Instructor Spotlight: Howard Stolz

Howard Stolz sitting next to Glacier National Park sign

Effective Project Management Transcends Industries

Knowing how to take a project from inception to completion is a useful skill regardless of where you're working -- and instructor Howard Stolz can speak from experience.

Over the past few decades, he's worked in mechanical design and project or program management within industries as diverse as tech to consumer manufacturing.

He brings his vast hands-on experience and expertise as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) to our Foundations of Project Management class, which is the first course in our Project Management Certificate program.

Learn more about Howard's background and experience.

How long have you been teaching?

This is my first year teaching a multi-session class, however, I have given numerous talks about project management and product development at engineering and business departments at universities in California and Minnesota and at my various employers.

What's your educational & professional background?

My B.S. degree is in Industrial Design (we're the people who do the aesthetic design of a product) and I did a little of that but spent the first 15 years of my career as a Mechanical Designer.

I then spent the next 20 years as a Project or Program Manager designing test equipment and computers in Silicon Valley and audio/video, consumer, medical, and gas controls in Minnesota.

I got my Professional Project Management (PMP) certificate in 2004.

What other life experiences do you have that influence what and how you teach?

My mother was an elementary school teacher and raised us with a reverence for and drive to learn, learn, and continue to learn throughout our lives.

Late in life, she was a docent at the LA County Art Museum teaching children to see what's in the painting and sculptures and understand its place in history.

She had an unending child-like delight in learning, seeing, and doing -- and I think I caught that bug as well 🙂

I've always been curious about how things work. As a kid, I used to take apart my toys and even today I like to figure out how something is made.

I learned early in my career that a successful product not only looks good and works well but satisfies all the numerous corporate cross-functional department needs as well: marketing, sales, customer service, manufacturing, quality, testing, engineering, technical publications, suppliers, and more.

Lastly, I have always enjoyed meeting and learning about people from various cultures.

In Silicon Valley, I was fortunate to make trips to and work closely with engineers and suppliers in Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, So. Korea, the UK, China, Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

I find people of other cultures fascinating and I also enjoy the food!

Howard's Favorites


  • Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson


  • Bicycle riding


  • Star Wars


  • Beatles
  • James Taylor
  • John Mayer


  • Big Sur or Yosemite in California: I think they're the two most beautiful places on earth.