South Korea

Location of South Korea

Map of South Korea


Dong S. Ha was born in Milyang, South Korea.  After graduating from middle school in Milyang, he moved to Seoul to attend Kyung-Bock High School, which was one of the most renowned high schools in South Korea. He studied electrical engineering at Seoul National University and received a BS degree in 1974. As a young engineer full of curiosity in science and engineering, he joined a government run research institution, the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), which conducts research for military applications. He was engaged in various projects such as the development of missile guidance systems and airborne communications and navigation systems. The projects were challenging and often demanded hard work, but he enjoyed them very much. The experience gained through the projects proved to be invaluable to his future professional career.

Although Dong Ha liked life with ADD, which satisfied his intellectual curiosity, he dreamed of higher education. After five years with ADD, he became a graduate student at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, which offered him a much needed research assistantship. After studying linear systems for the first three years, he switched his major to computer engineering. The switch required him to take a new set of undergraduate and graduate courses in computers, although he had already fulfilled the course requirement for a Ph.D. candidate. After a seemingly endless struggle, he received MS and Ph.D. degrees in computer engineering from the University of Iowa in 1984 and 1986, respectively. He investigated testable design and built-in self-test of PLAs (programmable logic arrays) for his Ph.D. dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Sudhakar M. Reddy. The four years under Prof. Reddy were the most valuable of his education.

As graduation approached in spring 1986, he looked for an academic position to satisfy his aspiration of teaching and research. Among several universities which offered him a position, he decided to join Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia. Aside from Virginia Tech's good academic programs and extensive research activities, the beautiful and charming campus town attracted him greatly. Since September 1986, Dong Ha has been a faculty member with the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Dong Ha's mission as a faculty member is to educate and help graduate and undergraduate engineering students pursuing careers in VLSI design and to conduct innovative research in the area of VLSI design and test. He enjoys teaching VLSI design and test, digital design, digital signal processing, and communication systems and likes to meet students in and out of his office. His research interests include low power VLSI design for wireless communications and signal processing, Computer-aided design (CAD), and VLSI testing. He is happy as a faculty member and plans to stay in academia.