OMAHA – A recognized electronics and robots expert from Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, Grant Imahara has worked on some of the most famous movie and TV robots of all time including R2-D2 and the Energizer Bunny. Now, he’ll appear in Omaha to headline the 2019 Nebraska Science Festival.
On April 5, Imahara will give a talk at the 2019 Nebraska Science Festival and share experiences in science, which includes a current consulting role for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he works on next-generation robots to go into Disney’s theme parks.
Imahara’s visit to Omaha will kick off the seventh annual Nebraska Science Festival, scheduled for April 5-28. The festival features an array of science- and technology-related activities in communities across the state with the goal of making science accessible, interactive, relevant and fun for all ages.
“As an electrical engineer and expert in robotics and animatronics, Grant Imahara has worked in some of Hollywood’s biggest films from Star Wars to Jurassic Park: Lost World,” said SciFest coordinator Kacie Baum. “We are thrilled to have him kick off the Nebraska Science Festival with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).”
Imahara’s presentation, to be held at Joslyn Museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall in Omaha, is free to the public (but requires a reserved ticket) and is suitable for all ages. Tickets for the general admission seating will be released online at Eventbrite (four per person) at noon on March 2 on a first-come, first-served basis; please check nescifest.com for more information. Although the April 5 presentation is free, tickets are required for admittance when doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m.
On Mythbusters, using a blend of science and fun, Imahara and his colleagues put urban legends to the test, sometimes with explosive results. He also brought his unique skills to the White Rabbit Project on Netflix. He has hosted Punkin Chunkin and Killer Robots for Science Channel, and has appeared on Junkyard Wars and Comedy Central’s BattleBots. He also played Lt. Sulu in the critically acclaimed web series Star Trek Continues.
Before his career in front of the camera, Imahara spent nine years working behind the scenes in special effects as an animatronics engineer and modelmaker for George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic. He worked on numerous blockbusters including The Matrix sequels, A.I., Galaxy Quest, Terminator 3, Van Helsing and Star Wars: Episodes 1-3.
He’s worked on some of the most famous movie and TV robots of all time, putting the lights in R2-D2’s dome for the Star Wars prequels and giving the Energizer Bunny his beat. He created the irreverent robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Imahara has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has been on the cover of ROBOT Magazine, IEEE Spectrum and MAKE Magazine. Over the years, he has garnered numerous official commendations from various organizations, including the city of Los Angeles, the city of San Francisco and the White House.
Imahara joins a growing roster of SciFest speakers including (from years past) scientist Bill Nye; “Animal Planet” host and conservationist Jeff Corwin; meteorologist and extreme storm chaser Reed Timmer; actor LeVar Burton, who discussed merging technology, storytelling and science fiction; Kari Byron, host of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and Netflix’s The White Rabbit Project; and ABC News’ chief meteorologist Ginger Zee.
Presented by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Science Festival is a collaboration of organizations and individuals interested in the advancement of science literacy. In addition to UNMC, other sponsors, to date, are Metro Credit Union, the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, and media sponsors KETV and the Omaha World-Herald.
To volunteer as an individual, community site or a science expo booth, go to: www.nescifest.com. In addition to NeSciFest.com, you will find SciFest updates and information on Twitter (@NESciFest) and Facebook (NE SciFest).