UNLV's EED program

porkchop

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Question on your (future) accreditation (hopefully, congrats!): why wait? UNLV was on my list of potential schools a couple of years ago, but I wanted an ABET-accredited program. UNLV at the time was eligible for accreditation (there were graduates), but it was not. Has something changed? Why wait a few more years?
Also, any plans for a future graduate program?
Is there an ABET accredited entertainment program you know of? Most of the traditional engineering programs at UNLV are ABET accredited but to my knowledge currently Entertainment Engineering isn't an accredited discipline (yet at least).
 

mbrown3039

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Is there an ABET accredited entertainment program you know of? Most of the traditional engineering programs at UNLV are ABET accredited but to my knowledge currently Entertainment Engineering isn't an accredited discipline (yet at least).
You are correct -- every Engineering major at UNLV is ABET-accredited except EED. There is no ABET-accredited program of this type (or similar) anywhere in the US. Mike
 

MNicolai

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Closest ones who are ABET are probably the schools with interdisciplinary programs like Purdue. Not sure there are many that are appealing to entertainment, though I believe some have a little "Choose your own adventure" flexibility.

I would be curious what the intended goal for these students is.

Are they pursuing licensures as Professional Engineers?
Will states even recognize this as an engineering discipline?
Will states offer reciprocity for this field of engineering? Even in the traditional engineering disciplines, applying for reciprocity across state lines is a colossal time investment in paperwork and having one's ducks in row and some state boards are pickier than others in what they will accept.
 
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BillConnerFASTC

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Closest ones who are ABET are probably the schools with interdisciplinary programs like Purdue. Not sure there are many that are appealing to entertainment, though I believe some have a little "Choose your own adventure" flexibility.

I would be curious what the intended goal for these students is.

Are they pursuing licensures as Professional Engineers?
Will states even recognize this as an engineering discipline?
Will states offer reciprocity for this field of engineering? Even in the traditional engineering disciplines, applying for reciprocity across state lines is a colossal time investment in paperwork and having one's ducks in row and some state boards are pickier than others in what they will accept.
Good questions. There seem to be very few registered design professionals in the entertainment industry. I know few structural who work for manufacturers, and of course a few firms that have an expertise in entertainment technology - but not as the segment they work in. I don't know of any registered electrical engineers or mechanical who are near exclusive to entertainment technology.

I know among manufacturers, it clearly appears to be more successful to hire a theatre person and develop their engineering, than hire an engineer and try to develop their interest in, understanding of, and passion for theatre. I'd say same goes for consulting, though there are a few ee's who have transitioned from electrical engineering to theatre consulting (and practice as unregistered design professionals). To much variety in sales to know but I'd say most of the best started in theatre. Likewise - the people working in an organization that produces - I think the majority came from theatre training, not engineering.
 
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Quillons

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Is there an ABET accredited entertainment program you know of?
Not that I was able to find. When I was looking at schools, I think Purdue had some sort of entertainment engineering minor, which appears to have transitioned into a Multidisciplinary Engineering major (ABET accredited) with a focus in Theatre Engineering. I did a quick look at ABET's website, searching for programs with "thea", "dram" or"enterta" in the name and I got no results.
To get a (somewhat) comparable education experience right now, a student needs to find an engineering degree (probably mechanical, civil, or electrical) at a school that has both engineering and theatre. Those schools tend to be larger universities, which generally means the engineering coursework would become more theoretical (labs are expensive) and the more money the theatre program has, the more competitive it tends to be. So it's a challenging mix of finding a large-enough school to have both science and art, but not too large that one becomes paper-pushing and the other out-of-reach.
Then once a student is in school, they might run out of time for extracurriculars/classes outside the degree. Engineering is hard, and if an engineer screws up, they might kill people. So the ABET-accredited programs (I think it's a requirement?) are pretty strict- think of a BFA conservatory program and a student trying to take engineering classes outside of that (never mind the prerequisites). My degree allows for two humanities electives and a communications elective, every other credit is already spoken for.
 

