Stanford University


  • Hochheimer Wins McMordie Spirit Award

    Samuel Hochheimer (B.S. ’15, M.S .’17, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University) was named the first recipient of the John McMordie Spirit Award at the PRL Commencement Dinner on June 15. PRL Directors David Beach, Craig Milroy, and Marlo Kohn established the award to honor the memory of Product Realization Lab Course Assistant John McMordie (BS ’16, MS ’17 awarded posthumously), who died of injuries suffered while running a marathon. The John McMordie Spirit Award was bestowed on Hochheimer because he embodies John’s spirit of generosity, joy, and intellectual rigor. Like McMordie, Hochheimer is a natural leader, a brilliant innovator, and a gifted teacher and mentor. During his two years as a PRL Course Assistant, Hochheimer inspired and encouraged hundreds of Stanford students to gain the skills and the confidence to believe they could change the world. The McMordie Award includes a monetary award and acknowledgment on a permanent plaque in the PRL.

  • High Tech Cuban Entrepreneurs Tour the PRL

    Tech startups are popping up across Cuba despite very low internet connectivity. Winners of the prestigious Cuban 10x10K tech competition convened in the Product Realization Lab with Silicon Valley execs and Stanford engineers to earn how to make the most of the island nation’s entrepreneurial spirit.

  • Teaching Assistant John McMordie’s Lasting Legacy

    The Product Realization Lab has established the McMordie Spirit Prize to honor the memory of our Teaching Assistant John McMordie BS ’15, MS ’17. John’s buoyant spirit, generous heart, and infectious joy touched all who knew him. John arrived in the Stanford Product Realization Lab with a passion to learn how to make things that were both beautiful and useful. McMordie was so gifted that he was selected to serve as a Product Realization Lab Teaching Assistant. As a TA, John spent hundreds of hours inspiring and encouraging hundreds of Stanford students to gain the skills and the confidence to believe they could change the world. Each spring, the John McMordie Spirit Prize will be bestowed on the Product Realization Lab Teaching Assistant who most closely embodies John’s spirit of generosity, joy, and intellectual rigor. The McMordie Prize includes a monetary award and acknowledgment on a permanent plaque in the PRL.

  • Associate Director Kohn Speaks at Academic Makerspace Conference

    Stanford Product Realization Lab Associate Director Marlo Dreissigacker Kohn represented Stanford University at the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces Conference held at MIT. Kohn presented at two plenary sessions&

  • The Loss of Teaching Assistant John McMordie

    The Product Realization Lab Teaching Assistant John McMordie (BS ’16, Mechanical Engineering; MS expected ‘17) died of injuries he suffered while running. John was a natural leader, a brilliant innovator, a gifted teacher and mentor, and a beloved member of the PRL community. In recognition of his spirit, his family requests that blood donations in his memory be made to the American Red Cross. Stanford’s Product Realization Lab is planning a blood drive in his honor in October.

  • PRL Student Imagines a Bolder World

    Product Realization Lab student Neal Ulrich (BS ’16, Product Design) shared his work and aspirations as a gay designer and maker with NBC News. Ulrich is currently a consultant for TechShop, the workshop/fabrication studio, and continue to create pathbreaking consumer goods that reflect a more inclusive view of the world.

  • Innovations by the Next Generation

    Featuring the hands-on, pragmatic engineering education fundamental to the Product Realization Lab.

  • Making Queer

    A feature by Neal Ulrich (BS ’16) about his experiences being a gay engineer and maker at the PRL is among the "Top 25 of 2015" contributions to Model View Culture, an independent media platform covering technology, culture, and diversity. Ulrich’s goal is to design products that shed modes of thinking and doing that are deeply ingrained in society; he sees the transformative potential for queer designers and makers to offer new ways of navigating and thinking about the world.

  • PRL Celebrates 125 Years of Making!

    At Stanford, making is learning. But even the most creative student needs a place to begin. The Product Realization Lab has been that place since the university opened its doors in 1891. Today, student-designed products of wood, metal, cloth, stone, plastic and electronics come to fruition in a “maker space” open to all Stanford students.

  • Stanford Mascot Made In the Product Realization Lab

    Stanford has a new mascot for the 2015-2016 academic year, and one of the PRL TAs helped to make it. Sara Young, this year’s Tree, worked on the sewn components and Jeff Kastenbaum, a member of the LSJUMB and PRL Teaching Assistant, pitched in to construct the aluminum frame. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of a new mascot.

  • Distinguished Careers Institute Fellow Finds PRL Transformative

    Raj Bhargava, one of two dozen fellows in Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute, honed his skills in design and making at the Product Realization Lab. DCI fellows are established leaders who spend a year at Stanford to recalibrate their career and life trajectories. As he moves back into the private sector following his fellowship year, Bhargava is exploring how to scale social ventures dependent on ongoing philanthropy.

