Nancy O'Dell

Volume I, Issue II

Spotlight On...includes information and depiction suggestions about 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!
A Spotlight Message from Brian Dyak
CEO and President of EIC

 As commanding officer of the almost tragic Apollo 13 mission, Astronaut Jim Lovell was a hero when he helped navigate his crew back to earth in 1970.  But, "Jim Lovell" did not become a household name until the Academy Award winning film Apollo 13 opened in 1995.  Speaking of the movie, the former astronaut said,

"I think it regenerated a whole new generation of young Americans about the space program."
Another astronaut named Jim - Jim Kelly - also recognizes the power of the creative community, to make a difference.  Jim and I met at the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis last month, an event that was breathtaking and inspiring to witness.  Jim was so excited by EIC's Ready on the S.E.T. and...Action! initiative that he donned a pink hardhat and joined a group of entertainment industry volunteers organized by EIC to build houses for Habitat for Humanity and encourage women in engineering (read more about WE Build here). The crisis facing the science, engineering and technology fields in America is a real and serious problem but that doesn't mean we can't have fun while addressing it.

Check out the picture of Jim Kelly and me as astronauts (okay I guess I'm the only one playing make-believe) and read on for stories of REAL engineers who have a blast with what they do.

Nancy O'Dell
Astronaut Col. James Kelly (left) and Brian Dyak

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 entertainment 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:
Christina J. Reich and David Davila, Jr.
of The Boeing Company

Past issues:
Volume I, Issue I

Engineering in the Media
Considerations for depiction

on TV and in films

Exciting Engineering
A common misconception about engineering today is that it's a dull, boring career choice. In reality, engineering is anything but boring. Engineers are responsible for some of the most exciting developments in the world today. Imagine being the first person to develop or try a new technology, like a flying car or the world's fastest roller coaster. What could be boring about that? Consider focusing on some of the cool and interesting things engineers do in your next storyline.

Engineers as Creative Problem-Solvers
The fact that engineering is often associated with computers, math, and science doesn't mean that engineers aren't creative. In fact, engineering is one of the most creative professions out there! Engineering is all about finding new, innovative ways to solve problems and doing so takes a great deal of creativity and inspiration. Consider focusing on the creative side of engineering in your next storyline.

Rocket Science?
Keep in mind that not all engineers are "rocket scientists" with sky-high IQ's. While engineering is a challenging career path, you don't have to be a genius or a prodigy to be a successful engineer. Consider steering away from the "rocket scientist" stereotype and including a more approachable engineer in your next storyline.

Christina J. Reich

Christina grew up in a small, economically depressed town on the
northern point of Michigan.  She dreamed of going to college and
Christina J. Reich Environmental Engineer
The Boeing Company

getting an education that would lead her to a better life.  In high school, a perceptive and supportive chemistry teacher noticed Christina's aptitude for math and science and encouraged her to consider a career in engineering.  After a summer program showed her the work of chemical engineers, Christina knew exactly what she wanted to do.  Following her graduation as high school valedictorian, she was offered a full scholarship to Michigan Tech to study chemical engineering.  Christina was one step closer to her dream, but...

After one chemical engineering class, Christina knew that                                
she had made a mistake.  Chemical engineering was not the                          
right choice for her.  Noticing her despair and uncertainty, Christina's             
roommates and friends urged her to look into environmental
It was the perfect mix of chemistry, biology, math and engineering.
The courses were so interesting and challenging that Christina continued
her education to receive her Master's degree.  After graduation, Christina
took a position at Boeing that eventually led her to Houston, Texas where
she also pursued the opportunity to receive her law degree, focusing on
environmental law.  Today, Christina works at Boeing in Huntsville, Alabama
in a position where she supervises Boeing's compliance with environmental laws. With two environmental engineering degrees and a Juris Doctorate, she is prepared for the job!

Far from that tiny town in Michigan,
Christina has made her dream come true. 

Creative Applications
How Christina's story could inspire YOUR next great idea
  • Many kids growing up in rural areas, like Christina, are discouraged to follow their dreams. Christina's chemistry teacher encouraged her to continue to pursue her studies in engineering, and Christina broke out of her small environment, becoming a successful engineer. Consider inspiration from Christina's story, that if you work hard and study hard you can do anything!
  • Environmental engineering is a popular form of engineering to focus on today, particularly because it applies science and engineering in the improvement of decreasing air and water pollution, recycling, and waste management. Environmental engineering is a way to help our world "Go Green!"
  • During the Gulf oil spill crisis, environmental engineers are working around the clock to help solve this historic problem.  As the aquatic ecosystems are being affected in this crisis, environmental engineers are developing and implementing solutions to mitigate the long-term environmental impact. Currently, engineers are building a steel barrier to prevent oil from flowing through the wetlands and waterways toward the north.

David Davila, Jr.

David Davila, Jr.
Test & Evaluation Manager
The Boeing Company
Dean Earl David
David and his brother Mario were playing in the back yard of their San Antonio house when their mother appeared and told the boys to hurry inside.  She sat the boys in front of the television and told them to pay attention to the evening news.  Six year-old David whined that he would rather stay outside, but suddenly the news returned with a "Special Report": Neil Armstrong stepped off the Lunar Module and onto the Moon, uttering those now famous words,

           "That is one small step for man,
                          one GIANT leap for mankind." 

Suddenly, David knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: an astronaut. Setting his sights on the sky, David worked hard through elementary and high school.  He had decided that the best way to become an astronaut was to begin as a pilot.   He enrolled in ROTC and visited the Air Force recruiter to see what other steps he needed to take to become a pilot. The recruiter told him that he needed to have 20/20 vision.  David had been wearing glasses since kindergarten.  Devastated at the end to his dream, David went home angry and cried for hours.  Then it hit him:

"If I cannot fly an airplane or rocket, I will learn how to make them." 

That day he decided to become an aerospace engineer and his first job out of college was working on the Space Shuttle Program.  As David says about the experience, "Sometimes when God closes a door....He opens a window."

Creative Applications
How David's story could inspire YOUR next great idea
  • Space travel. Missile launches. The work of aerospace engineers like David have made the unimaginable possible. And with new technologies being developed every day, these incredible accomplishments are just the beginning. Consider the future of aerospace engineering. In a world where humans can fly and space missions are the norm, what amazing possibilities could the future hold?
  • On July, 20 1969, millions of people just like David turned on their televisions and witnessed mankind's greatest accomplishment to date: putting a man on the moon. To put it simply, the moon landing completely changed the world: it inspired the masses, ushered in an unrivaled era of space exploration, and defined a generation. Consider the ways in which a single event can bring about tremendous change.
  • Outer space. Aviation. Golf? Many people automatically associate aerospace engineers with...well, aerospace. Little do they know, not all aerospace engineers work with space shuttles and jet planes. Ever wonder why golf balls have dimples? In the 1800's, golfers started to notice that a scuffed ball went a lot farther than a smooth one and in the late 1800's, they began to intentionally cut patterns into their balls. It wasn't until the 1930's that dimples were recognized as the best surface for a golf ball. Today, aerospace engineers design the dimple pattens on golf balls using computers.

Fast Facts
Did you know...?
  • New hybrid airships! Engineers are now designing hybrid airships to be the U.S. military's constant "eye in the sky" and will help support U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
  • Seshadri Ramkumar, associate professor at Texas Tech University, has developed Fibertect, a material (made of organic components) that soaks  up oil! Fibertect has been tested and proven to trap oil while absorbing toxic vapors.
  • Water bottles can be converted into fuel! Researchers and engineers are developing a technological system to convert plastic from plastic bags and bottles into fuel for homes and vehicles.

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.

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