Walter Herbst

Clinical Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Director of the Master of Product Development Program

2133 Sheridan Road

Room 2-313

Evanston, IL 60208

(847) 467-3375
w-herbst( at )northwestern.edu


BFA Industrial Design, University of Illinois, 1959

MS Management, Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), 1990

Research Interests

Product development and marketing

Significant Recognition

  • Distinguished Alumnus – School of Art and Design / University of Illinois, For Accomplishments in the Field of Industrial Design and to his Professional Community – 2012
  • Faculty of the Year – Master of Product Design and Development Program / Northwestern University – 2009
  • ASG – Student Government - Faculty Honor Role Award – 2007
  • Red Dot – International Design Awards on behalf of Herbst Produkt / 2011 / 2010
  • IDEA (Industrial Design Excellence Award) from IDSA & Business Weeks on behalf of Herbst LaZar Bell - numerous

Professor Herbst holds over 85 patents in hardware, houseware and medical products. He is listed in "Who's Who of American Inventors", as well as other "Who's Who" publications, and is a frequent contributor of articles in various trade journals. An expert in his field, he is frequently invited to speak at national and international industry trade shows and events. In addition, he was a recipient of the "Design of the Decade" award from the Industrial Design Society of America for his work with Gillette in the spring of 2001.

Walter Herbst founded in 1962, Herbst LaZar Bell Inc. The firm grew to one of the three largest independently owned product design and development firms in the country. His specific research and expertise culminated in HLB being recognized as "Experts in the Process of Product Development". Following his transferring ownership of the company to the employees under an ESOP plan he became a founder and partner in Herbst Produkt. The firm specializes in innovation and “edgy” design work. http://herbstprodukt.com/

In the Classroom

Professor Herbst teaches in the Master of Product Design and Development program, where he brings his expertise for product design development into the class room with a course he designed dealing with the Management of Product Development. He also teaches undergraduate courses as well as devotes many hours to “independent study” programs. For the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, he created the Master of Product Design and Development Management Program. The program is the only program in the country that deals with the totality of most of the issues related to product development. The 2 year program has 24 required discrete classes which the part time students complete in 2 years, by having all the classes presented as ½ credit classes. Professor Herbst is a Fellow in IDEA, the Institute of Design Engineering and Applications program and is a NCEER Scholar (Northwestern Center for Education Research). Professor Herbst serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Material Sciences at Arizona State University.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

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