Spotlight On...includes information and depiction suggestions about engineers
for YOU...the creative community.
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|
I never thought construction of a manufacturing facility was anything like a film set until I learned about the role of an environmental scientist at a Boeing plant in Oregon. Like a production manager who knows just what the studio executives want, an environmental scientist like Terri Lords, is responsible for keeping track of the environmental regulations and restrictions from the Environmental Protection Agency, other federal agencies and state and local governments. Keeping ahead of forthcoming requirements and green technologies, the environmental scientist keeps her engineering colleagues, like Kareem Muhammad, informed so that they can design the structures and machines that are environmentally friendly. And like a director with a vision, the engineers work with construction teams (the costume designers, art directors, sound mixers) to bring the engineered vision to life.
"We are big into teams," Terri said recently. Sounds like a true Hollywood crew. EIC is big into teamwork, too, which is why we recently gathered a group of over 40 engineering experts and a media panel of studio executives, writers and news journalists to collaborate on the creation of media-ready messages about engineering. The result of the Picture This: Engineering meeting, held on July 28 in Washington, D.C., will be a resource publication for the creative community and news media with facts, depiction suggestions and messaging ideas created through collaboration by the entertainment AND engineering industries. It's coming to you soon!
|Engineering in the Media|
|Engineering your vacation.|
Ever wonder why Disneyland is in Anaheim, California and Disney World is in Orlando, Florida? An engineer, of course! When planning his first Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney turned to Harrison 'Buzz' Price for help in deciding where to locate his park. Price, an engineer from Stanford Research Institute, analyzed population statistics, climate figures and other criteria before selecting Anaheim as the future home of Disneyland. A few years later, Price ran some more numbers and suggested Orlando for Park No. 2. Engineers help make decisions about the locations of everything you can imagine, from skyscrapers to traffic lights to magical worlds (okay, technically they are called theme parks!).
|Need More Story Ideas?|
Engineering in the Media
columns in past issues:
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Astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson recently undertook 3 spacewalks in a week to attack an urgent cooling problem on the International Space Station. Douglas's academic preparation? A bachelor's and master's degree in engineering. If floating in space while making pressing repairs isn't the single craziest thing you could do in any profession, I don't know what is!
One key formula for attracting droves of women to the box office: a strong female character + a dramatic romance + period costumes. Sure, popular novels are an easy way to find inspiration for these kinds of stories but what about untold non-fiction? Early American female engineers and scientists fought hard to earn patents for inventions from the corset to the submarine telescope. Throw in doubting peers, a supportive lover and a few beautiful dresses and you have an inspiring, exciting story.
|Engineers are THAT cool.|
Celebrity endorsements encourage us to buy everything from high-tech laptops to wrinkle-fighting beauty creams. And we listen, because we want to look just like the beautiful actresses and we trust the race-car drivers' choice of car oil. Now, a series of new Chevy commercials feature the engineers who do crazy things to make sure their cars are safe. That's right. Engineers do stuff that is so cool it sells cars!
B.A. in Biological
M.P.H. Environmental and Industrial Health
As a child, Terri loved the outdoors. She remembers many summer vacations
hiking in the mountains, wading in rivers and streams, picking huckleberries,
and marveling at the majestic moose and bear which she would often see in the
distance. Although her father
loved to fish, Terri secretly hoped he would not catch anything because she
believed those beautiful trout should remain in the streams and, if need be,
provide food for the osprey and other wild birds in the area. When it was time to return from those
summer vacation trips, Terri distinctly remembers
coming home to the Los Angeles basin and seeing the brownish haze on the
horizon. "If I breathed deeply, I
could feel the tightness in my chest from the polluted air," Terri remembers.
experiences influenced her interest in the sciences and created an
understanding of the importance of preserving the environment. Terri's favorite high school
course was physiology because it provided answers to questions she had often
wondered about. Her college
major, Biological Sciences, was followed by a Master's degree in Environmental
and Industrial Health. Terri says,
"My career as an environmental scientist has been very rewarding. Not only has it provided me with the
opportunity to make a difference, it has been interesting and continually
changing. Since entering the
working world, I've had the opportunity to address numerous
environmental issues, including hazardous waste, air pollution, water protection,
and most recently, global warming and sustainability. Thinking back on my outdoor adventures as a child, it gives
me a sense of satisfaction to be able to contribute to preserving the
environment for future generations."
- Scientists and the engineers they work with don't just create tools for today; their innovations will change the world. If you want to create a fictional future in your show or film, get in touch with an environmental scientist like Terri or an engineer designing brand-new technology to get a sneak peak of the world of tomorrow.
- What would the world look like without environmental scientists like Terri? With the tools and knowledge to address the dangers of hazardous waste or climate change, an environmental scientist is the ideal hero in an end-of-the-world thriller.
Auditor, former Thermal Systems EngineerIt isn't often that someone can trace the origin of his professional
career to a middle school presentation.
Kareem Muhammad can; he still has the pamphlet from Westinghouse
Electric. Kareem was 12 years old
the day two Westinghouse engineers spoke to his class about the endless
opportunities in the engineering field.
From that day on, Kareem followed every step in the pamphlet's
recommended path to becoming an engineer.
He was fortunate to have wonderful opportunities to pursue math and
science in middle and high school, participating in the Queens Bridge to
Medicine program, the Caltech Young Engineering and Science Scholars (YESS)
program, and the Horizons Exploration Program (HEP) at the University of
Architecture and Engineering
Kareem works for Boeing and has been recognized both within the company and by
outside organizations for his dedication to and achievements in the field of
engineering. He was the recipient
of the 2009 Space & Intelligence Systems World-Class Engineering Award for
the area of Execution and the 2010 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for
Most Promising Engineer. He was
also honored with a Certificate of Recognition from his Program Director,
acknowledging his performance, teamwork and contributions to a Thermal
Systematic Review Team, a two-year effort that resulted in the design and
creation of 16 detailed thermal models.
He is quick to note, though, that all of this comes from doing what he
- Today, more and more women and minorities are entering engineering educational programs and professions. In fact, diversity in engineering is highly desired. According to
the National Academy of Engineering, the lack of diversity in engineering labs,
boardrooms and design studios "diminishes the range of perspectives and the
diversity of ideas/solutions available to the engineering profession." Consider depicting an engineering team that uses diversity of opinions, experiences, and cultural backgrounds to its advantage.
- Kareem is an example of a role model who is recognized for his amazing accomplishments and has clearly put his education to excellent use. Consider depicting a young black male who aspires to and achieves greatness in science or engineering.
The Science, Engineering and Technology (S.E.T.) Awards are EIC's latest recognition program, and the first to honor productions that address science, engineering and technology. The winners of the S.E.T. Awards will be those production companies and individuals who successfully demonstrate how science, engineering and technology are exciting, engaging, and powerful, all while entertaining audiences.
EIC recently announced the founding members of the S.E.T. Awards Honorary Committee, featuring leaders from across the entertainment industry, who have offered their endorsement and support for this new awards program. See the founding committee members by clicking here.
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