This paper reviews the development and successful application of ceramic catalytic converters for controlling automotive exhaust emissions. It presents the scientific rationale for designing the high surface area substrate to meet both performance and durability requirements. This is followed by a step-by-step design process for each of the converter components. The initial design stage focuses on understanding automaker's requirements and optimizing component design commensurate with them. The intermediate stage involves laboratory testing of converter components in simulated environment and ensuring component compatibility from durability point of view. The final design stage addresses the critical tests on converter assembly to ensure performance and field durability. In addition, it examines the necessary trade-offs and associated design modifications and evaluates their impact on warranty cost for system failure. The paper concludes with the importance of integrated design approach for failure-free operation of catalytic converter over the vehicle's lifetime.