Edward Lu (Computing 2015) is an inventor, system architect and industrial designer. He is also the founder of an exciting hardware company called Hexcal. We were lucky enough to catch up with him to learn more about his old Imperial days and what he has planned for the future...
Tell us about your time at Imperial
My time at Imperial was priceless, but it was also very, very challenging. The projects and exams really pushed me to the point where I spent most of my time in the library! I’d pretty much be there around the clock and just go to a friend’s house to shower. However, I think working so hard has set me up in my career as being an entrepreneur isn’t an easy career path. I’m full of appreciation for the College because I think Imperial also teaches students to use leadership, creativity and knowledge power to make the impossible, possible.
I also want to pay special mention to one of my all-time heroes, my personal tutor Professor Duncan F Gillies. His wisdom and kindness gave me strength during the hardest points of my life and has inspired me to start writing my own story.
How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?
The alumni network in Shanghai has been so helpful. Sometimes I post a problem on the group’s WeChat account and I get responses by the end of the day. It is also a great opportunity to network as we all know someone who might be able to help with a problem - it’s like a big group brainstorm!
What are you doing now?
I run a company called Hexcal, which is essentially a hardware company. The name comes from hexadecimal, which is a positional numeral system that both humans and computers can understand. Essentially it is the bridge connecting the human world with the digital world.
I have twenty employees and we are currently working on our upcoming product launch, Monolith. Monolith is the world's first unified charging solution for all smart devices. I actually came up with the idea whilst studying at the Library - in the silent section, there’s only one power slot for the whole bank of desks. As you can imagine, I got very frustrated carrying around a bag of chargers for each device.
What motivates you?
I’m not religious, but when I was in high school I read a lot of physics books and I believe that the universe is governed by chaotic rules. Life is a combination of enormous randomness, and that means that you can’t waste any second!
I also think that Chinese people are underestimated and often overlooked when it comes to creativity. So changing that perception is what motivates me - we are an ancient race and our 5,000 years have actually been characterised by innovation and creativity.