People | Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology | Virginia Tech

ICAT Staff

ICAT Founding Director Ben Knapp
Ben Knapp
Founding Director | 540-231-1911

Ben Knapp | Founding Director | 540-231-1911

R. Benjamin Knapp is the Founding Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. ICAT seeks to promote research and education at the boundaries between art, design, engineering, and science. Dr. Knapp also leads the Music, Sensors, and Emotion research group, with researchers in the UK and the US.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Knapp has been working to create meaningful links between human-computer interaction, universal design, and various forms of creativity. His research on human-computer interaction has focused on the development and design of user-interfaces and software that allow both composers and performers to augment the physical control of a musical instrument with direct sensory interaction. He holds twelve patents and is the co-inventor of the BioMuse system, which enables artists to use gesture, cognition, and emotional state to interact with audio and video media.

In previous positions, Dr. Knapp has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at University College, Dublin, and chief technology officer of the Technology Research for Independent Living Centre. As the director of technology at MOTO Development Group in San Francisco, Calif., he managed teams of engineers and designers developing human-computer interaction systems for companies such as Sony, Microsoft, and Logitech. He co-founded BioControl Systems, a company that develops mobile bioelectric measurement devices for artistic interaction. Dr. Knapp has also served as professor and chair of the Department of Computer, Information, and Systems Engineering at San Jose State University.

He earned a doctorate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. Dr. Knapp has been a PI in several pan-European projects including, CAPSIL (Common Awareness and Knowledge Platform for Studying and Enabling Independent Living) and SIEMPRE (Social Interaction and Entrainment Using Music Performance) and coordinated the EU project, BRAID (Bridging Research in Ageing and ICT Development).

Tom Martin
Associate Director
George Hardebeck
Facility and Studio Manager, Creativity and Innovation District
Lisa Jansen
Grants Specialist | 540-231-5163
Phyllis Newbill
Outreach and Engagement Coordinator | 540-231-1319
Dylan Parker
Graphic Designer and Web Developer
Daniel Pillis
Research Assistant Professor of Immersive Environments
Tanner Upthegrove
Media Engineer | 540-231-5555
Holly Williams
Assistant Director of Administrative Operations | 540-231-0802
Melissa Wyers
Fiscal Coordinator and Administrative Assistant | 540-231-1318

Senior Fellows

Ivica Ico Bukvic
Ivica Ico Bukvic
Associate Professor, School of Performing Arts
Chris Williams
Christopher Williams
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Matthew Wisnioski
Matthew Wisnioski
Associate Professor, Science and Technology in Society
Tim Baird
Tim Baird
Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Aisling Kelliher
Aisling Kelliher
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Susan Duncan
Susan Duncan
Professor, CALS Research
Lisa McNair
Lisa McNair
Director of the Center for Research in SEAD Education
Doug Bowman
Professor, Computer Science
Akshay Sharma
Akshay Sharma
Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Design


Eric Lyon
Eric Lyon
Associate Professor of Practice, School of Performing Arts

Charles Nichols
Asst Professor, School of Performing Arts

Aki Ishida
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Design

Denis Gracanin
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Joe Wheeler
Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Design

Thomas Tucker
Associate Professor, School of Visual Arts

Paola Zellner
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Design

Joycelyn Wilson
Assistant Professor, School of Education | 540-231-0399

Todd Ogle
Sr. Associate Director, Applied Research and Planning

Deborah Tatar
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Manisha Sharma
Visiting Asst Professor, Sociology

Susan Magliaro
Professor, Educational Psychology

Brook Kennedy
Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Design

James D. Ivory
Associate Professor, Communication

Steve Harrison
Research Scientist, Computer Science

Nicholas F. Polys
Director Visualization, Research & Cluster Computing

Sam Blanchard
Assistant Professor, School of Visual Arts SOVA

Kurt Luther
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, College of Engineering

Faculty Affiliates

Steve Sheetz
Associate Professor, Accounting & Information Systems

Ed Fox
Professor, Computer Science

Susan Duncan
Professor, Food Science and Technology

Kirk Cameron
Professor, Computer Science

David Lally
Academic and Student Support Advisor, Department of Biochemistry

Angela Scarpa-Friedman
Associate Professor, Psychology

Max Stephenson
Professor, UAP and Director, Institute for Policy and Governance

Eric Standley
Associate Professor, School of Visual Arts

Matt Wagner
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Design

Ali Butt
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Ariana Wyatt
Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Performing Arts

Glenda Gillaspy
Professor, Biochemistry

Dan Gallagher
Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Bob Leonard
Professor, School of Performing Arts

Martha Ann Bell
Professor, Psychology

Carlos Evia
Associate Professor, Director of Professional Writing

Andy Morikawa
Fellow, Institute for Policy and Governance

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
Professor, College of Architecture and Urban Studies

Bess Pierce
Bess Pierce
Associate Professor, Small Animal Clinical Sciences

Billie LepczykBillie Lepczyk
Professor, School of Performing Arts

Katherine CennamoKatherine Cennamo
Professor and Department Chair, School of Education

Phyllis NewbillPhyllis Newbill
Studio Associate


David FranusichDavid Franusich

Lucas FreemanLucas Freeman

Huy NgoHuy Ngo

Amanda RedhouseAmanda Redhouse

Disha SardanaDisha Sardana

Reza TasoojiReza Tasooji
Computer Science

Kyriakos TsoukalasKyriakos Tsoukalas

Run Yu
Computer Science