David W. Beach, Director of the Product Realization Lab, has the heart of the Stanford Product Realization Lab since 1977. Beach holds BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. In addition to serving as director of the PRL, Beach is a professor of Mechanical Engineering who teaches and mentors more than 400 students a year.
Beach has received every teaching award Stanford bestows, including the prestigious Sudgen, Bass, and Bing University Fellowships and the Walter J. Gores Award, Stanford’s highest accolade for excellence in teaching. (Other Gores Award winners include a former U.S. Secretary of State, a Nobel Prize winner, and an Ivy League University President, so Beach is in very good company.)
Beach teaches the linchpin mechanical engineering course Design and Manufacture as well as the Magic of Manufacturing. Beach maintains strong ties with industry; he has consulted for Apple Computer, Charles Krug Winery, ICON Aircraft, Failure Analysis Associates, Hewlett Packard, IDEO, and Light & Motion Industries. Professor Beach is also a world-class maker. His bronze and wood zoopraxiscope, Time Stands Still, is held in the permanent collection of Stanford’s Cantor Center for the Visual Arts.