Hello, my name is Brett Smith. Most days I am a stagehand, many days I am a student, and some days I am an engineer.

I grew up in a beautiful part of the world, Jackson, Wyoming. This gave a me a love for exploring the world around me, something I still do today, and a love for skiing, something my knees would prefer I didn't do very often. I learned that there’s nothing unusual about being able to fix both a pickup truck that won’t start and desktop computer that can’t get on the internet. I also found that there’s a surprising amount of fun to be had crashing cars into each other, intentionally of course.

While growing up I was encouraged to follow my interest in all things computers. This led me to start a Computer Engineering degree at the University of Utah. My three years of study there gave me a great understanding of the software side of engineering culminating in a year long project to take the full Valve Source engine and work with a small team to modify Counter Strike into something interesting and non-violent. I probably should have realized that engineering was the career for me, but as most 20-somethings do, I knew everything at the time and I decided to run away with the circus.

I spent almost 5 years as a touring lighting technician for Feld Entertainment working on properties like Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I had an incredible time working on 5 continents and in more than 20 countries. As time went on I took on more responsibilities and at various times acted as a flying operator, pyrotechnician, rigger, carpenter, and props master. Because my job during this time mostly focused on lighting repair and maintenance I also gained a lot of experience working with various international AC power distribution systems,  hand soldering cable assemblies, troubleshooting complex electronic systems, and doing board level repair.

After my time with Feld I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to join Cirque du Soleil as an automation technician. My primary responsibility there has been to run various cue tracks during to the show, but in the meantime I have also had the opportunity to work on several interesting and demanding projects. From integrating 32 load cells into an ongoing show, tearing down and rebuilding winches, commissioning new automated effects, overseeing the fabrication of a motorized camera dolly system, and building a drive forming and test cabinet this job has allowed me to continue to grow as an engineer and allowed me to take responsibility for projects of growing significance.

Somewhere in there I joined Sin City Scenic when it went by another name and had a very different management structure. I started as a carpenter just happy to make some sawdust every once in awhile, but as the company transitioned into a full service design and build scene shop my skills became more valuable to the company and I am now their Manager of Electrics and Automation. We are constantly challenged with new ideas from a variety of customers, and we work hand in hand with them during the design and construction process through to delivery to ensure that their vision and expectations are met. I am the go to person for any client that wants something that plugs in and turns on, and I work with them directly to ensure that their idea makes it onto paper in a form we can build. Luckily, I do still find time to make a little sawdust every now and then.

As if that didn’t make for a busy enough schedule, I also attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas to finish off a degree in Electrical Engineering that I started in 2004. My previous work experience helps not only my understanding of the material but also allows me to help my fellow students. My future interests lie mostly in process control and high tech manufacturing systems so I try to tailor my course of study in that general direction. I plan to graduate in the Fall of 2018.