Robert Howard Next Step Award

Robert Howard Next Step Award Recipients

All Stanford students, postdocs, visting student researchers, and faculty members are eligible to apply for the annual Robert Howard Next Step Award. Sponsored by LUNAR, a global leader in product design and development, this award is intended to help teams of aspiring health technology innovators advance their projects toward patient care. Two winning teams are selected each year to receive up to 100 hours of design and engineering consulting from LUNAR.

Applications for the 2017 awards are now open! Please make a submission via the online application by May 7. Finalists will be asked to present their projects to a panel of Stanford faculty and LUNAR representatives. Winners will be announced no later than May 26, and the awards will be presented at the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship graduation ceremony on June 7. Award recipients are also recognized on commemorative plaques on display at Stanford Biodesign and LUNAR.

Please contact Gordon Saul with any questions.

Past Recipients

Past award recipients have developed a wide range of innovative technologies, including a fetal- and mother-monitoring device for use in developing regions, and a novel approach to treating Essential Tremor, the most common adult movement disorder. LUNAR assists these groups in many different ways, including workflow analysis, usability studies, sketching sessions to determine form, and assistance with investor presentations. Information about the 2016 award recipients (pictured above) is available online.

About Robert Howard

Robert Howard (1962-2011) served as Vice President of Engineering at LUNAR for 15 years. He was a Stanford alumnus (MSME ’86) and a lecturer in the Department of Product Design. Robert loved helping people, teaching, tinkering, making the impossible possible, designing healthcare products, and being involved in the Stanford community — in particular, the Biodesign program. LUNAR honors Robert by donating time to Stanford Biodesign in his memory.


LUNAR is a globally recognized product design firm comprised of designers, engineers, and strategists. Since 1984, LUNAR has developed ingenious products across consumer, medical, and technology industries.

What Award Recipients Are Saying…

“The 3D renderings that LUNAR provided were a critical asset in our team’s ability to raise a venture capital round after spinning out of Stanford. The design work was fantastic.”

– Kate Rosenbluth, CEO of Cala Health, 2013 award recipient

“We feel extremely fortunate to have received the Robert Howard Award. Having access to the talents and resources of LUNAR during the critical early stages of our product development will be invaluable. We can’t wait to see where the collaboration takes us.”

– Justin Huleman, Co-founder of Palmm, 2016 award recipient