Elizabeth Johansen

Senior Lecturer in Design and Biomedical Engineering


Elizabeth Johansen portrait


AC 208


  • B.S. Engineering, Harvey Mudd College


  • Social Entrepreneur Award, Social Capital Markets (SOCAP)
  • Design that Matters Firefly Newborn Phototherapy - 7 product design awards including IDEA IDSA, Edison, Spark!, & Good Green Design
  • Design that Matters - National Design Award, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian


  • Human-Centered Design for Positive Health Outcomes
  • Design for the Majority World
  • Making Health more Accessible through Design
  • Medical Devices
  • Digital Health
  • Diagnostics

Elizabeth is founder of Spark Health Design, a collaborative, international team that uses human-centered design and usability engineering to develop world-class technologies that lead to better health outcomes globally. Spark's focus is medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health tools that are more accessible for all.

Elizabeth's expertise spans product design, mechanical engineering, user experience design, design research, human factors and usability engineering, and program management with a focus on medical device, digital health technology, and global health start-ups. 

Prior to Spark Health Design, Elizabeth was a director at Vaxess TechnologiesDiagnostics For All and Design that Matters, and a project lead at IDEO. Two of the favorite products to which she contributed are the Eli Lilly Kwikpeninsulin injector for people with diabetes with IDEO, and Design that Matters' Firefly phototherapy, now treating newborns with jaundice in over 30 low and middle-income countries. 

At Olin, Elizabeth is part of the Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship teaching team. The ADE global health team designed and transferred the Otter Newborn Warmer to Design that Matters in 2019. Now we are working on affordable infant hearing screening with Solar Ear.