At the invitation of the School of Engineering (SENG) and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Dr Andy Palmer, an executive vice president of Nissan Motor Company Ltd shared his experience in managing innovation and how this could support the realization of Nissan's mid-term business strategy named Nissan Power 88 - a plan that aims to raise Nissan's profit margins and worldwide market share to 8 percent by fiscal year 2016.
In his opening remarks, Prof Wei Shyy, Provost of HKUST said, "We are most delighted to have Dr Andy Palmer to share his insights on innovations. Dr Palmer holds a master's degree in engineering and a PhD degree in management. He has shown how to lead a business productively and effectively by combining engineering and management. Our students and colleagues have found Dr Palmer an outstanding role model."
Titled "Leadership of Innovation", the lecture was hosted by Prof Richard So, Professor of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management. During the lecture, Dr Palmer shared that while being creative is relatively easy, innovations require leadership backed by science and discipline. The important issue is in the commercialization of creativity. Through examples of the Nissan Zero Emission Project, Nissan NY Taxi, Hoshin Kanri, and appreciation of cultural diversity, Dr Palmer illustrated how innovations are being created, appreciated, managed and commercialized in Nissan. Towards the end, Dr Palmer elaborated, "I was delighted to be able to share some of my experience about innovation at Nissan today with such a vibrant group of students. I was equally pleased to have met many distinguished HKUST professors, and I hope that the time we spent together offered some positive insights for everyone."
In May 2012, Nissan moved the global headquarters of its high-end luxury brand, Infiniti, to Hong Kong. Capturing this opportunity, and as part of the on-going strategic plan to invest in design and innovations at HKUST, Prof So led a group of HKUST colleagues to visit Infiniti (HK) in October 2012 to explore common interests between Nissan and HKUST. Mr Paul Miles, the General Manager of Nissan Global Company Ltd in Hong Kong, who is very positive about potential collaborations between Infiniti (HK) and HKUST, was also present at the lecture.
Dr Andy Palmer received his MSc in Product Engineering from University of Warwick in 1990 and PhD in Management from Cranfield University in 2004. He joined Nissan Motor Company Limited in 1991 as business administration manager at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE). He transferred to Japan as Program Director for Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) in 2002. In 2004, Dr Palmer established the LCV business unit within Nissan and was promoted to corporate vice president in charge of the unit in 2005. The LCV business was identified as one of the four breakthroughs under Nissan's three-year Value-Up business plan. In 2011, he became an executive vice president at Nissan.
Dr Palmer is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is a Member of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and a Chartered Manager (Member of Chartered Management Institute). He is also a Guest Professor at University of Tokyo for Agriculture and Technology and, in 2010, was conferred an Honorary doctorate of technology from Coventry University.
For more details about on-going collaborations between Nissan Infiniti (HK) and HKUST, please contact Prof Richard So (firstname.lastname@example.org).