Nancy O'Dell

Spotlight On...includes information and depiction suggestions on engineers
for YOU...the creative community.

Hopefully, this information will not only be the impetus for fresh story ideas but will also imbue scripts with realistic and accurate portrayals of engineers. It is designed to enhance the creative process--not limit it!

Need Writing Tips?

 First Draft for the Ready on the S.E.T. and...Action! Initiative is a service that
 links YOU, the creative community, to science, engineering and technology experts during the development and production of ente
rtainment content. So far,Nancy O'Dell over a dozen Boeing engineers have been trained to provide advice and suggestions to entertainment industry professionals interested in engineering.

Interested in learning more about how our
First Draft program can contribute to your next story line?

Click on the logo above!


Check out
Engineering in the Media

from real engineers working in the field

In this issue:
Dean Earl Davis and Nora Shriner
of Boeing Company

Engineering in the Media
Considerations for depiction

on TV and in films

Women can be engineers, too!
Contrary to popular belief, engineering isn't just a career field for "boys with their toys". In fact, there are plenty of successful female engineers working in the field. Consider incorporating the positive portrayal of female engineers into your next storyline.

Computer Geeks?
Keep in mind that engineers are not "computer geeks". Engineering encompasses a wide range of jobs and roles, from designing roller coasters to developing state-of-the-art sound studios for recording artists. Consider steering away from the "computer geek" stereotype and dream up a character with a more unconventional career in engineering.

There's no "I" in TEAM
Engineers don't stay cooped up in laboratories all day. Engineers work with a wide array of other professionals such as animators, architects, astronomers, chemists, physicians, and meteorologists. Think about presenting the teamwork aspect of engineering into your next storyline.

Dean Earl Davis

Dean Earl Davis
Boeing SeniorAerospace Principal Scientist/Engineer
Dean Earl David

As a child, Dean liked to play as a spy, soldier, super hero, fighter pilot and astronaut. While other kids on his block could tell information about cars or sports stars, he could recite military warplane data with fine detail.

In the early years of the American/Soviet Space Race, teachers would wheel televisions into the classroom, so the students could witness the first American Mercury and Gemini manned space flights. These simple televised events inspired Dean's first interest in the space program. 

When he was ten, his dad took him to his first air show at Amarillo Air Force Base, where a Convair B-58 Hustler bomber made a low-altitude supersonic pass over the airfield.


Dean said, "I was hooked when I saw, felt, and heard the results of that first sonic boom-I knew I wanted to get into the aerospace business."

Dean loved to use his innovative and creative talents to draw fantastic inventions for hours at a time and come up with plans for how to solve mankind's most difficult problems of limited energy resources, thirst, pollution, transportation, and war.  In eighth grade he decided to become an aeronautical engineer.

Today, Dean solves problems every day. 

"I get paid to have fun, so I love my engineering and science career. Today, I design spacecrafts, human habitats, and surface exploration systems for future manned missions to the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and comets. I am developing space solar power systems the size of a city in space to provide power from the Sun to the Earth 24 hours a day to reduce our need to use fossil fuels and prevent global warming."

Imagine traveling from Los Angeles to Hong Kong in 45 minutes!

"I'm developing hypersonic systems that can do just that," said Dean.

Creative Applications
How Dean's story could inspire YOUR next great idea
  • Space-based solar power uses satellites to collect solar energy and beam it back to Earth, reducing dependency on traditional energy sources. Consider depicting this futuristic technology as the green energy of tomorrow...but what would happen if we lost touch with our satellites?
  • Hypersonic vehicles can transport passengers faster than the speed of sound. Imagine how globalization would change if we could circle the globe in just a few hours!
  • The idea of lunar habitats and space colonies has long played a role in science fiction and pop culture, but what was once part of the imagination may soon become a reality. With advancements like this, we could transform a movie like Avatar into our every day lives.

Nora Shriner
Nora Shriner
Boeing Software Engineer
Nora  Shriner

Growing up in 1960s and 1970s, Nora's teachers and counselors discouraged her from studying math and science.  She was told she could not do well and the courses were not useful for a girl. Instead, she was encouraged to take Home Economics, Sociology, History, and English.

Instead, Nora pursued a degree in Kinesiology.  She was lucky to get a job as an exercise consultant after graduation but was paid only minimum wage for a repetitive and tedious job.  She knew that she needed a change and a job that could keep her interested and challenged for more than a few months -- so she chose to return to school and study electrical engineering. 

Nora chose the field of electrical engineering for the good salary, variety of job options and intellectually stimulating material.

But a big part of her wanted to prove wrong all of those people who told her that girls couldn't do math. 

Her math-intensive major sure proved that females can do math.  Nora has been with Boeing for 22 years and says she has never been bored!

Creative Applications
How Nora's story could inspire YOUR next great idea
  • Like Nora, Emily Roebling didn't imagine that she would one day pursue a successful career in engineering. But when her husband, who was the lead engineer working on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, was injured on the job, Emily took over the bridge's supervision, helping to complete what was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. Consider incorporating strong female engineers into your next storyline.
  • Thomas Edison, one of the most famous electrical engineers who ever lived, is credited with inventing the light bulb, the movie camera, and making recorded music possible. Imagine how different our world would be if none of these things had ever been discovered.
  • Nora's story is one of a female's experience in overcoming her fears of entering a male-dominated industry. Consider other industries, such as nursing, that are largely dominated by one gender. Consider mixing things up by avoiding these professional gender stereotypes in your next storyline.

Computer Engineer Barbie
Nancy O'Dell

Last winter, the Mattel corporation called upon consumers from all over the world to vote for Barbie's 126th career. The winning career? Computer engineer, the first Barbie profession to be chosen by popular vote. Mattel teamed up with the National Academy of Engineering and the Society of Women Engineers to hone Barbie's image, which includes a stylish pink laptop and cell phone headset.

"All the girls who imagine their futures through Barbie will learn that engineers - like girls - are free to explore infinite possibilities, limited only by their imagination," says Nora Lin, President, Society of Women Engineers. "As a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women can turn their ideas into realities that have a direct and positive impact on people's everyday lives in this exciting and rewarding career."

Fast Facts
Did You Know..?

Engineers are turning

science fiction into reality!

Engineers at NASA and ESA designed the Cassini Equinox Mission's spac
ecraft, which recently returned potential evidence of life on Saturn's moon, Titan.

Aerospace engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are working on a HyperSoar aircraft that would transport passengers at 6,500 MPH. Flying at
Mach 10, the aircraft would reach any point on the globe in just two hours!

EIC wants YOU to inspire the NEXT GENERATION of filmmakers!

Uncle Sam

We're calling all writers, producers, directors and film enthusiasts to serve as mentors for our GENERATION NEXT film contest, a program that connects engineering and film students to create short films.

Interested in participating?
Contact Larry Deutchman for more information.

Nancy O'Dell

About EIC'S
Ready on the S.E.T. and...ACTION!

The Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), through its Entertainment and Media Communication Institute, has joined with the Boeing Company to launch the Ready on the S.E.T. and...ACTION! project, a nationwide initiative to elevate the importance of science, engineering and technology (S.E.T) in the eyes of the public in order to encourage future generations to pursue careers in these fields.

For more information on this project, click here.

Join Our Mailing List and follow us on Twitter!
twitter logo

Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.

West Coast
3000 West Alameda Ave, Admin Bldg, Ste 225
Burbank, CA 91523
Phone | (818) 840-2016
Fax | (818) 840-2018
E-mail |

East Coast
1856 Old Reston Avenue Suite 215
Reston, VA 20190
Phone | (703) 481-1414
Fax | (703) 481-1418
E-mail |