Raymond Elliot Levitt, Ph.D.
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment
Director,  Global Projects Center
Academic Director,  Stanford Advanced Project Management Program,
Stanford Center for Professional Development

Office Hours - Y2E2 Rm. 241 - Sign-up for appointments via on-line appointment calendar


  • Professional Work Experience
    Ray Levitt worked in design and construction of marine structures with Christiani & Neilsen in Cape Town, South Africa from 1971-1972. He worked with V.K Mason in Toronto, Canada as a Project Engineer in Summer, 1973, and with Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco as a Manpower Planning Consultant in Summer, 1974. He served on the MIT Civil Engineering faculty from 1975-80 before moving to Stanford in 1980. He co-founded and was Associate Director/Director of Stanford’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering from 1988-2001. In 2003, he founded, and serves as Director of, Stanford's Global Projects Center.
  • From 1996-1998, Dr. Levitt took leave from Stanford to found and serve as initial CEO of Vité Corporation, and returned to Stanford full-time in Sept 1998.
  • Dr. Levitt was elected the 2012-13 Chair of Stanford's 45th Faculty Senate.
  • Research
  • Dr. Levitt’s Virtual Design Team (VDT) research group has developed new organization theory, methodology and computer simulation tools to design organizations that can optimally execute complex, fast-track, projects and programs, and service/maintenance work processes such as health care delivery and offshore platform maintenance.
  • Ongoing research by Stanford's Global Projects Center (GPC), which Dr. Levitt directs, attempts to model and simulate the significant “institutional costs” that can arise in global projects due to substantial differences in goals, values and cultural norms among project stakeholders. This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, CIFE, GCP and the Center for Edge Power at the Naval Postgraduate School.
  • His current research focuses on the unique governance challenges of private-public partnerships for developing infrastructure in the US and globally, and on ways to facilitate pension and sovereign wealth fund investments in such projects.

  • Teaching
  • Dr. Levitt teaches classes in organization design and management of project/matrix organizations to engineering undergraduate, MS and Doctoral students, and corporate executives. Current classes include: CEE242-Designing Organizations for Projects & Companies; CEE246-Entrepreneurship in Civil and Environmental Engineering; CEE316-Research Methodology, and a Freshman Seminar, CEE 48N-Designing Organizations for Global Projects.
  • He conceived and co-founded the award-winning Stanford Advanced Project Management (SAPM) executive program in 1999, and serves as Academic Director of SAPM.
  • Consulting
  • Has consulted to more than 30 Fortune 500 companies and goverment agencies engaged in architectural and engineering services, construction, real estate development, facilities operation and management, semiconductors, biotechnology, consumer products, computers, networking equipment, financial services and software development on the design of project/matrix organization structures and governance arrangements for complex, large-scale, global programs and projects.
  • Was appointed a Commissioner of California's Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission by Governor Arnold Schwartzeneger in 2008.
  • Advises cleantech venture firms on investments related to green buildings and infrastructure.

  • Start-Up Activities
  • Co-founded Design Power, Inc. in 1989 to automate many kinds of semi-custom engineering work, including process plant layout and pipe routing, and data network configuration. Design Power was acquired by Bentley Systems in 2007.
  • Founded Vité Corporation in 1996 to commercialize work process and organization modeling and simualtion software developed by his Virtual Design Team research group at Stanford for designing organizations to execute complex, fast-track projects. Took a leave from Stanford to serve as Chairman and CEO of Vité from 1996-1997. Currently serves as a Director of Vité Corporation. Vite's SimVision (tm) software was acquired by ePM, LLC in 2002.
  • Co-founded Visual Network Design, Inc., in 2003 as a spin-off from Design Power, Inc., to automate the design, assembly, asset management and operation of equipment in data centers. Visual Network Design, Inc. is now a public company called Rackwise.