Elizabeth "Missy" Bye (Apparel Design) has been appointed head of the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel (DHA) in the University of Minnesota's College of Design. The appointment of Bye, a professor in the department, became effective June 20, following the 16-year tenure of Becky Yust (Housing Studies). Bye becomes the department's fifth head in DHA's 28-year history - the second since the College of Design was founded in 2006.
"Missy Bye is a productive scholar, a popular teacher and a respected colleague," said Tom Fisher (Architecture), dean of the college. "Those traits, combined with her characteristic humility and sense of humor, will serve her well as she carries on the great tradition of strong leadership at DHA, and helps lead the department forward during a time of considerable change in higher education. We all look forward to working with her."
As a professor in the College of Design, Bye co-directs the Wearable Product Design Center, which is an innovative, synergistic "think-tank" that allows researchers to explore methods and technologies that will change how we design, produce and wear clothing. She also coordinates research in the Wearable Innovation Studio -- a space for collaborative development of wearable prototypes and materials testing using current and developing technologies that address issues at the intersection of formation and performance of wearable products.
Utilizing body scanner technology in the Human Dimensioning© Lab, she has developed new ways to analyze body measurements, thereby optimizing fit across a range of sizes, advancing the fit of maternity wear and comparing virtual versus live fit evaluation. One of Bye's current projects, supported by a University of Minnesota Imagine Fund grant, explores and evaluates ultrasonic welding technology for applications that extend beyond its traditional use in low cost medical and industrial applications.
"DHA has a strong reputation for quality, achievement and a culture of looking forward," said Bye. "Our disciplines bring different perspectives to our collective focus on the interactions among people and their near environments, and support a rich, diverse community -- which is the right environment for innovation. I want to strengthen our emphasis on interdisciplinary work around a mission and purpose that transcends individual disciplines. The desire to make a difference in the larger community is something we all share and that is my motivation to serve as department chair."
Bye's professional experience includes work with Nike, Uniforms To You and Gerber Garment Technology. She recently completed a book, "Fashion Design," to introduce undergraduates to the central concepts of fashion design with a focus on significant cultural, economic and ethical issues that designers must balance in the global apparel industry. One of her current collaborative projects, Sustainability for a Global Society: Beginning at Home, explores the role of apparel designers in developing sustainable apparel products and extends our understanding of apparel design practices.
Bye received a doctorate from the College of Human Ecology at the University of Minnesota with a focus on apparel product development. She has a bachelor of science degree in textile science and a master of science degree in apparel design from Virginia Tech.