Professor de Bont has solid experience and track records in the management and leadership of a sizable and leading design school in the world. He took up the deanship in the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of the Delft University of Technology (“TU Delft”) in the Netherlands since 2005. 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 the Philips Design in Eindhoven of 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 in the Netherlands. 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 early concept testing of consumer acceptance, consumer behaviour, innovation adoption, 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 is currently editing a book on advanced design methods for practitioners.
Professor de Bont also chairs the Dutch Innovation Centre for Electric Road Transport which is a nationwide platform for electric mobility in the Netherlands and is a member of various key professional boards and bodies related to design, automotive research, industrial innovation and market research.