Where Engineering Meets the Arts

“”You’ve scored tickets to a big show on the Las Vegas Strip. A Cirque du Soleil show, say. Or “Phantom of the Opera.” And something happens up there onstage.

A body sinks slowly to the bottom of the sea, trailing a swirl of iridescent bubbles as it descends. An enormous stage slowly tilts 90 degrees on its axis, spilling what had been a sandy beach over the abyss like an amber waterfall. A glittering chandelier plummets from the ceiling, halting mere feet above your head.

And you sit there stunned, wondering: How did they do that?

Someone has to figure out the technological trickery that creates the sort of staggering stage magic for which Vegas is famous. And UNLV is taking the lead, inaugurating a multidisciplinary program merging engineering technical expertise with the creative instincts of the fine arts — with the priceless advantage of access to the largest laboratory in the world, the Las Vegas Strip.”

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