Kimberlee Wilkens brings twelve years’ professional design experience to UIC as an instructor of industrial design. In this capacity, she leads graduate and undergraduate courses that examine variations on the design process, add depth and complexity to students’ thesis topics, and explore the visual communication of information.
Outside of the School of Design, Kimberlee is on a team of faculty co-teaching the Clinical Immersion Program course developed by Miiri Kotche, PhD in Bio-Engineering. This six-week program is designed to provide intensive exposure to the clinical environment in order to conduct human-centered research focusing on observation and needs assessment.
Alongside her teaching role, Kimberlee serves as industrial design lead and faculty for the UIC Innovation Center UR*lab, where she partners with the Urology and Bioengineering departments to research and develop commercially relevant and viable solutions to problems and opportunities within the medical field. Her work with UR*lab spans a broad spectrum of designed outcomes, ranging from ergonomics to data visualization.
Kimberlee’s commercial work includes previous roles with Pactiv Corporation and TricorBraun. She currently holds five US patents on products ranging from packaging to toys. In 2016, Kimberlee launched 5by5 design lab. A product development firm, 5by5 actively partners with companies to amplify and communicate their brand through innovative products.
Kimberlee is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).