School staff

Professor Hua Dong

Photo of Professor Hua Dong

Professor in Design

Hua Dong was appointed Professor in Design as part of the Loughborough University’s Excellence100 campaign.

Professor Dong started her career as a research associate at the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre where she obtained her PhD degree, collaborating closely with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art.  She has taught Industrial Design as a lecturer and senior lecturer at Brunel University and as a Professor at Tongji University.

Her research interests relate to inclusive design and she has published more than 150 papers in design and engineering journals and conferences. She has served as the guest editor for the ‘Alldesign’ special issue on inclusive design in China and the Design for All Newsletter in India.

Professor Dong has been the editor of the Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology (CWUAAT) since 2014 and she has co-edited three Springer proceedings. As a council member of the Design Research Society, Professor Dong also coordinates the InclusiveSIG.

Professor Dong has been successful in receiving grants from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grants, NESTA, and AHRC, and several prestigious fellowships in China.

She has extensive experience of providing specialised design consultancy to industries in the UK, Finland and China. In the Design Council ‘Design Bugs Out’ challenge, she led the Brunel team; the outcome was selected for the Good Ergonomics exhibition in the Design Museum, mass produced and featured as a case study in Research Excellence Framework 2014.Professor Dong has also collaborated with the largest stationery manufacturer in China on a design that received Red Star Awards – the country’s most sought-after industrial design accolades. She also provides inclusive design consultancy to Ant Financial, an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group.

Professor Dong contributes to the following modules at Loughborough Design School:

Final Year Design Practice (Level 3)

Design Research (Level 3)

Design Communication (Level 2)

MA User Experience (Master)

MSc integrated Industrial Design (Master)

She was Module Leader for courses of design process, user research, inclusive design, user research and design innovation, and design research and writing. She also taught design studio courses at different levels and supervised major projects, master dissertations, PhD and EngD projects.

Professor Dong’s general research interests include design process and methods, human factors in design. Specifically, she is recognised for inclusive design research, and she has published many papers relating to sustainable innovation in the ageing society.

Research Grants received since 2007, as PI unless otherwise indicated.

‘Fostering Creative Citizenship in China through co-design and public makerspaces’, £252,904(2018) AHRC/Newton Fund, with UK PI Dr B Lam from Brunel University

‘Technology·Design·Business’ International research student conference grant, 100,000 (2018), Graduate School, Tongji University

Young Talents Fellowship (5 years), Thousand Talents Recruitment Plan, RMB 2,000,000 (2013-2018), Central Finance Office, China

‘New Media·New Design’ International research student conference grant, 100,000 (2017), Graduate School, Tongji University

‘Arts, design and media intervening healthcare ’, RMB 180,000 (2016), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities


‘Green Packaging: Inclusive design and business strategies’, RMB 80,000 (2016), Shanghai Creative Industry Supporting Fund. 

‘Design·Management·Engineering’ International research student conference fund, 100,000 (2017), Graduate School, Tongji University

‘Arts and Wellbeing: an interdisciplinary investigation’, RMB 180,000 (2014), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities

‘Measuring older people’s capabilities’, RMB 180,000 9 (2013), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities                 

KTP ‘Accreditation of Age friendly products and services’, £550,000 (2011), as Co-I in collaboration with Brunel Business School and AgeUK, Technology Strategy Board and ESRC  

‘Design Innovation in the Ageing Society’ (2011), RMB100,000, Shanghai Higher Education Committee.     

Dongfang Scholar Fellowship (3 years), RMB500,000, Shanghai Higher Education Committee.              

Digital Economy ‘Co-production of physical products and value co-creation – scalability in the wild’, £365,236 (2011), as Co-investigator (in collaboration with University of Exeter), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

‘Facilitating Wider Uptake of Inclusive Design’, £291,270 (2008), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

‘DataMIX: Exploring more Inclusive Means of Communicating Data’, £12,000 (2009)in collaboration with 6 different disciplines. The National Endowment of Science,Technology and Arts.

‘Learning Design through Simulation and Multidisciplinary Collaboration’, £3,500 (2008), Engineering Subject Centre, the Higher Education Academy. 

