October 17, 2018

AZ Tech Beat Visits UAT on #ExposeTheAwesome Tour

Expose the Awesome

UAT was the last stop on AZ Tech Beat‘s #ExposeTheAwesome Tour, where they had a neat idea to interview cool companies in various technology fields throughout the summer. We had a busy day planned for AZTB Editor Tishin Donkersley, Community Manager Ryan Loebe and Film Intern Xavier Smith, but we knew they were ready for it!

First, they sat down with Provost Dr. David Bolman to find out why UAT is unique and how access to great technology molds our students into innovators for the future. Dr. Bolman had no trouble expressing his enthusiasm for technology and how important UAT is to filling the STEM career pipeline in Arizona.

Tishin Donkersley interviews Provost David Bolman

Tishin Donkersley interviews Provost David Bolman

As suggested by Dr. Bolman, we gave Network Forensics Professor Diane Barrett a phone call, as she lives remotely and teaches online classes, to inquire how different the reality of cyber forensics is from how it’s portrayed on television. Interestingly enough, most TV shows tend to exaggerate the time it takes to conduct these type of investigations. They are never solved within an hour like Hollywood would have you think.

Next, the AZTB crew was led on a tour of campus, having a chance to peek into each classroom, lab, workshop and office; asking questions, snapping photos and broadcasting to periscope along the way.

Professor Nelson explaining what machines are in the Maker Lab

Professor Nelson explaining what machines are in the Maker Lab

We decided to check out the Maker’s Lab and speak with Digital Maker and Fabrication Professor Spencer Nelson about all of the tools available for students to use. There is a 3D printer, a laser engraver, vinyl cutter, Roland CNC Mill, vacuum former, foam cutter, various hand power tools and more! Everything you need for building models, making signs or designing props. Just ask Professor Nelson if you want to use a tool, but don’t know where to start.

While wrapping up an interview with Professor Nelson, we were able to catch Professor Vesna Dragojlov to ask about wearable technology. Professor Dragojlov thinks that women could have some influence on wearable tech if it’s fused with fashion.

Next, we took a moment to talk film production with Professor Paul DeNigris and film students Jordan Wippell and Brandon Scott. Tishin asked what trends are hot for filming special effects and believe it or not, the audience has struggled with feeling that CGI looks real for some time now, so film sets are looking back to techniques from the 70s of building small models to make the environment appear more realistic. They also got to explore the Green Room and Film Production room see where all the editing magic happens.

Professor Mark Fedasiuk in the Robotics Hardware Lab

Professor Mark Fedasiuk in the Robotics Hardware Lab

The tour continued on to the Robotics Hardware Lab where Professor Mark Fedasiuk talked about the Robotics and Embedded Systems degree. He also demonstrated a Harry Potter location clock, built by a robotics student and talked about upcoming trainings with VEX Robotics.

With back-to-back interviews all morning, the AZ Tech Beat crew was famished, so we had lunch in the campus cafe among tech students who were refueling before an afternoon of classes.

Our last stop for the day was to the New Technologies Lab to speak with UAT Game Studios Professor Derric Clark to find out the latest news in video game creation. Professor Clark described the types of gaming degrees we offer, what our game students are expected to do, how gaming is shaping the landscape in Phoenix and also gave a short teaser about a cool project the game students are working on to bring the Hohokam Ruins and Canals to life with a simulated map.

We really enjoyed showing AZ Tech Beat around our campus and can’t wait to see their video footage from the tour!

AZ Tech Beat


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