Celebrating the Automobile


A 21st-Century Approach to
Car Design and Manufacturing

Gordon Murray
Professor, Durban Institute of Technology
CEO, Gordon Murray Design

AUGUST 23, 2011, 10:00-11:30 AM
***************** NOTICE: NEW LOCATION *****************
Peterson Engineering Laboratory
Building #550, Atrium

416 Escondido Mall, Stanford (map)

PARKING: Paid parking meters may be found
Parking Structure 2 (5 blocks from Peterson), corner of Panama and Via Ortega (map)
Tresidder Union Parking Lot (6 blocks from Peterson), corner of Mayfield and Lagunita (map)


We have been stamping automobiles from sheet steel for 100 years now and yet plastic composites rule in low volume vehicle racing cars and aircraft construction. Professor Murray believes now is the time to close this gap and it requires a complete rethink from design through manufacturing. This presentation is a brief history of composite primary structures and a look forward to a time where light weight in automobile structures will bring increased safety, reduced investment and lower manufacturing energy. In this context he will also discuss the progress at GMD, including a perspective on several running prototypes from a design, packaging, and safety point of view.

In July 2007, Gordon Murray Design (GMD) was established to develop an innovative and disruptive automotive manufacturing technology, trademarked iStream® along with the T.25, a radical city car, central to both the development and validation of iStream®. Gordon Murray Design recently debuted T.27, The World’s Most Efficient Electric Car, an electric vehicle based on the T.25 architecture and design principles.


Gordon Murray was born in Durban, South Africa in 1946 and gained a Mechanical Engineering Diploma from Natal Technical College. He designed, built and raced his own sports car (IGM Ford) in the National Class in SA during 1967 and 68. In 1969 Gordon moved to the UK and joined the Brabham Formula One Team as Technical Director winning two world championships (1981 & 1983) during his 17 years with the team. Gordon joined McLaren Racing as Technical Director in 1988 and three consecutive championship wins (1988, 1989 & 1990) followed. 1990 saw a move away from Formula One, after 50 Grand Prix wins, to enable him to concentrate his efforts on establishing a new company for the Group – McLaren Cars Ltd. The Company’s first project, the F1 Road Car is still regarded as the world’s best engineered car. A racing version won two world sports car championships and the Le Mans 24-hour race on its first attempt in 1995. McLaren Cars then completed several other successful projects culminating with the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren programme. Gordon left the McLaren Group in 2005 to set up his new company.

For More Information

The Revs Program at Stanford, revs-program@stanford.edu
Adele Tanaka, Program Administrator, (650) 736-4322
Dr. Sven Beiker, Executive Director,(650) 736-1504
Professor Clifford Nass, Director, (650) 804-1733