Dr. David Tao pursued his bachelor's (1975) and master's (1977) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cheng Jung University in Taiwan, before earning a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from Princeton University in 1984. He also received a Master of Product Development from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2000. Dr. Tao has been with the University of Michigan since 2014.
In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Tao serves as an adviser for Chongqing Sanyou Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd, where he provides coaching on product development processes and helps build partnerships with other global automotive suppliers. Prior to his advisory position, Dr. Tao was the Director of the Technology Development Center at Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. Ltd (CFMA) from 2008-2013, during which time he helped Ford more than double its Chinese market share. Over the past 30 years, Dr.Tao has held numerous high-level positions within the automotive industry.
Dr. Tao served as a founding member of the Ford Chinese Association—a Ford employee resource group—and won several awards during his time at the company, including the 1998 Ford Customer-Driven Quality Award for development and implementation of quick powertrain contribution analysis. He also served as a board member and vice president of the Detroit Chinese Engineering Association from 1991-1994, and was a member of the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Committee, Industrial Technology and Research Institute from 1995-2005.
Dr. Tao has two daughters and currently lives in South Lyon, MI with his wife.