Burford (Buff) Furman is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at San José State University, where he has been since 1994. Prior to SJSU, he worked in disk drive development at IBM in San José from 1982 to 1993. He is also a registered professional mechanical engineer in the state of California since 1984. His areas of teaching and research are focused primarily in mechatronics, Automated Transit Networks (ATN), precision machine design, and engineering measurements.
Buff was the Principal Investigator for a major study on the state of the ATN industry that was published by the Mineta Transportation Institute in 2014. Since 2012, he has been working intensely with interdisciplinary groups of students to develop solar powered ATN.