MSc. Bakker-Wu, S.

Product Innovation Management


I was born and raised in the Chinese city of Shanghai. At the age of 19, I left China to study Industrial Design Engineering at the TU Delft. I learned the Dutch language and did my graduation project at Philips Domestic Appliances. I then joined Unilever as supply chain trainee in 2000.

After a successful completion of my secondment in Sweden I was promoted to packaging design manager for foods division in Europe. During this period, I worked on a lot of innovation projects for Unilever. As a 'bridge' between the R&D and marketing department, I had very broad responsibilities on a European scale. My key activities were: leading packaging design projects, writing design briefs, stakeholder management, negotiation with suppliers, designing and leading workshops, managing relationships with design agencies, briefing or attending consumer research sessions and coaching team members. During this period, I build on my experience as a project leader and design manager.

In 2008 I decided to leave Unilever to pick up a new challenge as a project manager at MMID, a medium sized design agency, where I had the responsibility to manage a greater variety of design projects beyond packaging and to learn in practice how a design agency is organised. Following my passion for innovation, I returned to work for the faculty of IDE in 2009. I now work as a lecturer at the department of Product Innovation Management (PIM), and am grateful to have the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge with students from all over the world to prepare them for their future in design.

Apart from my professional life, there are a few personal highlights too. I was married in 2004 and have two lovely sons.


Preliminary education

  • 1986 - 1992
    Shanghai No.2 middle school, China
    Subjects: English, mathematics, physics, chemist, biology, history, geography Chinese
  • 1993 - 1994
    Department of foreign language, TU Delft
    Subjects: Dutch 

Academic education

  • 1994 - 1999
    Delft University of Technology
    Department: Industrial Design Engineering
    Specialisation: Innovation Management
    Degree: Master of Science in Industrial Design Engineering
    Practice work: Write a product development program for Partijnenburg (One of the Shell SEE Projects aimed to structure the product development process for medium and small Dutch companies)
    Date graduation: 29 November 1999
    Graduation assignment: To meet the future consumer needs: new product development for Business Food (Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal care and Philips Design) 

Training, business courses and workshops

  • 2012
    Teaching qualification modules: teaching on stage; story telling in science
  • 2009
    Basic Teaching Qualification
  • 2007
    Unilever R&D Academy: Open Innovation awareness course
    Accenture: Management skills
  • 2006
    Akasha Opleidingen: Personal development
    European Networking Group: Packaging Design Summit
    Unilever R&D facilitation unit: Brainstorm facilitation training
  • 2005
    Humaniation group: Communication for Excellence
  • 2004
    Neroc Packaging: Course Repro process
  • 2003
    Intermediair Project management course
    Unilever Finance Awareness course
  • 2002
     TSM business school: Unilever Supply Chain Foundation Course
    Foods Packaging Unit URV: Tubs & lids course
  • 2001
    Foods Packaging Unit URV: Flexible course
    Van Genechten Biermans: Corrugated course
    DTC HPC, Port Sunlight, UK: Alias (CAD program)
    Unilever Carrousel (Unilever trainee program)


  • 2009 - present
    Lecturer PIM, Industrial Design TU Delft
  • 2008 - 2009
    Project manager MMID
  • 2007 - 2008
    Packaging design manager, Unilever Foods Global
  • 2004 - 2007
    Packaging design manager, Unilever Foods Europe
  • 2003 September - 2004 March
    Secondment supply chain, Unilever Nordic
  • 2000 - 2003
    Supply chain trainee, Unilever  

Specialisation/Field of research

  • Branding
  • FMCG
  • Packaging design
  • Supply chain
  • Marketing
  • Project management

Lectures/Coaches students on

  • Course coordinator: Business, culture and technology bachelor 1st year
  • Coach: Strategic Product Innovation and PO3 bachelor 2nd year; Bachelor End Project, bachelor 3rd year
  • Coach: Customer Research, master specialisation SPD
  • Mentor: graduation projects