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The Center for Design Research

The Center for Design Research is a community of scholars focused on understanding and augmenting engineering design innovation and design education. We are dedicated to facilitating individual creativity, understanding the team design process and developing advanced tools and methods that promote superior design and manufacturing of products. We develop concepts and technical solutions for design thinking, concurrent engineering, distributed collaborative design, and design knowledge capture, indexing and reuse. We focus on methods and tools for improving the design of specific engineering systems, with research in structural integrity evaluation and system modeling, virtual design environments, biomimetic robots, haptic controls and telemanipulation, vehicle dynamics and driver assistance systems.

The Center for Design Research encompasses the following Labs:

The Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Laboratory (BDML) (Professor Mark Cutkosky, PI) research activities include modeling and control of dextrous manipulation with robotic and teleoperated hands; force and tactile feedback in telemanipulation and virtual environments; and design and control of compliant "biomimetic" robots with embedded sensors and actuators.

The Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab (CHARM Lab) (Professor Allison Okamura, PI) develops principles and tools needed to realize advanced robotic and human-machine systems capable of haptic (touch) interaction. Systems for teleoperation, virtual environments and robotic manipulation are designed and studied using analytical and experimental approaches. Application areas include surgery, simulation and training, rehabilitation, prosthetics, neuromechanics, exploration of hazardous and remote environments, design and education.

The designX Lab (Professor Larry Leifer, PI) is focused on graduate-level research in the larger subjects of design innovation, design methodology, and design education. Our designX community is comprised of fulltime members who arrive from a diverse range of disciplines including sociology, product design, neuroscience, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, economics, business and architecture. While our lab reflects a range of interests across multiple disciplines, we share an interest and commitment to better understanding Design Thinking – A research and design paradigm which is user-centered and is proving to yield superior outcomes in the face of contemporary problems.  We are actively developing understandings of design as a research topic, as a research method, and as a philosophical approach.

The Designing Education Lab (DEL) (Professor Sheri Sheppard, PI) investigates a broad range of engineering education topics, from the persistence of students and alumni in engineering fields to the impact of exposure to entrepreneurship on engineering students' career interests. DEL researchers are engaged in national and international collaborations with colleagues within and outside of engineering. Our activities and projects emphasize the relationship of research to academic and professional practice by informing the redesign of engineering course pedagogy and curriculum and the dissemination of findings in conference papers, workshops, webinars, online resources and publications.

The Innovation Acceleration Lab is part of the Center for Design Research . The lab aims to develop feedback methods and technology to accelerate the effectiveness of engineering product innovation teams. Researchers at the Innovation Acceleration Lab use video interaction analysis and visual representations to measure, analyze and give process feedback to engineering product innovation teams. This is located within CDR, Bldg 560.

The Center for Design Research is centrally located on the Stanford University campus, easily accessed from both U.S. 101 to the east and Interstate 280 to the west.

Center for Design Research

424 Panama Mall, Bldg 560
Stanford, CA 94305-2232

From I-280 and Foothill Expressway

Exit I-280 at Page Mill Road East (toward the Bay). Turn left at Foothill Expressway/Junipero Serra Boulevard. Take Junipero Serra Boulevard north to the second traffic light. Turn right on Campus Drive East. At the first stop sign, Mayfield Avenue, turn left. Continue on Mayfield as the road bears to the left.

From U.S. 101 and El Camino Real

Exit U.S. 101 at Oregon Expressway West (away from the Bay). Turn right (north) at El Camino Real. Take El Camino Real north to University Avenue/Palm Drive. At the overpass intersection, turn left on Palm Drive. Continue on Palm Drive to Campus Drive; turn right at the stop sign. After the third stop sign, turn left on Via Ortega.


Visitor parking nearest CDR can be found along the south side of Santa Teresa Street. You have the option to purchase parking by the hour through the pay-for-parking kiosk or by the ParkMobile app (also available on the Stanford mobile website). As of September 1, 2019, visitor parking is $4.46 per hour; a 30-minute minimum payment is required. Enter your vehicle license plate number and pay with your credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover card only; no cash accepted). You do not need to display your receipt in your vehicle. The receipt is only valid at the lot or structure in which you purchased it.

Permit parking nearest CDR can be found at the Santa Teresa Street or Tresidder Union locations as well as the open lot and multi-level structure at the intersection of Panama Street and Via Ortega, opposite the Yang and Yamazaki Environment and Energy building.

Parking is not enforced at most campus locations (other than where indicated) after 4 p.m. or on weekends.

For assistance with directions or parking, please contact:

Crystal Pennywell
Voice: (650) 498-9887

Related People

James L. Adams

Professor of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management and of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus

Jan M. Auernhammer

Research Engineer, Mechanical Engineering
Executive Director, Human-centered Business Design Research
Executive Director, Leifer NeuroDesignScience Program

Stacy Nicole Ayraud

PRL Administrative Assistant, Mechanical Engineering - Design

David Beach

Professor (Teaching) of Mechanical Engineering

William Burnett

Adjunct Professor

Kristin Burns

Manager, Mechanical Engineering - Design

David Camarillo

Associate Professor of Bioengineering

J. Edward Carryer

Adjunct Professor

Chia-Yi Chao

Design Program Manager, Mechanical Engineering - Design

Helen L. Chen

Research Scientist

Brittany Faye Coffer

Front Desk Administrator, Mechanical Engineering - Design

Steven H. Collins

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Mark Cutkosky

Fletcher Jones Chair in the School of Engineering

Daniel DeBra

Edward C. Wells Professor of Engineering, Emeritus

Erina DuBois

DDL Lab Manager, Mechanical Engineering - Design

Sean Follmer

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Computer Science

J. Christian Gerdes

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy

Elisa Hernandez

NPL Administrator

David Kelley

Donald W. Whittier Professor in Mechanical Engineering

Monroe Kennedy

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Thomas Kenny

Richard W. Weiland Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the School of Engineering

Larry John Leifer

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

David Lentink

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Tammy Liaw

Program Administrator, Mechanical Engineering - Design

Adegboyega Mabogunje

Sr Research Engineer

Erin MacDonald

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Craig Milroy

Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Paul Mitiguy

Adjunct Professor

Drew Nelson

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Allison Okamura

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Computer Science

Crystal Pennywell

CDR Manager, CDR Operations

Friedrich Prinz

Finmeccanica Professor and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy

John Richardson

ME310 Program Administrator, Mechanical Engineering - Design

Bernard Roth

Rodney H. Adams Professor in the School of Engineering

J Kenneth Salisbury, Jr.

Professor (Research) of Computer Science and of Surgery (Anatomy), Emeritus

Sheri Sheppard

DRC Professor in the School of Engineering

David Sirkin

Research Engineer

Adele Tanaka

CARS Associate Director, CARS

Ken Waldron

Professor (Research) of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus

Douglass Wilde

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus

Malgorzata Wojciechowska

CDR Assistant, CDR Operations

Frances Yang

PRL Administrator, Mechanical Engineering - Design

Stephen Zoepf