MythBusters Features Tech This Week; Watch At MACEY Center

SOCORRO, N.M. September 26, 2011 -- The Discovery Channel show MythBusters has developed a home-away-from-home in New Mexico. The popular TV show has visited New Mexico Tech four times and filmed eight experiments at the university’s large-scale test range to the west of the main campus.

Grant Imahara (right) gets a tour of the physics department at New Mexico Tech during a recent visit. At left is Tyler McCracken, graduate student, explaining his research.

Kari Byron, MythBusters star, during filming at EMRTC during the summer of 2010.

The shows filmed at Tech will air Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Wednesday, Oct. 12. The third episode with Tech footage will air at a date yet to be determined – but probably during the all-important Sweeps Week in November.

All Techies are invited to watch this week’s episode on the big screen TV in the Macey Center auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday. (The showing had been moved to Fidel Center, but technical issues have been resolved at Macey.) Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show features not only the stars of the show, but several engineers and scientists from the Energetic Material Research and Testing Center at New Mexico Tech.

The show’s developers at Beyond Productions have filmed some of the MythBuster’s most dramatic explosives and impacts at New Mexico Tech.  Three of the stars of the show – Grant Imahara, Cari Byron and Tory Belleci – filmed three new tests this summer. Those three experiments will air this fall.

In a new promotional video that will be shown on campus, Byron said New Mexico Tech is one of the show’s favorite places.

“We come here when we need to blow something up really, really big or shoot off a rocket,” show star Cari Byron said. “Where do you go when you need to make a rocket-powered super-plow? Well, New Mexico Tech.”

The relationship between New Mexico Tech and MythBusters started several years ago when Dr. Van Romero, vice president of research, and Graham Walsh, a doctoral student at the time, were invited to be consultants for a segment shot in California. Romero and Walsh, who earned his doctorate at Tech earlier this year, have become regular on-camera guests of the shows filmed at Tech. Many other explosives experts and technicians from Tech have appeared on the show over the past two years.

Imahara, who has a degree in electrical engineering and has worked as a special effects expert, presented a one-man show for Tech students in August. He talked about his experience working with George Lucas, being a MythBuster and answered questions from students.

Techies showed up in force for a similar public forum in 2010. More than 500 students and community members came out to hear Imahara, Byron and Belluci speak and peppered them with questions about the show.


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By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech