Celebrating Our Graduates! Leigh Witek, theatre engineer bridging artistic vision and technical execution

Event Date: December 14, 2020
Leigh Witek, a December 2020 graduate in Multidisciplinary Engineering, is joining the ranks in a new field gaining ground in both popularity and need - theatre engineering. She is one of few who have graduated with the degree concentration at the only university with an ABET-accredited program for theatre engineering. Leigh also holds a B.A. in Theatre Design and Production from the College of Liberal Arts.

Leigh Witek, headshot in the stairwell of ARMS

We asked Leigh a few questions earlier in the semester before for her next giant leap. 

Meet Leigh

Why did you choose Theatre Engineering as your concentration in Multidisciplinary Engineering?
I chose Theatre Engineering because I was determined to find a career that could combine my loves for storytelling and solving complex problems. My passion for design lies in translating the visions of multiple stakeholders into a cohesive, functional, and safe product. With the fast-paced and collaborative nature of entertainment, I get to do both and put a smile on people's faces.

Leigh working on an electrical component for a set in the shop located in Pao Hall Leigh and Janna working on a component for the stage in the shop located in Pao Hall

Photos Circa May 2019: Leigh is working on an electrical component (second photo with Janna Jackson, '19 MDE Theatre Engineering) for a stage machinery competition hosted at Purdue. The shop, competitions, and work completed by students for theatre productions are located in Pao Hall.

What are your future plans?
I am in the interview process looking for careers involving the development and integration of automation solutions. Down the road, I am hoping to build skills in project management. I learned a lot from my internship at Creative Conners fabricating automation equipment and loved working directly with clients and bidding for projects at PRG Las Vegas. I am hoping to once again combine my skillsets as a project manager with an engineering background.

UPDATE: Leigh will be working as a controls engineer at J.R. Clancy in Syracuse, New York. She will be working on circuit design, programming, and commissioning for theater automation systems. 

Leigh receives academic award from Dr. Mary Pilotte
In January 2020, Leigh was a recipient of the Outstanding Senior Academic Achievement award. 

Do you have a favorite memory in Multidisciplinary Engineering?
I was fortunate to meet many alumni at the MDE/IDES 50th anniversary event. I got to see many different applications of our degree program and hear great stories from alumni about their time at Purdue. This was also a great weekend to plan and execute with my senior class.

Leigh hosting alumni at the MDE/IDES 50th anniversary VIP dinner
Photo circa September 2019 at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies and Multidisciplinary Engineering.

With a passion for your field in mind, what makes your heart sing?
My heart sings when I see people enjoying a project I worked on. I just hope that whatever I design makes the user's day a little better.

Leigh Witek