After completing her Bachelor and Master degrees at HKUST, Lydia joined HKUST start-up Perception Digital working on applied research in software development. However she came to realize that this was just not the path for her, and decided to complete a PhD at HKUST to gain the skills she needed to switch over to hardware development. Upon graduation, she joined the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) as a senior engineer responsible for R&D work, and eventually came to oversee the organization's technological development of medical and healthcare electronics.
After a decade at ASTRI, Lydia felt it was time to take her career to the next stage: instead of focusing on applied research, she wanted to realize a product from start to finish. She recently took up the position of CEO at a young start-up, Belun Technology, which develops medical-grade wearable devices for chronic diseases prevention and management. In her new role Lydia is responsible for the company's daily operations, corporate planning, technology development and IP strategies. "I enjoy the process of creating things from 'zero to one' with passionate and energetic people," explains Lydia. "Applied research is just like riding the waves where there are ups and downs. While you are enjoying the excitement, you need to prepare for failure as well."
One of the highlights of Lydia's career is meeting a group of passionate young engineers who are keen on new technologies and taking up challenges. Together they learned, grew, and successfully developed state-of-the-art technologies in the field of medical and healthcare electronics, an experience which has been crucial to her in running Belun Technology now. "Applied research is never an easy journey, especially in Hong Kong where most of the focus is in finance. It is challenging to get talented people and keep their passion in the field. Creating an enjoyable working environment, allowing them to grow with the group/company and to feel the sense of satisfaction are some of the ways to keep talented people," says Lydia.
She is thankful for her experiences at HKUST which helped her to succeed in her career. Lydia found it advantageous to be one of the few girls studying engineering with predominantly male classmates, as many fellow students and professors were keen to help her out. HKUST also provided her with a solid academic and technical foundation as well as support along her life's journey. "The R&D experience and hand-on experimental skills, such as working in a micro-fabrication lab and using high-end equipment, were crucial for the start of my career in applied research," she recalls. "Professors at HKUST have not only acted as supervisors during my studies but also as mentors in my career. They have provided valuable advice to my career development and recommended talented graduates for me."