  • TA Leads Workshop at the Royal College of Art

    David Bordow, MS ’15 and Product Realization Lab TA '13-'15, led a workshop at the Royal College of Art that focused on human-centered design principles to transform our perceptions of making and consuming food. Participants from eight countries experienced Bordow’s unique approach, which treats food as a material with qualities that can be augmented through rigorous experimentation. The Open Food Project, which sponsored Bordow's week-long fellowship, is a partnership between the Royal College of Art, Brunei University, and the University of Nottingham.

  • PRL Alum Petravic Receives National Design Award

    Robin Petravic (MFA ’97) and his wife and business partner Catherine Bailey have received the prestigious Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Corporate and Institution Award on behalf of Heath Ceramics. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the award is bestowed in recognition of excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life. Petravic (MFA ’97) and Bailey, owners of Heath since 2003, are known for placing a strong emphasis on world-class design, quality over quantity, production at a human scale, local manufacturing, social and environmental responsibility, and thoughtfully designed spaces that don’t just reflect its values, but also create them.

  • Hoop-Bots Compete for Championship

    This year's ME210 competition, held in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, featured bots that shoot and dunk as many "basketballs" as possible in under two minutes.

  • Stanford Rowing Has Deep Roots in Product Realization Lab

    Stanford rowing has deep roots in engineering. Peter Dreissigacker (BS ’74, Mechanical Engineering), who rowed as an undergraduate, developed the first viable, affordable composite racing oar and later invented the stationary rowing machine.

  • Learning to Fly

    In Mechanical Engineering course ME 202, Stanford students learn how to turn open-source smartphone operating systems into powerful control of mechatronic devices.

  • Students Make Cool Stuff for SF Zoo Animals in the PRL

    A dozen Stanford Sophomore College designed ways to enrich the lives of the giraffe, lions, and kinkajou at the San Francisco Zoo. The students made their devices—including a lion pellet dispenser and a giraffe back-scratcher—during an intense weekend of work in the Product Realization Lab.

  • TA Alexander Bremer Wins International Design Award for Chair

    Product Realization Lab TA Xander Bremer was awarded second prize in the International Design Award Home Interior Products Competition (Student Division) for his Cirro Chair. The IDA jury cited the work for its creativity, usability and innovation.

  • Building a bicycle, one piece at a time

    One of the most popular courses run by the Product Realization Lab, ME 204 teaches students how to build bicycles, but also patience and project management.

  • Stanford Arts Explosion Fueled in the PRL

    Stanford students in the Interactive Art, Design, and Creation course are creating some amazing installation art pieces in the Product Realization Lab.

  • Battle of the ‘Bots

    After weeks of lectures, students in ME 210 face a final project like none other: Build a robot from scratch and send it into battle...

  • PRL TA Works to Cure Clubfoot

    Physical mobility is a basic human desire, and every kid should have the chance to run.

  • Forging My Comfort Zone

    We turned metal into fire and then back into metal right across the street from Tresidder-—and this was my education.

  • The Product Realization Lab: Where Failure Lead to Success

    In ME 203:Design and Engineering, students must master several manufacturing processes to design and build a final project. Things rarely go as well as planned, which is perfectly fine with Professor David Beach.

  • Design and Mechanical Engineering share a seat in Stanford's Product Realization Lab

    Goldilocks would be hard-pressed to find fault with any of the chairs, designed by students for ARTSTUDI262

  • The Art of Engineering Metal

    The art of the engineer gets full expression at Stanford, nowhere more exquisitely than in Mechanical Engineering 298: Silversmithing and Design. The longtime silvermithing instructors Amanda Knox Sather, '98, MA '99, MFA '03, and Sara Shaughnessy, MS '04, PhD '08, founded RedStart Design in San Francisco.

  • Ahead of the Curve

    Most design classes at Stanford involve a number of projects over the course of the term, but the students in John Edmark's Art Studio 262 have a singular goal: to take a seat, and reimagine it.

  • Stanford robots clash in class finale

    Amid a cheering audience, student robots faced off in a "mechatronics" class showdown. In a nod to the political season, the autonomous machines raced to transport poker chips for Michelle Botman or Team Robama.

  • Home, Green Home

    In 2003, when their old house began to feel cramped, Peter Skillman and his wife, Laurel, decided it was time to build their dream home.

  • Batteries Included

    Senior designs an electric motorcycle.

  • A Class for 'Bike Nuts'

    The half-circle fishmouth of steel tubing is flush against another tube, and sparks are flying—so they say.

  • Students fabricate a wine decanting cradle for a 100-pound wine bottle in the Product Realization Lab

    When winemaker Peter Mondavi Jr. recently found himself facing a novel design problem, he turned to his former prof, mechanical engineer Dave Beach.

  • His Ph.D. beckoning, Clock Tower caretaker winding down his volunteer duties

    Rob Bernier was a clockmaker-turned-engineering graduate student seven years ago when he began riding his bike past the Clock Tower near the School of Education.

  • Three faculty members named Bing teaching fellows

    Product Realization Lab Director David Beach Selected for Bing Fellowship