Faculty & Research

Faculty and their research interests are profiled in brief below. Click on the faculty member's name to see detailed information. Send inquiries directly to faculty members by clicking on their email addresses.

Information on Research Group Meetings, when open to non-lab members, is posted at the end of each faculty member's profile.

core faculty

Professor Emeritus James Adams is interested in design and quality, creativity, and the interactions of society and technology. He is also involved in the relationship between design and manufacturing.

Professor David Beach teaches the integration of design and manufacturing. As the Director of the Product Realization Laboratory, his interests include design and manufacturing processes, tools, and applications. Courses taught recently include Manufacturing & Design, Computer Aided Product Creation, Precision Engineering, and Good Products-Bad Products. Beach wants to help educate students who will create new products and the organizations that create them.

Consulting Assistant Professor Bill Burnett is the Executive Director of the Design Program focusing on the successful integration of technical, human, aesthetic, and business concerns for innovation in design.

Consulting Professor Ed Carryer has interests in the areas of design of Electro-Mechanical Systems (Mechatronics), measurement systems and engineering education. He teaches courses in the Smart Product Design program and is director of the Smart Product Design Laboratory.

Professor Mark Cutkosky applies analyses, simulations, and experiments to the design and control of robotic hands, tactile sensors, and force-feedback devices for human/computer interaction. In manucturing, his work focuses on design tools for rapid prototyping. Recent applications of this work include small, biologically inspired robots with embedded sensors, actuators, and controllers.

Biomimetics Research Group Meeting:
F 11:15 in MERL 2nd floor conf. room (Bldg 660)
Haptics Research Group Meeting:
F 1:15 in MERL 132 (Bldg 660).

Professor Emeritus Daniel DeBra (Aeronautics & Astronautics, by Courtesy in Mechanical Engineering) does research and teaching in the area of control systems. He has a strong interest in precision manufacturing and also in fluid power control. He is the Director of the Guidance and Control Laboratory.

Professor Chris Gerdes' research centers on the generation and simplification of dynamic models for mechanical systems and the use of these models in the design of complex systems. Of particular interest are the integrated design and control of mechanical devices (design for controllability) and the application of advanced analysis and control techniques to ground vehicle design. Check out this video of Shelley, an automous rally car developed by students at Stanford's Dynamic Design Lab and researchers at Volkswagen's Electrnoics Research Lab.

Professor David Kelley is the Director of Stanford’s Design Program. He is interested in new product development methodology from inception to production with focus on the application of technology in satisfying user need. Prof. Kelley is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Professor Thomas Kenny is interested in the design and development of micromechanical sensors based on silicon micromachining and other new fabrication technologies which are then used to improve the sensing capabilities of integrated instruments. He is also interested in the fundamental properties of micromechanical structures. He teaches classes in the Smart Product Design Program.

Kenny Research Group Meeting:
F 1:15, MERL Conf Rm (Bldg 660)
Non-regulars: Please email in advance if you would like to attend

Professor Larry Leifer is the Director of the Center for Design Research (School of Engineering). Leifer's design thinking and informatics research is concerned with understanding, supporting and improving design practice, including issues in research methodology, team dynamics (local and global), innovation leadership, interactive design spaces, collaboration technology, and design-for-wellbeing.
"Leifer's group" = "designX"meets W 5:30-7:00pm, 2nd floor CDR (Bldg.560). Wine, cheese, and agenda-free discussion most weeks.

Assistant Professor David Lentink studies biological flight as an inspiration for engineering design. We focus on key biological questions which we probe with new engineering methods to find inspiration for innovative flying robots. Our comparative biological flight research ranges from maple seeds and insects to birds such as swifts, lovebirds, and hummingbirds. Our in-depth biomechanics research is focused on bird flight. Our fluid mechanic research of dynamically morphing wings ranges from vortex dynamics to fluid-structure interaction. Our robot designs are centered on flying in complex cluttered environments under realistic atmospheric conditions.

Senior Lecturer Craig Milroy is Co-Director of the Product Realization Laboratory. His concentration is on product conceptualization, and strategic planning during the design process.  Craig teaches over four courses each year in design and engineering, including the first course at Stanford devoted solely to the development of medical devices. 

Consulting Professor Paul Mitiguy teaches E15 Dynamics, ME261 Dynamic Systems, Vibrations & Control; ME331A Advanced Dynamics & Computation, ME331B Advanced Dynamics, Simulation & Control; and Simulation of Biological structures and develops software for Computer-Aided Engineering.

Professor Drew Nelson teaches courses in mechanical design, fatigue design and analysis, and experimental stress analysis. He is actively engaged in research in these areas for both governmental agencies and industry.

Lecturer Matt Ohline assists with the Smart Product Design Lab and curriculum.

Professor Allison Okamura conducts research focused on developing the principles and tools needed to realize advanced robotic and human-machine systems capable of haptic (touch) interaction, particularly for biomedical applications. Haptic systems are designed and studied using both analytical and experimental approaches. Prof. Okamura directs the Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab (CHARM Lab).

