Paul Down

Paul Down

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Professor Emeritus, Industrial Design

Office: 306 Riley Hall

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Areas of Expertise

Industrial design, design for social betterment

Down’s career as a business entrepreneur, corporate design manager and industrial design consultant have led to numerous U.S. patents. In 1986, he co-founded Prodesign Inc., subsequently designing and manufacturing the world’s first commercially produced jet-driven human-powered watercraft (Jet Wave), featured on the cover of Hammacher Schlemmer’s spring 1987 catalogue. His designs for marine products, the automotive aftermarket and office equipment have appeared in publications and at international trade shows for Monsanto Plastics, Ford Motor, Stewart Superior, Lowe Boats and General Motors. In 2003, Down was elected IDSA’s (Industrial Designers Society of America) National Education Council VP and trustee to the National Design Foundation, holding the highest-ranking education office on IDSA’s Board of Directors. As professor at Notre Dame, Down coordinated the Industrial Design Group, instructing graduates and undergraduates. He’s served on the Departmental Committee for Appointments and Promotions from 1997-2010. Down has received the 2007 Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2000 Kaneb Excellence in Teaching Award from Notre Dame. In 2008, Down was inducted into the Kaneb Educator’s Fellowship, IDSA’s Fellowship and concurrently received the prestigious Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind for his collaborative design research leading to AdapTap, a navigation aid for sight impaired swimmers.


Notre Dame to host second annual National Robotics Week event
Down, Conrado honored by Industrial Designers Society of America
BusinessWeek ranks ND Industrial Design among top programs
Industrial design team wins award for blind swimming technology
Turning scholarship into service: Social Design at Notre Dame