Chair focused on innovation

22 May 2012

Professor Andy Dong is the new Warren Chair in Engineering Innovation.
Professor Andy Dong is the new Warren Chair in Engineering Innovation.

Design researcher, practitioner and Australian Future Fellow, Professor Andy Dong has been appointed to the Warren Chair in Engineering Innovation at the University of Sydney. This newly established chair will lead a program of education and research in engineering innovation in Australia.

With a background in mechanical engineering and artificial intelligence, Professor Dong is a distinguished researcher in the areas of computational design and design-led innovation. His research investigates how the design of products influences their potential rate of innovation, an area he calls "predictive analytics for engineering innovation."

Professor Dong, who brings a plethora of industry and academic expertise to this new chair, says his goal is to produce research that will improve and grow the current stock of knowledge.

"Businesses are increasingly relying on innovation to succeed. My goal is to produce research to help them figure out how to design or re-design products and services so that they can continually improve. I think this problem applies to all engineering innovations, from consumer electronics to heavy industries."

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, where Professor Dong will be located, has been invigorated by his appointment.

Professor Archie Johnston, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, says Professor Dong's appointment is further acknowledgement that design orientated innovation in engineering is a crucial focus for the future of the profession and the industry as a whole.

"We have introduced a number of innovation and entrepreneurship subjects across our programs in the faculty, particularly at the postgraduate level. We want to embed a real culture of innovation, one that is truly integrated with the research aspects of engineering and technology."

Professor Johnston says Professor Dong will work closely with the faculty's leadership team including the recently appointed Chair of Engineering Sydney, David Stewart, and Professor David Lowe, its new Associate Dean (Education).

The chair is funded by the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, an independent industry-linked institute committed to fostering excellence and innovation in advanced engineering throughout Australia that is attached to the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney.

The Chairman of The Warren Centre, Chris Vonwiller, said that the new Chair promises significant benefits for Australian corporate enterprises.

"This will assist Australian corporations understand and exploit the commercial potential of innovation and new engineering technology, and exploit this for wealth creation" he said.

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