e-mail: [email protected]

Phone:  +65 81616703   (Singapore)

PhD Research- Engineering Product Development (September 2016 – August 2021)

  • Developed a design framework that systematically applies a set of extreme-user experiences for design creativity and user-centric design. 
  • Tested the effectiveness of extreme-user experiences in identifying latent needs in multiple domains like healthcare, education, cybersecurity, and assistive technology.

Doctor of Philosophy- Engineering Product Development (2016-2021)

Singapore University of Technology and Design(SUTD)

Master of Science- Biomedical Engineering (2012-2013)

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)


Bachelor of Science- Biomedical Engineering (2007-2011) 

SRM Institute of Science and Technology



Extreme-users: Users who experience needs that are latent among the general population and have the potential to inspire design professionals.


  • Latent needs in healthcare
  • Extreme-user experiences and reduced cognitive load
  • Design methods
  • Inclusive design

Research Fellow, Design Innovation Team- DesignZ, SUTD (October 2021-Present)

  • Facilitating Design Innovation workshops and engage with external partners to embed, catalyse, and grow design in their organizations. 

Graduate Researcher, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (September 2016-2021)

Lead: Prof Kristin L. Wood, Professor, Senior Assoc. Dean, University of Colorado Denver

  • Worked with the Design Innovation (DI) to understand Critical and Creative Thinking in the Singapore General Education system and formulated recommendations to nurture them effectively. 
  • Developing a board game that aims to empower kids with creativity and innovation by applying an empathic design process. Built with a primary focus to deliver design education for kids in refugee camps and rural areas. 
  • Facilitated Design Innovation workshops tat address the design opportunities within different Government and private organizations in Singapore.

Research Experience & Project Highlights

Visiting Scholar, Ideation Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (July 2019- Jan 2020) 

Lead: Prof. Maria C. Yang, Professor Mechanical Engineering, D-Lab Faculty Academic Director

  • Studied the role of extreme-user experiences in medical device design and their role in reducing cognitive load. 
  • Co-instructed labs for 2.00 Introduction to Design Module.
  • Lead an IAP titled User-Centred Design Workshop: Extreme-users and Rapid Ideation. 

Helped judge the projects at MakeMIT2020, a world premier hardware hackathon.


Research Engineer, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (Aug 2015- Aug 2016)

  • Worked as a Design Innovation team and executed empathic design studies that captured the latent user needs necessary to redesign a series of medical centres in Singapore. 
  • Led an experiential learning simulation project as a Principal Investigator to analyse the effectiveness of a series of simulated scenario-based workshops on designer empathy and creativity. This included simulations on poverty, age, visual impairment, and hearing impairment. 
  • Worked with a multinational company to design and manufacture modular work kits that eased the workspace transformation of 326 employees. Worked as a three-member team and completed the project within a short span of 2 months by applying the Rapid Response Process for design innovation. 

Research Assistant, Singapore University of Technology and Design (Dec 2013- July 2015)

Lead: Prof Katja Hölttä-Otto, Associate Professor, Engineering Product Development, SUTD

  • Applied a ‘lead-user’ approach to creating universal design solutions. The elderly users were involved as lead-users to design products used by the general population.  
  • Prepared a successful grant proposal for a project that aimed at error reduction in the work environment. This focused mainly on preventing interaction errors in medical instruments by catering for the design needs of end-users. 

Publications :


