Nancy O'Dell
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!
Spotlight Message from Brian Dyak,
CEO and President of EIC
Brian Dyak PhotoUsually, when most of us non-engineering types hear the term "engineering", images of bridge construction or the launch of a space shuttle come to mind.  What many of us fail to realize is that there are many other industries and professions that also incorporate engineering. On a recent trip to L.A., I was able to take an inside look at the world of sound engineering when we filmed our parts of our annual TV show, The 14th Annual PRISM Awards Showcase, at the E! Studios.  I would like to thank Ted Harbert, a member of EIC's Board of Trustees for 18 years and member of EIC's S.E.T. Awards Honorary Committee, for hosting us at E! again.

Check out the Real Stories in this issue of Spotlight On...Engineering, featuring two Boeing engineers, Stacie Sire and Joe Turner, who turned their childhood passions into fulfilling, full-time careers.  They are proof that it is possible to grow up to do what you love.  I know that many of you in the creative community are fortunate to do what you love - work in the entertainment industry.  But, now I also know how engineering plays an important and crucial role in putting together the feature films, television shows, music videos and hit songs that you produce every day.  And that means that the high school seniors who are torn between studying Television Production and Engineering don't have to make a choice - they can combine both their passions by being the next sound engineers at E! Entertainment.

Nancy O'Dell

Check out
Engineering in the Media
from engineers working in the field

In this issue:
Stacie Sire and Joe Turner
of The Boeing Company

Past issues:

Engineering in the Media
Considerations for depiction

on TV and in films

Learning Disguised in a Dollhouse
Nancy O'DellModel airplanes, remote-controlled cars, brain teaser puzzles and elaborate dollhouses have the power to fascinate kids for hours.  But these toys are more than just playthings; they are models of engineering concepts in miniature.  Building a mansion for Barbie and Ken out of Lincoln Logs can introduce civil engineering to a young girl and hours of piloting a model airplane might get her brother hooked on aviation engineering.  You may want to consider depicting on-screen children playing with some of these mind-building toys or puzzles.  If American youth see their on-screen role models tackling engineering concepts while playing with their favorite toys, you will inspire the next generation of problem solvers.

Engineering for Future Earthquakes
The catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti and Chile this past winter gripped the world with stories of horrific losses, images of toppled buildings and interviews with those who had lost loved ones.  Today, engineers are providing some of the most crucial re-building and revitalization efforts in  these devastated countries.  American military and civilian engineers are traveling regularly on mission trips to help construct earthquake-proof building in the place of those that crumbled during the quakes and after-shocks.  Vulnerable adobe buildings are being replaced with enforced steel and concrete structures to prevent future losses.  Alongside the frequently depicted doctor or missionary, in your next script consider including an engineer doing important foreign aid work. 

Creative Applications
How Stacie's story could inspire YOUR next great idea

Airplanes are a vital form of transportation in today's world. Imagine participating in the intricate process of creating a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft! Structural Engineers are involved in this exciting method of building airplanes everyday. Consider showing a structural engineer developing a high-tech airplane, a vehicle that can be used in drama, adventure, comedy or romance story-lines!

Engineering is not only a profession but also a hobby.  Like Stacie's grandfather, many people use engineering in their recreational pursuits, whether while building model boats, flying small airplanes or using a ham radio.  Consider depicting a character who uses engineering in their favorite leisure activities.

Like Stacie, many high school students are unaware of what engineers do and the skills engineers apply to aerospace, the automobile industry, and the creation of modern structures, such as skyscrapers. Embrace the opportunity to bring the knowledge of engineering to young generations!

Joe Turner
Joe TurnerBoeing Senior Manager, Flight Test
B.S. Engineering Mechanics
M.S. Aerospace

Joe was the seventh child in a family of 12 kids and he remembers older siblings showing him advanced mathematical formulas and shortcuts when he did his homework.  Years later, when Joe learned these methods in school, he was way ahead of his peers.   Because of family support and encouragement, Joe came to love "playing with numbers."
Joe also loved playing with mechanical puzzles.  When he was 11 or 12, his dad cleaned out his desk and found two puzzles that could be taken apart and put back together - but only with a lot of hard work.  The euphoria he felt when solving the puzzles hooked him on problem  solving.

When Joe first heard about engineering early in college his initial reaction was "Someone will PAY me to solve math puzzles?!" Joe never gave his career choice a second thought.  Today, Joe still loves solving complex problems, "Being with a team of engineers completing a complicated task, such as flight testing an aircraft, is very rewarding because not only do I get paid but I also get to do what I love.  And after all, isn't that the real goal in life?"

Fast Facts
Did you know...?  
  • Mechanical Engineers have diverse working locations, ranging from aircraft hangers and office buildings, to nanotechnology labs and power plants.
  • Seven-Mile Bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world, was created by civil and structural engineers. A recently completed structural engineering masterpiece is the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
  • The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which Stacie works on as a structural engineer, will provide a new level of efficiency to airlines with a 20 percent reduction in fuel use when compared to similar-sized airplanes.  Great news for our environmentally conscious world!

Hollywood Sign

EIC wants YOU to inspire the

NEXT GENERATION of filmmakers!

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?

Interested? Contact
Larry Deutchman
for more information.

Stacie SireNancy O'Dell
Boeing Structures Engineering
Senior Manager, Boeing 787 Dreamliner Systems Stress
B.S. Civil Engineering
M.S. Mechanical Engineering

Stacie Sire used to say "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up but I wish I could do math problems all day!"  As a child, Stacie was obsessed with solving riddles, puzzles and problems of all sorts.  Stacie was always tinkering with broken items around the house, trying to figure out how to make them work again and when friends came over for sleepovers they would stay up late designing experiments.  Stacie didn't know what an engineer was until high school when she became friends with the son of an engineer.  Stacie's friend would get upset because she would spend more time grilling his dad, who had a doctorate in civil engineering, with questions instead of hanging out with him! 
Another role model was Stacie's grandfather. Though he didn't hold an engineering degree he was an engineer at heart.  He owned a small business repairing TVs and taught himself about everything from computers to home construction.  Stacie has worked  at Boeing for 13 years and has loved every minute of it.  Not only does she get to develop amazing products and work with extremely intelligent engineers, Stacie gets to solve math and science problems every day.  Her childhood dream came true!

Photo by Marcin Wichary via Flickr
Photo by Marcin Wichary via Flickr

Creative Applications
How Joe's story could inspire YOUR next great idea

The love of solving puzzles can lead to aerospace engineering: designing flight vehicles and innovative aircraft. Perhaps a character, like Joe, who grows up with a passion to solve puzzles, can one day land a career in flight testing!

Focus on the familial aspect of solving a puzzle or a logic problem together. Not only did Joe and his family learn when they came together to help each other with math problems and solve puzzles, but this activity allowed them time to spend together and bond.
  Consider depicting how family time can influence future life decisions, such as the decision Joe made to study aerospace engineering.

Sometimes people say that happy endings only happen in the movies, but Joe Turner's story shows that isn't true - his childhood dream of playing with numbers turned into a career of doing math puzzles as an engineer.  Consider depicting  real people like Joe, who turn simple childhood hopes into lifelong careers.

Ready on the S.E.T. and...ACTION!

Nancy O'Dell

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.
Nancy O'Dell
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, 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 here or on the logo above!

Deadline Extended! 
Click the logo for more information.

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 |
Follow Ready on the S.E.T. and . . . ACTION!

Nancy O'Dell