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Michael Thomas

Research and Design Team Manager,Ford Motor Company

With over 20 years’ experience in developing strategy from research, through design and into implementation with a diversity of partners in the mobility and transportation sectors, Michael bridges a grounded pragmatic perspective with his anthropologically informed scholarship.

Currently, Michael works as a design strategy and research leader for HMI and UX at Ford Motor Company in Nanjing, China, where his professional expertise in anthropology and design is being put toward the creation and development of global teams and adaptive processes for solving meaningful but difficult HMI and UX challenges.

Prior to his current role, Michael has worked at Ford Motor Company as both Experience Design Research Leader and User Experience Autonomy Vision Lead where he developed and executed research and design processes for autonomous vehicle new business models; autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle interaction; and digital voice assistance.

In addition to this work at Ford and previous work at other automotive OEM’s, Michael is an active member of the Society for Anthropological Science (SAS) where he regularly presents at their annual joint conferences with Society for Applied Anthropology. His scholarship in cognitive science has won awards from the Cognitive Science Society and SAS.

Bridging his academic scholarship with design, Michael has developed syllabi and coursework for the College for Creative Studies where he has taught graduate level research methods for their Masters in Design program.


 
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