Talks & Lectures, Student Life
19 Oct 2020

Women @ SSE: Engineering Lecture Series: Dr. Ting Liao

“Design” Your Life and Career: Framework and Approach

Women@SSE: Prof. Ting Liao, Assistant Professor.

Join the [email protected] for the first event of this semester featuring new SSE faculty member, Dr. Ting Liao. Prof. Liao will present an in-depth view on how to treat your life and career as a design problem, based on her coursework at Stanford University, and her own research experience.


Now that you are working towards your degree, how do you get a life and build your professional career at the same time? In this seminar, you will learn the basic design thinking framework — an approach of problem solving and innovation through prototype and iteration; and how you can employ the design thinking framework to develop a constructive and effective way to design your lives and vocations. We will also practice ideation and brainstorming for exploring life and career options together, via a virtual whiteboard brainstorming activity. In the activity, participants are encouraged to share your thoughts with the group. Then, we will demonstrate some tools to compare and evaluate different life and career options. In the end, we will discuss the insights of the interactive activity and applying this framework in real life.


  • Introduction of the Design Thinking Principles (15 mins.)
  • Basics of Ideation & Brainstorming (5 mins)
  • (Activity) Virtual White Board Brainstorming & Reflection (15 mins)
  • Ways to Compare/Evaluate the Ideas and [Trying it Out if There is Time] (15 mins)

Speaker Bio

Ting Liao received her Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Her research is built upon the concept of user-centered design and crosses disciplinary boundaries involving engineering design, experimental psychology and data science. Her research aims to enable products and product-based experiences that are governed by artificial intelligence and large masses of product usage data to be more trustworthy, socially desirable and sustainable with data-driven methods.

Beyond research, Ting has closely collaborated with industrial leaders and served as a coach for design thinking and user research for student entrepreneurial organizations at Stanford. In addition, Ting has been active in fostering diversity and inclusion in the local community. Throughout graduate school, she has served in multiple leadership roles in diversity organizations at Stanford, largely focused on increasing interest in engineering among women and underrepresented students like herself.

Visit the [email protected] webpage to learn more about how this School of Systems and Enterprises engineering group brings diverse group of women and student engineers together to discuss opportunities and challenges for future industry leaders.

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