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!
Brian DyakA 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!). 

Nancy O'Dell

In This Issue
Engineering in the Media
Real Stories: Terri Lords
Creative Applications: Science (Non)Fiction
Real Stories: Kareem Muhammad
Creative Applications: A Real Role Model
Deadline Extended!
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Need More Story Ideas?

See the
Real Stories

Engineering in the Media
columns in past issues:

Volume I
Issue I
Issue II
Issue III

Did you know?
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.

elebrity 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!

Terri Lords
Terri Lords
Boeing Environmental Scientist
B.A. in Biological Sciences
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.

            These 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."

Creative Applications
  • 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.
Kareem Muhammad
Kareem Muhammad
Boeing Enterprise Auditor, former Thermal Systems Engineer
B.S. Mechanical Engineering
M.S. Mechanical Engineering
M.S. Systems Architecture and Engineering

It 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 Maryland-Baltimore County.
            Today, 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 loves

Creative Applications
  • 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.

Need writing tips? Story ideas? Accurate information?First Draft

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?     

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