  • Raviselvam Sujithra, Katja Hölttä-Otto, Kristin L. Wood, Karupppasamy Subburaj (2022) “Systematic Application of Extreme-User Experiences: Impact on the Outcomes of an Undergraduate Medical Device Design Module,” Biomedical Engineering Education (Under review: Minor revisions).
  • Raviselvam, Sujithra, Shiroq Al-Megren, Kyle Keane, Katja Hölttä-Otto, Kristin L. Wood, and Maria C. Yang. (2021) “Simulation Tools for Inclusive Design Solutions.” In Universal Design 2021: From Special to Mainstream Solutions, pp. 210-218. IOS Press.
  • Raviselvam, Sujithra, Hwang Dongwook, Bradley Camburn, Karen Sng, Katja Hölttä-Otto, and Kristin L. Wood. (2021) “Extreme-user Conditions to Enhance Design Creativity and Empathy- Application Using Visual Impairment.” International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation. 
  • Camburn, Bradley, Ryan Arlitt, David Anderson, Roozbeh Sanaei, Sujithra Raviselam, Daniel Jensen, and Kristin L. Wood. (2020) “Computer-aided mind map generation via crowdsourcing and machine learning.” Research in Engineering Design 31: 383-409.
  • Alqadi, Reem, Maryam Alhowaiti, Fatimah Almohaimeed, Mawaddah Alsabban, and Sujithra Raviselvam. (2020) “Crowdsourcing Accessibility: A Review of Platforms, Mobile Applications and Tools.” In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 10-17. Springer, Cham.
  • Camburn, Bradley, Yuejun He, Sujithra Raviselvam, Jianxi Luo, and Kristin Wood.(2020) “Machine learning-based design concept evaluation.” Journal of Mechanical Design 142, no. 3 [Received Editors’ Choice Award].
  • Bradley Camburn, Yuejun He, Raviselvam Sujithra, Jianxi Luo, Kristin L. Wood. (2019) “Evaluating Crowdsourced Design Concepts with Machine Learning” ASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers[Received Best Paper Award].
  • Raviselvam Sujithra, Katja Hölttä-Otto, Kristin L. Wood, Karupppasamy Subburaj. (2019) “An Extreme User Approach to Identify Latent Needs: Adaptation and Application in Medical Device Design.” ASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Raviselvam Sujithra, David Anderson, Katja Hölttä-Otto. (2018) “Systematic Framework to Apply Extraordinary User Perspective to Capture Latent Needs Among Ordinary Users.” ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Sng Hui En Karen, Sujithra Raviselvam, Lucienne T. Blessing, Kristin L. Wood. (2017) “A design case study: Transferring design processes and prototyping principles into industry for rapid response and user impact.” ICED17 21st International Conference on Engineering Design”.
  • Raviselvam Sujithra, Sanaei Roozbeh, Lucienne T. Blessing, Katja Hölttä-Otto, and Kristin L. Wood. (2017) “Demographic Factors and Their Influence on Designer Creativity and Empathy Evoked through User Extreme Conditions.” ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Raviselvam, Sujithra, Katja Hölttä-Otto, and Kristin L. Wood. (2016) “User Extreme Conditions to Enhance Designer Empathy and Creativity: Applications Using Visual Impairment.” ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Hölttä-Otto, Katja, and Sujithra Raviselvam. (2016) “Guidelines for Finding Lead User Like Behavior for Latent Need Discovery.” DS 85-2: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 2, Trondheim, Norway, 10th-12th August 2016.
  • Poster Presentation: Raviselvam, Sujithra, Karen Sng, and Kristin Wood. (2016) “Design Knowledge and Impact on Simulation Induced Creativity and Empathy.” DS86: Proceedings of The Fourth International Conference on Design Creativity, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. [Received Best poster award]
  • Raviselvam, Sujithra, Kristin L. Wood, Katja Hölttä-Otto, V. Tam, and Kamya Nagarajan. (2016) “A Lead User Approach to Universal Design-Involving Older Adults in the Design Process.” Studies in health technology and informatics 229: 131. DOI 10.3233/978-1-61499-684-2-131.
  • Raviselvam, S., Noonan, M., & Hölttä-Otto, K. (2014). “Using elderly as lead users for universal engineering design.” Universal Design, 366-375. DOI 10.3233/978-1-61499-403-9-366


  • SUTD President’s Graduate Fellowship: Sept 2016- Sept 2021
  • Best Paper: ASME IDETC 2019
  • Best Poster: ICDC 2016
  • Finalist: Red Dot Design Awards 2015
  • Student Delegate: USLS2018
  • Performance-Based Scholarship: Feb 2010
  • Teaching Assistant Excellence Award: SUTD EPD


  • Solid Works
  • LabVIEW
  • Design Methods


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  • Martial arts
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  • Prof Katja Hölttä-Otto, Associate Professor, Aalto University, Finland.
  • Prof Kristin L. Wood, Co-director of SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore.