Robert Howard Next Step Award
All Stanford students, postdocs, visting student researchers, and faculty members are eligible to apply for the annual Robert Howard Next Step Award. Sponsored by McKinsey Design (formerly 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. One winning team is selected each year to receive design and engineering consulting, including two design process and/or regulatory advising sessions with the Health + Medical team and one week-long design sprint. During the design sprint, the McKinsey Design team can provide assistance with branding, identity, industrial design and use case renders, detail engineering, and design for manufacturing.
Winners are selected each May, and the award is presented at the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship graduation ceremony in early June. Award recipients are also recognized on commemorative plaques on display at Stanford Biodesign and McKinsey Design.
The application for the next award cycle will become available in spring 2020. Please check back for more information or contact Linda Lucian with any questions.
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 2019 award winner (pictured) 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. In 2015, McKinsey & Company joined forces with LUNAR to create an unparalleled value proposition for business and design. Today, they deliver, launch, and scale new innovations with unprecedented speed and impact.
What Award Recipients Are Saying…
"We are honored to have been selected for the Robert Howard Next Step Award. We look forward to benefiting from the expertise and resources that LUNAR has to offer, and are excited to collaborate and push our device design forward!"
– Katie Blevins, Co-founder of Barostitch, 2017 award recipient
"Every time we talk about our project we show the renderings that LUNAR developed for us. The images give a great sense of our product vision even though we are are still in active development. We feel extremely fortunate to have received the Robert Howard Award.”
– Justin Huleman, Co-founder of Palmm, 2016 award recipient
"Working with LUNAR through the Robert Howard Next Step Award helped our team crystalize the design language of our first product. The CAD files and renderings that LUNAR provided proved to be very valuable as we spun out of Stanford and joined Start-X, and as we raise a venture round.”
– Eric Sokol, Co-founder of AVA, 2016 award recipient
“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