First Fridays @ Fusion Studio

First Fridays @ Fusion Studio one-hour virtual workshops provide a monthly opportunity to discuss emerging trends in technology in the entertainment industry, engage with industry experts and practitioners, and explore scholarly works.

First Fridays @ Fusion Studio events are typically held monthly during the academic year, September to December and February to May. You can register to participate in them in real time from this page (when registration is available). You can also watch recordings of previous First Fridays @ Fusion Studio events through the links below.

Inclusive Design of Immersive Entertainment with Kathryn Woodcock

Join Kathryn Woodcock, Toronto Metropolitan University THRILL Lab, as she discusses participation in amusement attractions and draws lessons for eligibility analysis and inclusive design of immersive…

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Behind the Scenes with Sky Elements Drone Shows

Join us as we talk with Sky Elements Drone Shows about working with students from Purdue University to develop a custom drone performance for new student orientation!

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The Use and Ethics of AI in Entertainment

Join us in the Fusion Studio on December 1 as we talk with Erica Bondarev Rapach and Eric Sampson to discuss how AI is being used now in the entertainment industry, how it might be used in the future, and some of the ethical…

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Entertainment, Engineering, and Internships!

Join us in the Fusion Studio with Reilley O’Loughlin (’25) and Mason Nichols (’25) as they share their experiences completing engineering-based internships with Walt Disney Company and Universal Studios.

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3D Scanning Our Stagecraft Heritage with JR Luker

Join us in the Fusion Studio as we chat with JR Norman Luker about his work using 3D scanning technologies to create digital models of historic theatres. JR Norman Luker (he, him) is a Technical Director and Scenic Designer with decades of professional experience in Live Events and…

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The Future of Large Scale Solutions – Show Control: Thinking Outside the Box

Join Jason Pontius, Director of Operations of Smart Monkeys, in the Fusion Studio for a discussion about the future of automation technology and controls integration for live entertainment. Jason will share some basics about this field and then engage attendees in a…

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Robot Dancers & Droid Domes: Using Pop Culture and the Arts to Engage Students in STEM Learning

Join Denise Szecsei of the University of Iowa and Josh Montgomery of Southern State Community College as they share their exciting approaches to engaging students in STEM learning! Watch as we stream Denise’s robot performers…

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Development and Evolution of Show Controls and its Impact on Modern Storytelling

Join John Huntington, author of Show Networks and Control Systems and recently retired from CityTech @ CUNY, as he shares his research on the development history of show technologies. John Huntington led the audio, live video, and network/control areas for many years as a Professor of Entertainment Technology at…

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The Engineering Behind Entertainment with Jeff Reder

Join the Co-Founder of Clark Reder Engineering, Jeff Reder, as he speaks about the ties between engineering and entertainment, drawing from his personal design experience with entertainment structures. Join us as Jeff speaks about his experience with the Superbowl (47-49 and 51), ESPN Winter and Summer X Games, Coachella, Electric Zoo…

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Sky Elements Drone Shows with Rick Boss and Preston Ward

Join Rick Boss, Head of Business Development, and Preston Ward, Chief Pilot and General Counsel of Sky Elements Drone Shows as they discuss what it takes to develop, produce, and perform a high-technology drone performance. “Telling stories with light and sound, using the sky as our canvas, it is our goal to bring quality aerial light shows to…”

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Meet the Winning Team from the 2021 Stage Machine Design Competition

Join us in the Fusion Studio as we chat with the winning team from the 2021 Stage Machine Design Competition! The Stage Machine Design Competition brings together theatre technology students from colleges and universities…

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Gamification of Performance: A Chat with David Carpenter of Gamiotics, Inc.

Join us in the Fusion Studio as we discuss the gamification of performance with David Carpenter of Gamiotics, Inc. David Carpenter has worked in live entertainment for over 20 years. He produced the record breaking 3 year run of Puffs…

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Disney’s DAHA: Design Assurance and Hazard Assessment featuring Eric Hall

With millions of attendees annually, safety has to be a priority at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. To assure projects meet their high standards, they follow a unique Design Assurance/Hazard Assessment protocol (DAHA). Join us…

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Behind the Scenes with TAIT: Exploring Control System Designs

In this session led by Ben Gasper, Technical Sales Manager, and Adam Piotrowski, Senior Control Systems Designer, we will take a walk through TAIT’s control system design and their approach to each customer’s needs and safety requirements.

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Perfecting Your Proposal: Turning an Idea into a Conference Abstract

Developing a proposal for a conference presentation and an abstract for a scholarly paper can be daunting. Join Dr. Mary Pilotte and Professor Rich Dionne, co-directors of the…

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Themed Experiences and Attractions: A Conversation with Peter Weishar of TEAAS

Peter Weishar, Professor of Themed Experience and Program Director of the Themed Experience MFA track at the University of Central…

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The New Product Engineering Design Process for a new Rigging Control System at Wenger/JR Clancy

Dale Hourlland, Engineering Manager, and Patrick Finn, Product Manager, join us in…

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Get to Know a Professional: Kimberly Corbett Oates

Join us for a conversation with Kimberly Corbett Oates (ASTC) from Schuler Shook. In this informal discussion, we will discuss her career, her passion for engineering, and explore some of her favorite projects. Q&A to follow. Kimberly’s introduction to the stage was as a young dancer…

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Smoke and Mirrors? Art, Engineering, & Science: Acoustics for Entertainment Projects

Join us for a conversation with David Schwind, acoustical engineer and consultant, as he presents a talk entitled “Smoke and Mirrors? Art, Engineering, & Science: Acoustics for Entertainment Projects,” during which he will share a number of highlights from his long…

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Collaborating Across Communities: Updates on the 2021 Symposium on Education in Entertainment and Engineering

Join Dr. Mary Pilotte, Co-Director of the Fusion Studio, Dr. Lori Sipe, Associate Professor, Hospitality and Tourism Management, San Diego State University and Chair of the Symposium Committee for the Themed…

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Wellness, Productivity, and the Entertainment Industry: A Conversation with Brian MacInnis Smallwood

Join us in the Fusion Studio as we chat with Brian MacInnis Smallwood as we talk about the importance of mental, physical, and emotional well being in the entertainment industry. Brian is the author of Productivity Through Wellness for Live Entertainment…

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Timing, Latency, and Live Performance

We are joined this month by Catherine Skokan and Robert Klimek from Colorado School of Mines (CSM) as they discuss the challenges of latency and timing in real-time performance. Q&A to follow. Catherine Skokan is an associate professor emerita of geophysical engineering at CSM and a musician who has played violin with the CSM…

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