Seizing the world’s innovation edge

Dr Larry Leifer.  Photo: Stanford University
Dr Larry Leifer. Photo: Stanford University

The leader of the world´s topnotch research in engineering design is joining the Norwegian Institute of Systems Engineering (NISE), University College of Southeast Norway (HSN) as a Visiting Professor in 2016.

Text: Elin Svilaas, Godt Sagt kommunikasjon

Dr Larry Leifer is the name ever wanted in this field and is appointed to help the transformation and accelerator of Norwegian industries.

– His joining is mainly for R&D collaboration. He is appointed at a part-time basis to help the transformation and acceleration of Norwegian industries to seize the innovation edge, says Dr Yang-Yang Zhao at NISE, HSN.

Creative enthusiast

Dr Leifer is a creative enthusiast, the professor and director of the Center for Design Research at Stanford University. He has been leading the master-level education program global Mechanical Engineering 310 (ME310) – a high-tech, globally distributed graduate course in collaboration with industries.

– We are proud to have him as a Visiting Professor. It is his first time working in Norway, says Dr Zhao.

Project with the Research Council of Norway

Dr Leifer is expected to closely work with NISE, HSN and the NCE Systems Engineering (NCE SE) cluster via a project funded by the Research Council of Norway on Human-centered development of Systems Engineering in Norwegian Engineering industries.

– Dr Leifer will connect the research efforts from Center for Design Research and NISE in response to the industry challenges through learning by doing of customising the design-inspired solutions in the Systems Engineering context; to disseminate the knowledge to education, e.g. course development, and innovation, e.g. new ventures, says Dr Zhao.

Shows that the Kongsberg cluster is attractive

– There are few people in the world that works the way Larry Leifer does, says Leif Næss, Head of the NISE Department.  – Dr Leifer is extremely good at creating a nurturing environment for professionals to discover the unexpected. With Leifer as a Visiting Professor, our Industry Master Students and Part-Timers will get inputs from the world´s leading professor in engineering design thinking. His visit also shows that the industry in Kongsberg is attractive. It is an honour to have him here.

Dr Larry Leifer

He has been founding director of the Stanford Center for Design Research, Smart Product Design Lab, Stanford Learning Lab and Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program at Stanford.

To develop and disseminate assistive device technology, he was the founding director of the Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Engineering R&D Center (1978–1989).

He has been leading the master-level education program global Mechanical Engineering 310. ME 310 was created 40 years ago, in collaborating with global academic institutions and industries. He has been leading the research wing of it for more than 30 years till now.

His previous honours include an honorary doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm; honorary fellow of the Design Society; and Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich.

Dr Leifer is a Visiting Professor via the Research Council of Norway project (NFR project no. 36068): Human-centered development of systems engineering in Norwegian Engineering industries, 2015–2016.