July 28th and 29th, 2023
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Registration for the 2023 Symposium is closed.

The live entertainment industry presents increasingly complex challenges for technicians—whether in small community theatres or in large theme parks. At the same time, the shape of post-secondary education is changing—with an increasing emphasis on hands-on learning and outcome-based instructional design becoming the norm. At the convergence of these threads is the need to effectively prepare and educate students to enter the rapidly changing world of live entertainment technology.

The annual Symposium on Education in Entertainment and Engineering highlights advances, challenges, and trends in curricular design, instructional design, academic research, and cross-disciplinary work related to the intersection of engineering and live entertainment. This symposium is specifically aimed at building bridges between two exceptionally different academic and professional cultures and practices; presentations come from many different backgrounds and academic experiences. Symposium topics explore the interstitial spaces amongst the disciplines of engineering, theatre technology, and education, including the following topic areas:

  • Industry relevant curricular development (including novel curricular design, bridging academic silos, and developing strategies for success, etc.)
  • Curating professional development approaches for the workforce of the future in this industry sector.
  • Creating and navigating academic/industrial partnerships
  • Navigating academic accreditation processes and concerns
  • Exploring the relationship between “traditional research” and “creative endeavor”
  • Engaging in industry standards development and embedding standards, ethics of care, and sustainability in our practices.
  • Offering exemplars of research design/case-studies, instructional design and novel pedagogy in interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary fields (Art+ Engineering, Technology…)
  • Promoting K-12 and Post-Secondary education (STEAM), summer and extra-curricular programming, and diversity/inclusion outreach
  • Examining the relationship between traditional instruction, engineering design and production/performance work
  • Introducing technology – AI, VR, drones, etc.…conceptualizing their impact on the future of the entertainment industry at large
  • Unpacking disciplinary needs, unique languages/practices, and managing interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary challenges to grow this emergent interdisciplinary field.

Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering

Symposium Schedule:

Friday, July 28th
4:30 – 5:30 PM ET — Event Registration & Check In
5:30 PM — Meet & Greet Reception (Yes, there is food!)
5:30 – 6:30 PM — Poster Presentations & People’s Choice “Voting”
6:30 – 7:00 PM — Conference Introduction & Welcome

Saturday, July 29th
8:00 – 8:30 AM ET — Check In
8:30 AM — Event Introduction & Overview

9:00 AM — Presentation #1:
The History and Evolution of Immersion in Entertainment – Dr. Catherine Skokan and Dr. Robert Klimek | Colorado School of Mines

9:30 AM — Presentation #2:
Welcome to Gamiotics: Powering Gamification of Audience Engagement – Caroline Prugh | Director of Theatrical Licensing, Gamiotics & David Carpenter | Founder & CEO, Gamiotics

10:00 – 10:20 AM — Break

10:20 – 10:50 AM — Presentation #3:
A Game of Telephone: Interdisciplinary Experience Making of Interactive Audiences – Dr. William Lewis | Purdue University

10:50 – 11:30 AM — Presentation #4:
Game Design Inspired by Scientific Concepts of Quantum Physics – Dr. Sunanda Prabhu Gaunkar and Nancy Kawalek | University of Chicago

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM — Lunch Break and Networking

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM — Workshop: The Interpersonal Relationship Between Engineers and Artists, Facilitated by David Theis, AV Design Engineer at AVI-SPL

2:00 – 2:20 PM — Break

2:20 – 3:30 PM — Moderated Breakout Sessions
3:30 – 4:30 PM — Featured Speaker: Kati Murphy, Vice President of Public Relations at Meow Wolf
4:30 – 5:00 PM — Closing Remarks
5:30 PM — Optional Dinner @ Walt’s Other Pub

Featured Speaker

Kati Murphy, Vice President of Public Relations and Communications at Meow Wolf

We are thrilled to welcome Kati Murphy as our featured speaker at this year’s symposium! Kati Murphy serves as Vice President, Public Relations and Communications at Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe based arts production company known for their perspective shifting installations in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and Denver.

