Applied Creativity At Work Certificate

A Certificate in Strategic Design for Engineers, Product Designers/Managers and Advanced Manufacturing Professionals

This certificate is offered by leading engineering design experts at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic engineering. They will expose you to the world of creative design and deep problem understanding and how it can enhance your current work practices and outcomes. You will learn to think more strategically in your approach to finding and tackling tough problems.

This certificate is comprised of 3 courses: Advanced Design Engineering, Advanced Design Engineering - Design Project 1 and Advanced Design Engineering – Design Project 2. Advanced Design Engineering is the foundational course for this certificate and it provides a deep dive into each element of the design process. Students apply concepts and methods to collaborative virtual projects. The optimal balance of theory and practice sets this course apart from more traditional course offerings.

Each course is 12 weeks in length and offers a fully online learning experience with instructor support and experiential learning opportunities through group assignments. These courses are asynchronous with some synchronous elements which allows you the flexibility to learn in a variety of ways both independently as well as through interactive activities.

What You'll Learn

  • Discover, identify, represent and communicate a meaningful opportunity
  • Generate, develop and evaluate novel, useful and feasible concepts
  • Realize concepts for functional and economic utility and safe use
  • Verify, validate, implement and refine a design
  • Adapt methods to address situational design challenges
  • Interpret, navigate and evolve the problem and solution in a strategic manner
  • Engage in thoughtful reflective practice

Required Course(s)

Advanced Design Engineering - next start date: coming in 2021
Advanced Design Engineering - Design Project 1 - coming in 2021
Advanced Design Engineering - Design Project 2 - coming in 2021


You will need to commit 10-12 hours per week for each of the courses. Students are also expected to be online for the live element of the course. You have three years from the start date of your first course to complete the certificate.
Important: Upon completion of your certificate requirements, you must request your certificate by emailing with the name of the certificate, the name you registered with, your mailing address and email.


The courses within the Applied Creativity At Work certificate taken through Professional Development at the University of Waterloo will have HST added to the price. A T2022 tax slip is not issued for these courses.


You can withdraw from this course, up to 3 business days after the start date. You must submit this request in writing to before 4:30 pm (EST). There is an administrative fee of $75 (+ applicable taxes) to process a withdrawal / refund request.

Instructor Bio

Oscar Nespoli - Oscar Nespoli is a Design Faculty member (Continuing Lecturer) in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Oscar joined UWaterloo following a 23 year career in research, engineering and management practice in industry and government.

Oscar's teaching and research interests are in the areas of design cognition, design methods, design education, and lightweight composite material structures. Oscar maintains strong industry-university relations and a commitment to remain close to design practice.

Before joining UWaterloo, Oscar was employed at L-3 Communications Wescam where he led inter-disciplinary teams toward successful development and commercialization of camera systems. Earlier in his career Oscar was employed at Department of National Defence, the Canadian Space Agency, Owens Corning Canada, and the research division of the Bata Shoe Organization.

Oscar has been a licensed Professional Engineer with Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) since 1986. He is a member of the Design Society, and founded and co-chairs an International Special Interest Group (SIG) on Design Practice.

Academic Requirements

A degree in Engineering, preferably in the field of Mechanical and/or Mechatronics plus 2-5 years of professional practical experience. Some other related fields of study may also be suitable, especially if you are currently acting in an engineering design, product design, and/or manufacturing design role (i.e. Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, etc.).

Request for Registration

To express interest in an upcoming start date of the Advanced Design Methods course please email Enter “Applied Creativity at Work” in the subject line of the email, include your full name, your educational credentials, and attach your resume and a portfolio (examples of design work) of your work in PDF format.