European Entrepreneurship & Innovation Thought Leaders Seminar


Stanford Teaching Team

Dr. Burton Lee

Dr. Burton Lee PhD MBA, Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Lee's professional credentials span over 15 years of senior executive leadership and advisory positions with venture-backed startups, global technology corporations, venture capital and private equity firms, federal S&T agencies, state economic development offices, leading research universities, foreign governments and industry associations. His management and technical experience includes senior executive and research positions with Hewlett Packard, GE Global Research, DaimlerChrysler AG and NASA in the United States, Europe and Japan. Burton's research interests include Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), diagnostics, prognostics, maintenance and customer support for complex industrial systems; product design and development, including DfX, design-for-sustainability and -environment methodologies; artificial intelligence (Bayesian networks, ontologies, knowledge representation); aerospace systems; unmanned vehicles, robotics, electric transportation systems; open innovation in mechatronic systems; and innovation policy.

Dr. Lee is Managing Partner of Innovarium Ventures, a strategic, financial and technical advisory services firm based in Silicon Valley. He also served as Principal and co-founder of Space Angels Network, a professionally managed national network of accredited investors focused on seed- and early-stage aerospace-related ventures. Dr. Lee's European experience includes 10+ years of professional and academic assignments in Dublin (Member, National Innovation Taskforce, Office of the Prime Minister, Govt of Ireland - 2009/2010), Stuttgart (DaimlerChrysler Research Labs), Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Vienna (Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen), Geneva (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations - IUF), Prague (Univerzita Karlova v Praze), Barcelona and London. Burton holds a PhD in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (minor) from Stanford University (2002), and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship (Cornell, 2004). He speaks German and Spanish.

Prof. Larry Leifer

Prof. Larry Leifer, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Design; Founding Director of the Center for Design Research (CDR). A member of the Stanford faculty since 1976, Professor Leifer teaches an industry sponsored master's course ME 310 "Project-Based Engineering Design, Innovation, and Development" and the "Design Theory and Methodology Forum for PhD advisees." 

Research themes include: 1) creating collaborative engineering environments for distributed product innovation teams; 2) instrumentating that environment for design knowledge capture, indexing, reuse, and performance assessment; and 3), sustainable design-for-wellbeing. Regarding "what's hot", his top priorities are continued development of the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program at Stanford, the associated Electronic Colloquium on Design Thinking Research, and the

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