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Detroit Section Meeting Recap

May 24, 2024

On Monday May 20th the Detroit Section of SMPTE visited the new facilities of the University of Michigan's Center for Academic Innovation.

Tim O'Brien and Chris Goosman have designed the infrastructure and facilities around an all digital system that allows them to route anything in the building to any of the facilities, including 12G transport over 10GB fiber networks and ADDERlink KVM solutions to allow control of almost any system from multiple locations.  The facility is about as future proof as they could make it.

Among other facilities, they have a virtual production stage (article here). But the day-to-day work is helping faculty design and record online courses with the help of learning experience designers and a crew of talented media technicians and media designers.  To that end they have 4 smaller studios, a large black box studio, two control rooms, and 11 edit rooms.  All content is captured as isolated media streams, but the tech in the room electronically marks the recordings in progress to generate an EDL used to auto-assemble a rough cut, which is finished by one of their editors.  This all gets cataloged and saved for possible future uses.  As many of our members know, having a good library - and being able to find what you seek - is one of the hallmarks of a well run operation.

A lot of their content is headed for Coursera, EdX, and Michigan Online, and the virtual production stage allows them to create content that would otherwise be inaccessible. For example, their team of digital artists created a virtual version of the UM's nuclear reactor that was decommissioned over 10 years ago. Students in nuclear engineering will soon be able to "run" the reactor virtually - and much more safely.

This is a photo of our small group at the May meeting of the Detroit chapter, standing on a "virtual beach".


Pictured left to right are:

  • Tiff Crutchfield, UM tech support for the Arthur Miller Theater
  • Chris Goosman, Detroit Manager, Media Infrastructure Engineer Lead for UM Center for Academic Innovations
  • Paul Sutherland, UM Film, TV, & Media Instructional Support and Equipment Checkout Manager
  • Chris Hill, Life Member, retired
  • Peter Koenig, WDIV-TV (NBC), Assistant Director of Technology
  • Tim O'Brien, Detroit Manager, TechnicalInnovation and Platforms Lead for UM Center for Academic Innovations
  • Tom Bray, Chair, Detroit Section, LIfe Member (not pictured, but took the photo)
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