BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University alumnus Jamie Hyneman, a special effects expert and inventor best known as co-host and executive producer of the popular TV show “MythBusters,” will be the featured speaker at IU Bloomington’s undergraduate commencement May 7.
The commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., outdoors at IU Memorial Stadium, 1001 E. 17th St. Commencement is free and open to the public. Parking is free.
Hyneman is a former survival expert, charter boat captain, diver, film effects specialist, engineer and inventor as well as a TV host and producer. He has an IU degree in Russian language and linguistics through the Individualized Major Program in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“Few people have done more than Jamie Hyneman to share the fun of science and engineering with a large and enthusiastic audience,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. “As an IU graduate with a degree in Russian linguistics, he has exploded any myth that studying the humanities will not lead to an exciting and successful career. We at Indiana University are delighted and proud to welcome him as the IU Bloomington 2016 undergraduate commencement speaker.”
Born in Marshall, Mich., and raised in Columbus, Hyneman graduated from IU Bloomington in 1981. After college, he started and ran a successful charter business in the Caribbean. Eventually he sailed back to the United States and sought work in film effects. Over the course of 20 years he has had his hands on more than 800 commercials and feature films, first as a technician, then as a manager, and finally as founder of M5 Industries in San Francisco.
“MythBusters” is one of Discovery Channel’s most highly regarded series, having created more than 250 hours of programming and airing in nearly every country that has television and Internet. Known known for its liberal use of high explosives and creative problem-solving, it is credited with inspiring at least two generations to seek careers in science-related fields. It aired its 14th and final season this year.
While producing and hosting “MythBusters” and other television projects, Hyneman was quietly doing work with the National Reconnaissance Office, the U.S. Army, the Office of Naval Research and local law enforcement. He received the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. He has received two honorary doctorates and the Washburn Award from the Boston Museum of Science. Known for well-grounded yet outside-the-box engineering, he lectures regularly on product design and holds patents in a variety of areas.
He lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area. His shop, M5 Industries, where the majority of “MythBusters” was shot, is now a research and development facility and think tank.