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Dr. Burford J. Furman, PhD, PE


Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, California 95192-0087

Office: Engineering 310G 
Telephone: (408) 924-3817
Fax: (408) 924-3995
E-mail: Description: Description: C:\Users\bfurman\Documents\SJSU\Web stuff\images\mailto.gif

Current Schedule
Current Research Information
Short Courses
Recent Publications

Courses Taught

1. E 10
2. ME 30
3. ME 106
4. ME 110
5. ME 120
6. ME 154
ME 190
8. ME 195
9. ME 250
10. ME 285
11. AE-ME 295AB/299


Dr. Burford J. Furman

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

BS (1980) University of California, Davis
ME (1982) University of California, Davis
Ph.D. (1991) Stanford University

Professor Furman received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1980 and 1982, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1991. His areas of interest for research and teaching include: mechatronic system design, precision machine design, engineering measurements, automation for production processes, design education, and devices to aid the handicapped. Professor Furman joined the Mechanical Engineering Department in January, 1994.

From 1982 to 1993, Professor Furman worked in the Development Laboratory at IBM, General Products Division (later called, Storage Systems Division) in San Jose. He was a member of the actuator development team for the 3390 disk storage product and spindle motor design team for 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch disk drive products. He has been active in the Santa Clara Valley section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers having served as the Newsletter Editor from 1991 to 1993 and as Technical Activities chair from 1994 to 1997. He is a member of the American Society for Precision Engineering, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is also a Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of California.


Current Schedule & Office Hours

Please call (408) 924-3850 for current schedule & office hours.

Current Research & Sponsored Projects

Areas of interest include: mechatronic system design, precision machine design, engineering measurements, automation for production processes, design education, and devices to aid the handicapped.

Recent sponsored projects include:

"Exploring Multimedia in Engineering Education," funded by the Knight-Ridder Foundation
"Scanning Probe Devices for Engineering Measurements," funded by NSF-ARI
"Scanning Probe Microscopes for Interdisciplinary Advanced Microscopy Laboratory," funded by NSF-ILI
"Durability Testing of Refreshable Braille Display," United Braille, Inc.
"Design Analysis of Refreshable Braille Display Components, " United Braille, Inc.
"Battery Operated Atomic Force Microscope," Park Scientific Instruments, Inc.

Knight-Ridder Champions Project


GD&T and SPC Short Courses  

(in conjunction with Multimetrics, Inc.,
 and The International Quality Institute)

Precision Engineering Short Courses



Furman, B. J., Moen, E., "Evaluation of Alternative Microcontrollers for Mechatronics Education," Computers in Engineering Education Journal, vol. 15, no. 3, July-September 2005, pp. 22-33.

Du, W. Y., Furman, B. J., Mourtos, N. J., "On the Ability to Design Engineering Experiments, Proceedings of the 8th UICEE Annual Conference on Engineering Education, February 2005.

Furman, B. J., Robinson, "Improving Engineering Report Writing with Calibrated Peer Review," Proceedings of the 2003 Frontiers in Education Conference, November 2003.

Mourtos, N. J., Furman, B. J., "Assessing the Effectiveness of an Introductory Engineering Course for Freshman," Proceedings of the 2002 Frontiers in Education Conference, November 6-9, Boston, MA.

Taylor, M. T., Belgrader, P., Furman, B. J., Pourahmadi, F., Kovacs, G. T. A., Northrup, M. A., “Lysing Bacterial Spores by Sonication through a Flexible Interface in a Microfluidic System,” Analytical Chemistry, vol. 73, no. 3, February 1, 2001, pp. 492-496.

Furman, B. J., Hayward, G. P., “Asynchronous Hands-On Experiments for Mechatronics Education, Proceedings of the 7th Mechatronics Forum International Conference, Atlanta, GA, September 6-8, 2000.

Hayward, G. P., Furman, B. J., "Teaching Mechatronics to the New Generation," 1999 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Nashville, TN, November, 1999.

Furman, B. J., "Printer Carriage Motion Control Experiment," Electronic Technology Journal, vol. 3, no. 2, Fall, 1998, pp. 22-23.

Kearny, M., Furman, B. J., "Electrostatically Actuated Stylus Profilometer With Capacitive Displacement Sensing in Vertical and Lateral Directions," Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 3275, January, 1998.

Furman, B. J., Christman, J., Kearny, M., Wojcik, F., Tortonese, M.,"Battery-Operated Atomic Force Microscope," Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 69 issue 1, January, 1998, pp. 215-220.

Wang, J. C., Furman, B. J., Hsu, T. R., Barez, F., Tesfaye, A., Hsu, P., Reischl, P., "Mechatronics Laboratory Development at San Jose State University," Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 16- 18, 1997.

Furman, B. J., Pinkernell, D., Elgee, S., "Case Studies on Design of Mechatronic Products," IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology - Part C, vol. 20, no. 1, January, 1997.

Furman, B. J., "The Un-Lecture: A Computer-Assisted Curriculum Delivery Approach For the Effective Teaching of Mechanical Design," Proceeding of the 1996 Frontiers in Education Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, November, 1996.

Furman, B. J., Hsu, T. R., Wang, J. C., Barez, F., Tesfaye, A., Hsu, P., Reischl, P., "Laboratory Development for Mechatronics Education," Session 1626, Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, Washington, D. C., June 23-26, 1996.

Hsu, T. R., Wang, J. C., Barez, F., Furman, B. J., Hsu, P., Reischl, P., "An Undergraduate Curriculum in Mechatronic Systems Engineering," 95-WA/DE-3, 1995 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, San Francisco, California, November, 1995.

Furman, B. J., "Towards a More Hands-on, Design-oriented Course on Mechanisms," Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, Designers in Engineering Education Session, Anaheim, California, June 26-29, 1995.

Alvarez, J., Garcia, R., Nicoli, L., Sleight, E., Furman, B. J., "Battery Operated Atomic Force Microscope," panel paper presented at ASME INTERpack '95 conference. March 26-30, Lahaina. Hawaii March 27-30, 1995.

Furman, B. J., "A New, Thermally Controlled, Non-Contact Rotor Balancing Method." ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, September, 1994.

Furman, B. J., Henderson, J. M., "An Improved Rotary Singulator,' Transactions of the ASAE, May-June, 1983, vol. 26, no. 3, p. 955-960.

Henderson, J. M., Bellman, L. G., Furman, B. J., "A Case for Teaching Engineering With Cases," Engineering Education, January, 1983, p. 288-292.

This owner of this web page is Dr. Buff Furman. He can be reached at or by phone at (408) 924-3817. This page was last updated on 23SEP2013.