‘Visualising Anthropometric Data for Inclusive Design’, £15,000 (2007) Brunel University Research Initiative and Enterprise Fund


Enterprise activities 

‘Inclusive design guidelines and resources’, funding (confidential), 2018, Ant Financial

‘User Studies for a Digital Scanning App’, funding (confidential), 2015, CCCam, Shanghai

‘Safe home technologies’,funding (confidential), 2015, Nanjing Government

‘Inclusive Design for New Energy Vehicles”,funding (confidential), 2014,Zhida Technology, Shanghai

‘Inclusive design for personal healthcare’, funding (confidential), 2012, Reckitte Benkiser

‘Good Grip: school pupils’ pen holder design and evaluation’, funding (confidential), 2015, Moring Glory stationary manufacturer, Shanghai


‘Transtime: Age Simulation Lab Design’, funding (confidential), 2014, Nanjing Government

‘Technology for ageing care: needs capture’, funding (confidential),2013, Active Life Village, Finland

‘Packaging evaluation’, funding (confidential),2012, Which? (consumer magazine)

‘Design Bugs Out’, £50,000, 2009, with Kirton Healthcare and PearsonLloyd, The Design Council

Selected papers:

Hou, G., Dong H., Ning W. and Han L. (2018) Larger Chinese text spacing and size: effects on older users’ experience. Ageing and Society, 1-2

Han, L.H., Dong , H. McClelland, J.R. et al. (2017), A hybrid patient-specific biomechanical model based image registration method for the motion estimation of lungs, Medical Image Analysis, 39, pp87-100.

Busciantella Ricci, D., Dong H., Rinaldi, A., Tosi, F. (2017)    Discussing about “Inclusion in Sharing-Based Services”. A design workshop using an analytic tool,  The Design Journal 20(sup1):S4671-S4677

Van der Linden, V., Dong, H., & Heylighen, A. (2016), From accessibility to experience: Opportunities for inclusive design in architectural practice. Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, 28, pp 33-58.

Ning, W.N. and Dong, H. (2016), Towards designing inclusion: insights from a user data collection study in China, DRS 50th Anniversary conference, 27-30 June 2016, Brighton, UK.

Dong H., McGinley, C, Nickpour, F, Cifter, A S (2015), Designing for designers: Insights into the knowledge users of inclusive design. Applied Ergonomics, 46, pp284-291.

Cassim, J. and Dong, H. (2015), Interdisciplinary engagement with inclusive design–The Challenge Workshops model. Applied Ergonomics, 46, pp292-296.

Valerie Van der Linden, Hua Dong, Ann Heylighen (2019) ‘Tracing architects' fragile knowing about users in the socio-material environment of design practice’, Design Studies, Volume 63, 2019, Pages 65-91,

ISSN 0142-694X,

Fang li and Hua Dong (2019) ‘The Economic Explanation of Industrial Design in Different Stages of Product Life Time’ , International Conference on Engineering Design ICED19, 5-8 August 2019, Delft, the Netherlands  



Inclusive Design: the Chinese Archive

Dong, H. (Eds.) 2019, Tongji University press (In press)

Breaking Down Barriers: Usability, Accessibility and Inclusive Design

Editors: Langdon, P., Lazar, J., Heylighen, A., Dong, H. (Eds.), 2018, Springer

Designing Around People

Editors: Langdon, P., Lazar, J., Heylighen, A., Dong, H. (Eds.) 2016, Springer

Inclusive Designing: Joining Usability, Accessibility, and Inclusion

Editors: Langdon, P.M., Lazar, J., Heylighen, A., Dong, H. (Eds.), 2014, Springer

With expertise is in inclusive design, industrial and engineering design, Professor Dong welcomes PhD applications and visiting researchers in the following fields:

  • Inclusive design
  • Engineering design
  • Ageing research
  • Healthcare research
  • Innovation management
  • Philosophy
  • Communication
  • Design education


Suggested PhD topics:

  • Understanding designers’ information behaviour
  • Empowering older people through design
  • Sustainable innovation for the ageing society
  • Co-design processes
  • Developing medical devices for home use
  • Mobile health adoption and application
  • Designing as a practice of care
  • Multisensory design for enhanced inclusion