
Consultant, Operations Management Consulting Practice, Booz, Allen and Hamilton
- Building Materials Holding Corporation Board Member
- Corporate Design Foundation Advisory Board
- Manufacturing Studies Board
- National Research Council
- Columbia University, Operations Management Advisory Board
- Leaders for Manufacturing, MIT, Operating Committee Member
Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award for Senior Faculty
UC Berkeley Campus Distinguished Teaching Award
Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching
2003, 1992, 1990 (Full-time MBA)
1990 (Evening & Weekend MBA)
- The world is still in the grip of a major crisis. With the right investment, the United States has a clear opportunity to save millions of lives., Business Insider, 05/21/2021
- Online classes: The new normal for US university students, BBC, 03/18/2020
- The Most Interesting New MBA Courses At B-Schools This Year, Poets & Quants, 09/22/2019
- Dance and art, meet business: You’re more alike than you think, Berkley News, 03/14/2018
- How Does Language Influence Who Innovates?, HuffPost, 02/16/2016
- Welcoming the New, Improving the Old, The New York Times, 09/05/2009
- Collaborative Innovation, UGBA 190T
Taught jointly with Theater and Dance Performance Studies and Art Practice
- Applied Innovation, XMBA 290T and XMBA 296
- Product Management Program, Berkeley Executive Education
- Leading Innovative Change Program, Berkeley Executive Education