Hao Wu – Head of Department of Industrial Design

Why did you originally pick the University of Strathclyde as an institution?

There were four main reasons that I decided to study in the University of Strathclyde and the Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management (DMEM).

  • The University of Strathclyde has the largest engineering faculty in Scotland
  • The culture, view, history, etc. of Glasgow, and of course Scotland was fascinating to me
  • There was (and still is) an exchange student programme (signed agreement) between DMEM and SME (School of Mechanical Engineering) in Sichuan University. I was an undergraduate in Sichuan so it was the perfect opportunity for me
  • The course modules in DMEM were similar to those in SME, and Product Design Engineering (PDE) was my first choice!

Now that I am the Head of Department of Industrial Design at Sichuan University, I am able to incorporate things I learnt through my time in DMEM into the things we teach as well.

I loved both my undergraduate and PhD and due to the existing signed articulation agreement between DMEM and Sichuan I am constantly highlighting this as a study option for our students. Additionally I facilitate an annual trip in which DMEM academics visit my department and explain the variety of options available to our students, which often includes talks from Sichuan students who had previously joined DMEM for their degrees or International Summer School, to share their experiences.

Would you recommend studying internationally?

Yes of course I would definitely recommend it.

I enjoy talking with people from various culture backgrounds.

During my degrees in DMEM (MEng Product Design Engineering and my PhD thesis of ‘Internet crowdsourcing for generative design’), the ability to experience different teaching systems provided me with a broader understanding and learning. This is still beneficial to my academic career now.

What was it like studying in DMEM?

The first (and stand out) impression of my degree was the learning experience, which was so different to back home in China, especially the industrial practice, for example the Product Design Development module. This module combined design learning and design practice, to allow students to collaborate with industry and gain real industrial experience. This provided students a practical thought on doing designs and during group work members learnt to better collaborate with each other.

The department has a full set of facilities available for students, ranging from product design to engineering management to support teaching and research. The research community in the Leonardo Suite was so harmonious. Young researchers were arranged altogether, and a research report would be presented by one of them every month. Additionally, students could easily find the staff in the department if they had any problem, and the staff were always ready to help.

Where has your career gone since you have graduated?

After graduating from DMEM I moved back to China and became an academic researcher, and a teacher in Sichuan University.

In this role face a lot of high pressure, for example through applications for research funding, and also teaching (but I do actually really enjoy teaching). Also, as Head of Department a lot of work on development and management has to be considered and integrated into my role.

Why do you think engineering is an exciting industry to get into?

My way of thinking is engineering spans much broader than a lot of traditional preconceptions of what engineering is. For me, I truly enjoy creating designs so therefore engineering is exciting.

But today, engineering industries face big challenges, whether in China, the UK, or any other country in the world. Because of these challenges, we as engineers are happy to look for appropriate ways to help people live a better life.

For further information on PG study at the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management at Strathclyde please visit our website