Professor Fritz Prinz conducts research focusing on the design and fabrication of micro and nanoscale devices for energy and biology. Examples include fuel cells and bioreactors. He is interested in mass transport phenomena across thin membranes such as oxide films and lipid bi-layers. His research group studies electro-chemical phenomena with the help of Atomic Force Microscopy, Impedance Spectroscopy, and Quantum Modeling. He holds joint appointments in both Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering departments, and is currently the Robert Bosch Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Professor Bernard Roth conducts research on the application of design thinking, and on theoretical kinematics and its practical applications to the design of machines and mechanisms. He also researches in the area of robotics. He teaches design, kinematics, robotics, group processes, and the societal aspects of technology. He co-teaches summer workshops on design thinking and creativity.

Professor Sheri Sheppard applies finite element methods to study design problems. Of particular interest are residual stresses and their relationship to fatigue performance. She is currently using the technique to study thermal fatigue in leadfree solder connections.. She teaches undergraduate design courses and a graduate course in engineering analysis, and is leading an NSF-funded longitudinal study of engineering student development.  She also serves as a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading a study of the pedagogy associated with engineering education, and was the 2006-07 Chair of the Stanford Faculty Senate.

Professor Ken Waldron has broad research interests in machine design and robotic systems. He has a particular interest in mobile robotic systems, notably those that use legged locomotion. He is also active in haptic simulation of surgical procedures, and the design and application of haptic systems in general. In common with others in the Division, he has an active interest in design methodology.

Professor Emeritus Douglass Wilde continues to study design optimization, engineering geometry and the pyschology of creativity.


Lecturer Kurt Beiter teaches ME317A Design Methods: Product Definition and ME317B Design Methods: Quality by Design.

Lecturer Joe Hustein focuses on the interplay of law, business, and intellectual property and their effects on strategies in the design and commercialization of technology. He brings more than three decades of experience as an engineer, industrial designer, and business lawyer to his classes on technology licensing. Hustein has been the general counsel of several Silicon Valley companies and is currently at SVTC Technologies, an R&D semiconductor fab headquartered in San Jose, CA.

Lecturer David L. Jaffe has interests that include embedded microcomputer systems and alternative user interfaces. He teaches Perspectives in Assistive Technology, a winter quarter course that explores the broad spectrum of issues surrounding the design, development, and use of technology that benefits people with disabilities.  He is the Associate Director of the Alex Tung Memorial Assistave Technology Laboratory at Stanford (ATLAS).

Lecturer Marlo Dreissigacker Kohn is the manager of the Product Realization Lab's Room 36 student workspace and project lab in the Huang Engineering Center. She is eager to help give students of all disciplines the tools and confidence to explore their creative ideas through hands-on design adventures. Marlo is interested in elastomeric part design, soft goods products, medical device design, and early product design development.

Lecturer Jeffrey Schox is a Registered Patent Attorney and the founding member of Schox Patent Group, a boutique patent firm devoted to building patent portfolios that enable startups to increase value and attract funding. Drawing on his experience of over ten years in patent law and his degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering, he has filed over 250 patent applications in a broad range of cutting-edge technologies. Jeffrey also teaches patent law in Stanford's law school.

Lecturer Michael Sturtz is the Project Director of ReDesigning Theater which applies the design thinking process to the live theater experience, re-envisioning it with technology and social media for younger audiences.  Michael is a sculptor, designer, facilitator and entrepreneur with an interest in cross-disciplinary innovation.  In 1999, Michael founded The Crucible, an art school that encourages a truly non-competitive learning environment, and lead it to become the nation's largest non-profit industrial arts education facility, while also producing large scale events blending theater, dance, industrial processes and fire arts.  After twelve years at the helm, Michael retired from The Crucible to pursue new projects that explore the intersection of art, design, theater, engineering and beyond.


in memoriam

John Arnold ~ 1913 - 1963

Phillip Barkan ~ 1925-1996
Prof. Phillip Barkan's distinguished engineering career spanned nearly fifty years, both in the private sector and in academia. He was internationally recognized as a "master design engineer" in high-speed machinery. More recently, he became internationally well known for pioneering what is probably the first and most extensive graduate curriculum on design for manufacturability and the product design process.

Ernest Chilton ~ 1919-1985

Rolf Arne Faste ~ 1943-2003
Professor Rolf Faste's interest in design process and creativity extended to all areas of design engineering, art, product and architecture, as well as to the larger concerns of design technology and society. His later scholarship was focused on the interaction between creativity and culture. He was the Director of the Product Design Program, and he co-lead many workshops on creativity (Stanford report article).

Henry Otten Fuchs ~ 1907-1989

Prof. Henry Fuchs was internationally recognized for his contributions to the understanding of fatigue of metals and for the development of a manufacturing process widely used to improve the resistance of metals to failure by fatigue. He was also well-known as an innovative mechanical designer and a pioneer in the use of case studies in engineering education.

Kosuke Ishii ~ 1958-2009
Professor Kos Ishii's research developed methods and tools for system design and management to improve the life-cycle quality of products and processes. He applied structured techniques to support “Design for X” decisions addressing robustness, reliability, serviceability, variety, flexibility, and sustainability. His later research interests included Scenario-based Amorphous Design and Decision Analytical Scorecarding. He was a member of the Science Council of Japan and a fellow of the ASME. (Memorial Resolution)   (Memorial Blog)