Sur name: Leifer
Given name: Larry

Contact (E-mail address, Web site)



Position: Professor, Mechanical Engineering Design

Organization: Director, Stanford Center for Design Research

Director, Stanford Industry Affiliate Program for Design

Member, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University Address: Professor Larry Leifer

Stanford Center for Design Research

424 Panama Mall

Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2232, USA


Design Thinking Research

Research Interests

Larry Leifer is a professor of design-informatics (mechanical engineering) and founding director of the Stanford Center for Design Research (1982-). He has published widely in the areas of diagnostic electro-physiology, functional assessment of voluntary movement, human operator information processing, rehabilitation robotics, design team protocol analysis, design knowledge management, and concurrent engineering. Prior to joining Stanford University, Professor Leifer worked for Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, NASA Ames Research Center, the MIT Man-Vehicle Laboratory, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, where he taught Biomedical Systems Analysis. He is on the editorial review board of several journals and a regular reviewer for the NSF, NIH, and NASA. From 1998-2002 he served as a member of the National Academy of Engineering’s Education Committee. A member of the Stanford faculty since 1976, he teaches product design, created the smart product design (mechatronics) curriculum at Stanford, and most recently teaches the award winning graduate course in “Team-Based Design Innovation with Corporate Partners.” He was founding director of the Stanford-VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center (1978-1989), and more recently founding director of the Stanford University Learning Lab (1997-2001). Today, he is a founding member of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford ( To disseminate orphaned medical device technology he co-founded Lingraphicare America (1989) and Independence Works (1992).

Selected Publications (max.4)

* Baya, V. and Leifer, L.J., "Understanding Information Management in Conceptual Design," in Dorst, K.,
H.Christiaans and N. Cross (Eds.), Analyzing Design Activity, Wiley, Chichester, UK, 1996
* Dym, C.L., Agogino, A.M., Eris, O., Frey, D.D., and Leifer, L.J., “Engineering Design Thinking,
Teaching, and Learning,” Journal of Engineering Education, January 2005, pp. 103-120
* Eris, O., Leifer, L. (2001) “Facilitating Product Development Knowledge Acquisition: Interaction
Between The Expert and The Team. Proceedings of the 3rd Social Dimensions of Engineering Design,”
Harvey Mudd Workshop on Engineering Design Education, Harvey Mudd College, USA, 2001.
* Fruchter, R., Reiner, K., Leifer, L., and Toye, G., "VisionManager: A Computer Environment for Design
Evolution Capture," CERA: Concurrent Engineering: Research and Application Journal, Vol 6, Nr. 1,
1998 ? Best Paper Award.
* Leifer, L.J., "Design Team Performance: Metrics and the impact of Technology," in Evaluating
Organizational Training, Brown, S.M., and Seidner, C., editors, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998