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Wei Liu


    • School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students


    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile


    Wei has a cross-disciplinary education background in design, engineering and management. After obtaining BEng (First Class honours) and Master level (Distinction), she then awarded a full scholarship to read a PhD degree at the University of Cambridge. She was a visiting fellow at Harvard Business School to explore the engineering design education in different areas. 

    Previously, she worked as a faculty member at Cambridge judge business school as well as practiced leadership as an Assistant Dean at Tongji University. She has a rich experience of teaching in an international context. Her teachings cover undergraduates, postgraduates, PhDs and Executive MBA students. 

    In addition, she has some work experiences in business consultancy including IBM and Boston Consulting Group, and design consultancy TEAMs Design. She is also a professional designer for consumer goods, industrial products and digital products, and some of her designed products were produced and sold in the market.

    Wei co-founded two award-winning startups and acted as the Chief Innovation Officer before, which raised multiple rounds of VC investments. Students under her guidance and supervision started their business and won venture capital investment based on their graduation projects in the UK and China. 

    Research Interests

    • Design Management
    • Design Thinking for STEM
    • Design-driven Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Design for Advanced Manufacturing
    • Design for Digitalisation
    • Design for Circular Economy
    • New Product Development Management
    • Innovation Ecosystems
    • Design-infused Innovation Education

    Membership of Professional Bodies

    • Senior Fellowship, Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
    • Fellowship, The Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
    • Member, Product Development and Management Association
    • Member, Design Management Institute  
    • Member, Institute of Engineering Designers
    • Member, Design Research Society
    • Member, SPRITE+: EPSRC-funded Digital Economy Network Plus
    • Member, Women researchers network at the UK Parliament

    Funding Applications and Awards

    • PI. UKMSN+ Grant on Design for Circular Economy from EPSRC. 2020:~£25k.
    • PI. Research Travel Grant from RAEng. 2020: ~£2k.
    • CoI. Twenty20Insight funded by EPSRC. 2020: ~£900k.
    • Lead Supervisor. PhD studentship. Aston Research Studentship Fund: ~£60k.
    • PI. Research grant on Design for AM from NSFC. 2017 :~£30k.
    • PI. Research grant on design management education from SHMEC. 2016: ~£112k.
    • PI. University Elite Start-up Fund. 2016:~£110k.
    • CoI. External Consultancy project of CAE. 2015:~£45k.
    • PI. University Fieldwork Fund. 2014: ~£10k.
    • PI. Research Speed-up Fund from PDMA. 2014: ~£2k.
    • PI. Research Travel Grant from the Rex Moir Fund and Churchill College. 2014: ~£1k.
    • PI. Research Travel Grant from the William George Collins Endowment Fund and Churchill College. 2013: ~£1k.
    • PhD studentship from China Scholarship Council. 2012: ~£110k.
    • Boeing Scholarship from the Boeing Company. 2012: ~£1k.

    PhD Supervision

    Current PhD student: Ms Emelia Delaney. 

    Administrative Roles

    Programme Director: Design, Enterprise and Innovation 

    Director: Design Research Group


    • Best Paper Award - British Academy of Management (BAM) Annual Conference 2020
    • Best Paper Award - Overall Winner of Dissertation Competition by Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) 2014 Conference
    • Academic Awards for Teaching - Aston Students' Union
    • Excellent Teaching and Tutor Award - Tongji University
    • Runner-up Prize at SVC2UK Hackathon Entrepreneurship Competition
    • Second Prize winner team at China National MBA Business Championship 
    • 'Top 100 Designer in China' Award - Dragon Design Foundation (DDF)
    • Professor of Special Appointment Award (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning
    • Red Dot Design Award: Finalist
    • University Best Final Year Project Award
    • National Best Student Leader of the Year Award
    • HP Printer Design Competition: First Prize

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, University of Cambridge


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