Product Design, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain Management

This cluster focuses on how to better design products and engineered systems; design and operate manufacturing processes and operations; and design and manage supply chains to improve human rights for people globally. It also focuses on how to create better governmental and regulatory policies, along with organizational strategies and behaviors that can influence and advance human rights within our industrial organizations and supply chains. This research area intersects multiple disciplines, including engineering, business, management, and law. Product designs determine how products are manufactured; consequently, values focused on human rights, environment, security need to be embedded within the process from the beginning rather than retrofitting them to a process designed with other goals in mind (such as profit or rapid lead–time). Moreover, these goals may conflict with each other, and they need to be addressed early in the design process.

Affiliated Faculty


Shareen Hertel (Political Science and Human Rights)

Amy Thompson (UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering)

Leila Daneshmandi, (Biomedical Engineering)


Rachel Chambers and  Anil Yilmaz-Vastardis. (2021). Human Rights Disclosure and Due Diligence Laws: The Role of Regulatory Oversight in Ensuring Corporate Accountability 21(2) Chicago Journal of International Law 323 

Shareen Hertel. (2019). Tethered Fates: Companies, Communities, and Rights at Stake. Oxford University Press.

Shareen Hertel and Allison MacKay. (2016). Engineering and Human Rights: Teaching Across the Divide. Business and Human Rights Journal 1, 

Shareen Hertel and Allison MacKay. (2016).  Engineering and Human Rights: Teaching Across the Divide, Business and Human Rights Journal 1,

Shareen Hertel. (2015). Theoretical and practical implications of public/private partnerships for labor rights advocacy, in The NGO Challenge for International Relations Theory, William DeMars and Dennis Dijkzeul, eds. 

Shareen Hertel. (2010). The Paradox of Partnership: Assessing New Forms of NGO Advocacy on Labor Rights, Ethics & International Affairs 24, 2