Bill Burnett

  • Stanford University

Bill Burnett is the Executive Director of the Design Program at Stanford University and Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He directs the undergraduate and graduate program in design and teaches classes at the He has worked in startups and Fortune 100 companies, including at Apple designing award-winning laptops and in the toy industry designing Star Wars toys. He holds a number of mechanical and design patents and advises several other start-up companies. Burnett is the co-author of Designing Your Life, a book that captures the lessons from 9 years of teaching the Stanford class of the same name. Based on design thinking and positive psychology, the book attempts to help people answer the age-old question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Burnett received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering – Product Design at Stanford in 1979 and 1982.