PhDDean: School of Design and
Chair Professor: Industrial Design
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Research Expertise
Design Education, Consumer Behaviour, Innovation Adoption, Design Methods and Networked Innovation Biography
Professor de Bont has solid experience and track records in the management and leadership of sizable and leading design schools in the world. He took up the deanship of the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in February 2011 after having been the dean of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of the Delft University of Technology (“TU Delft”) in the Netherlands for seven years. Both TU Delft and the School of Design of PolyU are ranked by the Businessweek as the top 60 design institutions around the world.Professor de Bont has a good mix of academic and industrial experience. He started his academic career in 1993 as Assistant Professor of Economic Psychology at the University of Tilburg after his fulfilment of military obligations. During his appointment in the University of Tilburg, Professor de Bont also acted as a consultant to Philips Design in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He earned substantial industrial experience and was exposed to frontline issues in global business during his appointment as Manager of the Human Behaviour Research Centre in Philips Design. He was subsequently Head of Marketing Research and Strategy at Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care from 1997 to 2005 when he was responsible for generating and utilizing market information for the formulation of the strategy, R&D and marketing plan of the company.Professor de Bont’s research interests are in the areas of design education, consumer behaviour, innovation adoption, design methods and networked innovation. On these topics, Professor de Bont supervised master’s students and PhD students. More recently Professor de Bont focuses also on the development of industrial design as an academic discipline, including the quality perceptions of design journals. He edited a book on design methods for succesful innovation that came out in 2013. Professor de Bont chaired the Dutch Innovation Centre for Electric Road Transport which is a nationwide platform for electric mobility and is a member of various key professional boards and bodies related to design, industrial innovation and market research.