mbrown3039

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Not that I was able to find. When I was looking at schools, I think Purdue had some sort of entertainment engineering minor, which appears to have transitioned into a Multidisciplinary Engineering major (ABET accredited) with a focus in Theatre Engineering. I did a quick look at ABET's website, searching for programs with "thea", "dram" or"enterta" in the name and I got no results.
To get a (somewhat) comparable education experience right now, a student needs to find an engineering degree (probably mechanical, civil, or electrical) at a school that has both engineering and theatre. Those schools tend to be larger universities, which generally means the engineering coursework would become more theoretical (labs are expensive) and the more money the theatre program has, the more competitive it tends to be. So it's a challenging mix of finding a large-enough school to have both science and art, but not too large that one becomes paper-pushing and the other out-of-reach.
Then once a student is in school, they might run out of time for extracurriculars/classes outside the degree. Engineering is hard, and if an engineer screws up, they might kill people. So the ABET-accredited programs (I think it's a requirement?) are pretty strict- think of a BFA conservatory program and a student trying to take engineering classes outside of that (never mind the prerequisites). My degree allows for two humanities electives and a communications elective, every other credit is already spoken for.
You hit the nail right on the head, and that is why we're looking at re-defining the two current tracks (and maybe add another) to allow for that "pure" engineer and the more "hands on" installer and/or operator. it's a tough rope act to balance without also turning it into some sort of 14-year "professional student" odyssey of an experience...mike
 

mbrown3039

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To be relegated to endlessly sweeping up cork, nearby.
Or you could be an Imagineer at Disney....or a Field Engineer for Tait....or work with pyro on the Strip...or a Flight Director for Foy....or the #2 designer at a consulting firm that currently has projects in NYC, Boston, DFW, Vegas, LA, Singapore, Manila and Macao.

But hey -- if your goal is to be the cork sweeper at Ka, we'll support you in that, too! Mike
 

mbrown3039

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Closest ones who are ABET are probably the schools with interdisciplinary programs like Purdue. Not sure there are many that are appealing to entertainment, though I believe some have a little "Choose your own adventure" flexibility.

I would be curious what the intended goal for these students is.

Are they pursuing licensure as Professional Engineers?
Will states even recognize this as an engineering discipline?
Will states offer reciprocity for this field of engineering? Even in the traditional engineering disciplines, applying for reciprocity across state lines is a colossal time investment in paperwork and having one's ducks in row and some state boards are pickier than others in what they will accept.
Sorry for the delay in replying to this. I am not an engineer and wanted to check in with faculty for the correct answers to your questions.

Each student has their own goal, of course, but in regards to being PEs, the EED program in and of itself does not require it. Should they go on to grad work in one of the "traditional" engineering disciplines, then that changes. As far as we know, no state recognizes "entertainment engineering" as a discipline, but we will tackle that right after we get our ABET accreditation. And then we can worry about reciprocity, which is -- as you mentioned -- no easy feat, even among the traditional disciplines. Mike
 

cbrandt

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Michigan
My degree (Entertainment and Theatre Technology) was structured exactly this way. It was a BFA from the theatre department, but had a heavy focus on engineering. You could focus on EE, ME, or CS as a minor component. This fit nicely with what I went to school intending to do, which was a major in ME, and a minor in theater technology.

My focus shifted, which is why I ended up without a major in ME, and this program accommodated this shift really nicely while still honoring the time and energy that went into my engineering classes. You may reach out to Michigan Technological University's Visual and Performing Arts Department to see how this has panned out for other students. I was a very early graduate out of the major program, so I'm not sure how it has evolved in the last 10 years or so.
 
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MNicolai

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Sorry for the delay in replying to this. I am not an engineer and wanted to check in with faculty for the correct answers to your questions.

Each student has their own goal, of course, but in regards to being PEs, the EED program in and of itself does not require it. Should they go on to grad work in one of the "traditional" engineering disciplines, then that changes. As far as we know, no state recognizes "entertainment engineering" as a discipline, but we will tackle that right after we get our ABET accreditation. And then we can worry about reciprocity, which is -- as you mentioned -- no easy feat, even among the traditional disciplines. Mike
Many engineering programs don't push students to pursue PE's, but if you are entering a role where it is required you will have the most success with the least pain getting your EIT immediately after college. Fast forward a couple years, your math and engineering skills get foggy and taking the exams is much harder.

The broader concern I have is areas of operation. There is a need for entertainment industry knowledgeable Professional Engineers, but our industry is such that people are commonly touring or moving around. Once you get your PE, you have very little flexibility to move around. In cases where the individual stays put but their engineered solutions go on tour, there are often state-specific rules delineating where a PE stamp is required for permanent structures vs structures assembled on-site, and not all states are consistent on what they require.

For context, my firm has offices in 4 states but to operate in all 50 we have a company wide database of 400 employees. If we are invited to join a project in Wyoming, we need to use PE's licensed in WY to be our Engineers of Records on those projects. Typically a structural PE, a mechanical PE, and an electrical PE. If we do not have someone on staff who fits that bill, we need to partner with local PE's who will bear that responsibility. Mind you, we are in the construction business not the entertainment business -- but that is how PE's navigate the various state rules.

