Professor Whitefoot's research advances the theoretical foundations and computational modeling of sustainable engineering design in the context of market and regulatory systems. The success of a sustainable engineered product or process design is closely connected to how it influences customer choices, economic outcomes, and social well-being. Professor Whitefoot’s research blends the advancement of theories and methods from engineering design and economics to understand how product and process design affects sustainability and social-welfare objectives, such as technology adoption, productivity, energy efficiency, emissions, and consumer welfare. Among other contributions, she has advanced understanding of: (1) governmental policy impacts on technology development, product design, and adoption, and (2) how design decisions and technology adoption affect the workforce. Her work is published in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Environmental Science & Technology among other journals, and featured in the Washington Post, Popular Mechanics, Bloomberg Business, and Business Insider.