Tech School of Industrial Design Appoints Prof. of Practice in Design

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Georgia Tech today appointed Wayne K. Li, IDSA, to Oliver Professor of Practice in Design, a joint position between the Colleges of Architecture and Engineering named for alumnus James L. Oliver, II (BS ID 1965, ME 1967). Li is tasked with advancing interdisciplinary design at Georgia Tech, leading joint teaching initiatives in mechanical engineering and industrial design.

His twelve-year career spans brand management, product design and mechanical engineering in transportation and home décor sectors, as well as design education at Stanford University. He brings a proven track record in multi-disciplinary team building with emphasis on brainstorming, innovation and rapid prototyping to the position.

“As the Oliver Professor of Practice in Design, Li will be the catalyst infusing design thinking and experimentation into engineering, and vice versa,” said Alan Balfour, Dean of the College of Architecture. “His ambition to advance human-centered design, coupled with real experience taking calculated, focused risks in the design industry is exactly appropriate to this position.”

William J. Wepfer, Chair of the School of Mechanical Engineering, echoed these sentiments, saying his presence “will help to strengthen the ties between architecture and engineering in design education and practice.”

Most recently, Li has led innovation and market expansion for Pottery Barn seasonal home products, leading to significant business growth across multiple product categories, including home office, clocks, consumer electronics and lighting.

He also has become an influential teacher in Stanford University’s design program where he teaches visual communication and digital media techniques.
Previously, Li led ‘interface development’ in Volkwagen of America’s Electronics Research Laboratory, and developed corporate brand and vehicle differentiation strategies at Ford Motor Company.

He received a Master of Science in Engineering from Stanford University, and undergraduate degrees in Fine Arts in Design and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

One of the oldest programs in the United States, the School of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech has a rich and celebrated history. Currently the program has 127 undergraduate students, 37 graduate students and a diverse alumni body of nearly 1,000.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Teri Nagel
  • Created:04/12/2010
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016