From a practical standpoint, I don't expect these are insurmountable issues but if you are developing an engineering program for this industry then I would expect UNLV to represent those complexities to their prospective students as they decide whether to invest a lot of money to pursue a career path that may have some obstacles associated with it. I would also expect someone is engaging with your state engineering board on how to direct focus of this curriculum appropriately, either with the express intent that this can become PE track, or that it has no intention to be a PE track. Anything wishy washy in between seems like a disservice to students who are investing in educations that may or may not be preparing them for what they're expecting.
 
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mbrown3039

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Many engineering programs don't push students to pursue PE's, but if you are entering a role where it is required you will have the most success with the least pain getting your EIT immediately after college. Fast forward a couple years, your math and engineering skills get foggy and taking the exams is much harder.

The broader concern I have is areas of operation. There is a need for entertainment industry knowledgeable Professional Engineers, but our industry is such that people are commonly touring or moving around. Once you get your PE, you have very little flexibility to move around. In cases where the individual stays put but their engineered solutions go on tour, there are often state-specific rules delineating where a PE stamp is required for permanent structures vs structures assembled on-site, and not all states are consistent on what they require.

For context, my firm has offices in 4 states but to operate in all 50 we have a company wide database of 400 employees. If we are invited to join a project in Wyoming, we need to use PE's licensed in WY to be our Engineers of Records on those projects. Typically a structural PE, a mechanical PE, and an electrical PE. If we do not have someone on staff who fits that bill, we need to partner with local PE's who will bear that responsibility. Mind you, we are in the construction business not the entertainment business -- but that is how PE's navigate the various state rules.

From a practical standpoint, I don't expect these are insurmountable issues but if you are developing an engineering program for this industry then I would expect UNLV to represent those complexities to their prospective students as they decide whether to invest a lot of money to pursue a career path that may have some obstacles associated with it. I would also expect someone is engaging with your state engineering board on how to direct focus of this curriculum appropriately, either with the express intent that this can become PE track, or that it has no intention to be a PE track. Anything wishy washy in between seems like a disservice to students who are investing in educations that may or may not be preparing them for what they're expecting.
In the construction world (the world I live in the most), that scenario plays out here (in Nevada) all the time. A local architect and engineer/s must be the professionals "of record" for any construction project (or, at least, an firm with a local office and a Nevada-licensed professional -- it's not unusual to see an architecture or engineering firm open an office in Vegas for a year or two just for a specific project). M
 

KacyC

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To get a (somewhat) comparable education experience right now, a student needs to find an engineering degree (probably mechanical, civil, or electrical) at a school that has both engineering and theatre. Those schools tend to be larger universities, which generally means the engineering coursework would become more theoretical (labs are expensive) and the more money the theatre program has, the more competitive it tends to be. So it's a challenging mix of finding a large-enough school to have both science and art, but not too large that one becomes paper-pushing and the other out-of-reach.
Then once a student is in school, they might run out of time for extracurriculars/classes outside the degree. Engineering is hard, and if an engineer screws up, they might kill people. So the ABET-accredited programs (I think it's a requirement?) are pretty strict- think of a BFA conservatory program and a student trying to take engineering classes outside of that (never mind the prerequisites). My degree allows for two humanities electives and a communications elective, every other credit is already spoken for.
It depends a lot on the program. I went to an ABET-accredited engineering program at a small liberal arts college and had plenty of opportunity to take electives outside engineering. I minored in theatre, and I could have had a double major had I chose a few different classes or stayed an extra semester. I did pass the FE exam. But to do that, I definitely had to create my own path. As a smaller school, I had a lot of support in doing that from both departments. It fit within their philosophy. I don’t think I would have been able to combine the two as I did had I gone to a large university. Of course, that was long before the Purdue and UNLV programs...
 
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mbrown3039

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A long-overdue update on our 10-year peer review: two industry reviewers spent several days on campus looking over the program. They met with faculty, visited the facilities and also met with several members of the Advisory Board, as well as some local employers who frequently find interns/employees from within the EED ranks. In summary, their findings were as follows:

1. The course catalog is well thought out and relevant; they particularly liked that either track can be completed in four traditional years (i.e., if the student is FT spring and fall, then no summer work is needed);
2. Community support is strong and diverse; local internship and employment opportunities are a strong plus for the program;
3. Program growth is outpacing the program's facilities, and at an exponential rate; even though the program just moved into a new building, that building will be too small within a few semesters -- the school needs to invest construction dollars into the program (the NV State Legislature just approved the state's portion of the funds needed for a new Engineering building, so we're hopeful a portion of that building will be for the EED program).

All in all, we're pretty happy with the review we got. Everything they mentioned are tings we are actively working on already, although some (like a new building) might take a few days to sort out, lol. m