Alumni Kaleidoscope: Frank Wang - Mphil(ECE), BEng(ELEC)
From a young age, Frank has dreamed of flying, inspiring his keen interest in the research and development of unmanned helicopter technology during his time at HKUST. Competing with teams from across Asia at ABU Robocon in 2005, he and his team won third prize. In 2006, he completed his final thesis at HKUST, which included the development of a flight control system for unmanned platforms. Based on his system, he founded DJI and became the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer.
Today, DJI employs over 5,000 people and is a global leader in developing and manufacturing reliable and easy-to-use, high-performance, small unmanned aerial systems for commercial and recreational use. Frank has devoted himself to developing the world’s premiere unmanned aircraft control and aerial photography and videography systems. He and his team have tirelessly worked to overcome innumerable obstacles, making several breakthroughs in key technologies. DJI now has an impressive portfolio of Intellectual Property rights crucial to the ongoing development of unmanned systems. Not only does DJI create incredibly advanced products, they are also committed to making aerial photography and videography accessible not only to professionals, but to consumers of any background, anytime, anywhere. Due to his innovative vision and DJI’s commercial success, Frank was selected as one of the Top 10 Innovators from China by Forbes in 2014.
Frank is grateful for the opportunities provided by his university. “At HKUST I took an electronics course that gave me the fundamental knowledge to build autonomously controlled flying machines,” he recalls. Frank continues to maintain strong ties to HKUST and is passionate about giving back to his alma mater. “I started my company in the first year of my PG study and received lots of help from professors who believed in my dreams,” he says. “I want to give back and help the university grow into the best engineering university in the world.” To this end, Frank sponsored the Joint PG Supervision Program and made a donation in support of ECE research projects. He also sponsored a group of PG students to participate in a robotics competition in August 2014.
Most recently, DJI worked with the HKUST School of Engineering to develop the Integrative Systems and Design (ISD) Program, a transformative new degree program to nurture the necessary technological competence, critical thinking abilities and business acumen through team-based projects.