Recognized in Fast Company’s World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies (2022 and 2020), Meow Wolf is a Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment company that creates immersive, interactive experiences to transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. The company’s first location in Santa Fe opened in 2016 and showcases the THEA Award-winning, international sensation, House Of Eternal Return, where two million visitors have now discovered a multidimensional mystery house with secret passages, portals to magical worlds, and surreal, maximalist and mesmerizing art exhibits. In 2019, Meow Wolf expanded beyond Santa Fe and opened Kaleidoscape, the world’s first artist-driven ride at Elitch Gardens in Denver. Meow Wolf opened their second permanent installation, Omega Mart, at AREA15 in Las Vegas and their third permanent installation in Denver, Convergence Station, in 2021. Meow Wolf recently announced their next upcoming exhibitions, opening in Grapevine in summer 2023, and Houston in 2024. Meow Wolf is proud to be the only certified B-Corporation in the themed entertainment industry, with a team dedicated to social impact building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Interactive Interdisciplinary Workshop: The Interpersonal Relationship Between Engineers and Artists

David Theis, AV Design Engineer at AVI-SPL

David Theis is currently a Design Engineer for AVI-SPL and holds a 1991 BS in Theatre Engineering from Purdue. He is a former Imagineer whose work spanning 25 years can be found in every Disney park worldwide including the technical direction of parkwide entertainment show systems for new parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai. He has consulted with major manufacturers on new product designs, work for which he holds an international patent.  He has a history of developing unusual and engaging educational content for the industry which has been seen in venues such as ISE, InfoComm and Sennheiser’s Installed Sound Academy. David Theis enjoys sharing the insights he has gained over 30 years of experience designing audio, video and control systems for a variety of applications including entertainment, educational, corporate, branding and control centers.

This interactive workshop explores the range and diversity of personalities involved in applying complex technology to entertainment applications including their goals, fears and behavioral motivations.  While it’s easy to ideally want to see needs and concerns from someone else’s perspective, actually doing so can prove to be difficult. Through a series of exercises, the participants will learn to view the creative and production processes through lenses they may not have looked through before. This is a chance to gain insight into how someone with different priorities is using the unique advantage they provide to make progress toward the same collaborative goal. Participants will leave this workshop with specific techniques they can use to have successful and productive interactions with their team members on any future project.

Scholarly Presentations

The History and Evolution of Immersion in Entertainment, Dr. Catherine Skokan & Dr. Robert Klimek, Colorado School of Mines

Welcome to Gamiotics: Powering The Gamification of Audience Engagement, Caroline Prugh and David Carter, Gamiotics

A Game of Telephone: Interdisciplinary Experience Making of Interactive Audiences, Dr. William Lewis, Purdue University

Game Design Inspired by Scientific Concepts of Quantum Physics, Dr. Sunanda Prabhu Gaunkar & Uri Zvi, University of Chicago


A block of rooms for the nights of July 28th and July 29th has been arranged at the Hilton Garden Inn for $119 plus tax, per night. When making your reservation use the group name SEEE. You can make your reservations by visiting the Hotel’s website here: or by calling 765-743-2100.

We also have on campus accommodations for $72.80 per night (tax included). You can reserve one of these rooms on the registration page on step #3, additional items. On campus accommodations are at First Street Towers. If lodging at First Street Towers, please bring your own toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.).


Registration for the 2023 Symposium is closed!

If you have any questions or need assistance, please email us at fusion-studio@purdue.edu.


Proposal submission for the 2024 SEEE will open in August 2023.

Previous Symposia

2019 Symposium

Purdue University; West Lafayette, Indiana

2020 Symposium

Co-hosted by Purdue University and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV); online

2021 Symposium

Co-hosted by Purdue University and the Themed Experience and Attractions Academic Society (TEAAS); Orlando, Florida