Michael Elwell

Assistant Professional Specialist, Industrial Design


233 West Lake Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

ph: 574.631.1395
e: michael.p.elwell.1@nd.edu

Designer’s Profile

Michael Elwell

Michael Elwell is a product of the University of Notre Dame Industrial Design undergraduate program.  Along with being the 2005 IDSA Merit Award Winner, Michael also won third place in the International Housewares Association Student Design Competition.  His patented product, a prescription pill container opener and label magnifier, is now licensed to Jokari, Inc. as the “Magnifying Medi-Grip.” The product also was an Honoree in the 2009 Design Defined awards and won Best in Category at the 2010 Housewares Design Awards.

After graduation, Michael was employed at Coachmen Recreational Vehicles, Radio Flyer, and the design firm Process4.   He worked on a wide range of products from automotive to toy design before attending graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His M.F.A. thesis, a safer infant crib, creatively utilized materials to reduce the chances of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death from accidental suffocation.  He was honored with the 2011 Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Illinois before returning home to Notre Dame.  

Michael is co-owner of Benefactory, a company that manufactures high-end gifts for the benefactors of charities, universities, and non-profits. His academic research focuses on emerging technologies and their influence on the barriers to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs. 


  • B.F.A., University of Notre Dame
  • M.F.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Safer Crib  by Michael Elwell
    A Safer Crib to prevent Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, 2011


Magnifying Medicine Cap  by Michael Elwell
Medi-Grip prescription pill container opener and label magnifier, 2004

Slash Furniture Concept by Michael Elwell

Slash furniture concept, 2009

Petal by Michael Elwell
Petal furniture concept, 2010


Stability Bearings by Michael Elwell
Levisafe forklift concept, 2005