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Derek Ham Appointed Department Head of Art + Design

Derek HamAssociate Professor Derek Ham, Ph.D. has been appointed as the department head of Art + Design. Ham has been at the College of Design since June 2015 and was recently promoted from assistant professor.

“I am thrilled to announce that Derek Ham has been chosen as our next Art + Design Department Head” said Mark Hoversten, dean of the college. “Derek’s background and approach to multi- and inter-disciplinary work makes him a strong candidate in an already competitive candidate pool. I am excited to see the direction he brings to the Art + Design program moving forward.”

Ham has also been chosen by Chancellor Woodson as a University Faculty Scholar, starting in 2020. The program, established by the Chancellor in 2012, recognizes and rewards twenty emerging academic leaders each year who demonstrated significant achievement. Faculty members selected as University Faculty Scholars carry the title for the duration of their faculty appointment at NC State

In addition to his appointment, Ham serves as the principal investigator for the multi-disciplinary MX Reality Lab, which works to create impactful changes in the user experience of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies. Students from graphic design, industrial design, computer science, and electrical and electronics engineering explore opportunities for commercialization and wide adoptive use of VR/AR technology.

His research interest spans the areas of game-based learning, algorithmic thinking, and digital fabrication/making. In his work, he continues to investigate both virtual reality and augmented reality technology to find ways these tools can expand the possibilities of interaction design. Before joining the faculty in the College of Design, Derek taught at MIT’s School of Architecture, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Ham holds a Ph.D. in design and computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.Arch from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a B.Arch from Hampton University.

Derek will begin his position effective July 1, 2020.

Dean Hoversten thanks Associate Professor of Art + Design Kathleen Reider for serving as an interim department head in the college since April 2019. Dean Hoversten also thanks the work of the search committee, chaired by Tsailu Liu, for their commitment to the search.


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