Derek first played his first digital games on a Philips MSX1 VG-8020 and knew from childhood, albeit unconsciously, that there was more to experience and learn in a game than just entertainment alone. From his position as an educational scientist Derek is one of the founders of the master's degree programs Health Innovation, Serious Gaming, and Design Driven Innovation.

In 2019 he successfully defended his doctoral thesis Design for Transfer, in which he links neglected educational theories, values from Health and Design with the desire to challenge the infamous serious gaming oxymoron. The concept of metaphorical recontextualization described and proposed in the Game Transfer Model forms a core ingredient of numeral serious games thereafter. In addition, Derek is well versed in design research and the discourse associated with it. Since 2020 Derek holds a position as associate professor of Serious Gaming at NHL Stenden.