Discussion Thread

Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

  • 1.  Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-17-2020 10:24 AM
    Lawyers have Suits
    Medical Professionals have Scrubs, Grey Anatomy
    Civil Engineers have Prison Break (and perhaps Big Bang Theory)

    I wanted to start a lighthearted conversation on the accurate (but mostly inaccurate) portrayals of civil engineers in entertainment media.




    ------------------------------
    Daniel Bressler EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Junior Engineer
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 2.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-18-2020 08:05 AM
    I have wanted a good drama about engineers for years. There are numerous shows about lawyers, doctors, and police officers. Big Bang Theory is good, but it is more about scientists than real-life engineering. It would be a good way of getting people interested in engineering. I used to want to be a lawyer from watching Law and Order. 

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    Donald Handeland EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Transporation Designer II
    Eagle River AK
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  • 3.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-18-2020 10:01 AM

    John Oliver has given the best Civil Engineering that I've seen in the media. A bit colorful at times for the innocent, but ASCE gets a shout out, so it's worth watch. 

    Infrastructure: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

    It originally aired in 2015, and unfortunately most of the points he makes are still relevant. The last 4 minutes of the episode are priceless.

    Hope you enjoy!
    -Alice



    ------------------------------
    Alice Roache A.M.ASCE
    Engineer
    OHM Advisors
    Hancock MI
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-19-2020 09:01 AM
    For a while, some of my colleagues and I thought someone should make a show called Game of Roads, a seemingly obvious mash up of The Office and Game of Thrones. In GoR, different transportation discipline 'houses' (rail, tunnels, highways, bridges, aviation) would vie for superiority and ultimately claim the asphalt throne...



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    Daniel Claff EI, A.M.ASCE
    Engineer III
    South Orange NJ
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  • 5.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-21-2020 05:59 PM
    haha, this was the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this thread as well. Thanks for sharing!

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    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
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  • 6.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-18-2020 10:02 AM
    I seem to recall that Campbell Scott's character, Steve Dunne, in the 1992 romantic comedy 'Singles' was a civil engineer (I'm pretty sure he actually said that's what he was, and I just about fell out of my seat at the time).  He was working on/proposing a high speed rail project for the city.  Other than Prison Break, that's the only civil engineer reference I can think of.  The mayor shoots down his idea and tells him people love their cars too much - so he quit his job and goes into a depression (but all turns out well in the end).  He's a pretty straightlaced guy with a dry sense of humor, so he sort of fits the stereotype.

    If you liked early 90s grunge and alternative tunes (many with Seattle ties, like the movie setting), the movie's got a great soundtrack.  Also starring Kyra Sedgwick, Bridget Fonda, and Matt Dillon.

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    Greg Thein, PE
    Cleveland, OH
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  • 7.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-23-2020 12:35 PM
    That is an awesome movie!

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    David Oppong EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Student
    Cordova TN
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  • 8.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-18-2020 10:20 AM
    Don't forget Ted from How I met Your Mother...... He was quite the architect.

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    Christian Alonso EIT, A.M.ASCE
    GREENVILLE SC
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  • 9.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-18-2020 07:07 PM
    Great question, @Daniel Bressler ! The show that immediately comes to mind for me when I think of engineering in general is Mythbusters​! While I loved the back and forth of Adam and Jamie, my favorite part of any episode was watching them build their contraptions to test out their various myths. Not entirely sure how much of the cast were engineers beyond Grant Imahara (may he RIP), but it did showcase the engineering design process.

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    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE (She/her)
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-19-2020 09:01 AM
    It's not really an engineering show but MaCgyver was great. Not the new one but the classic one with Richard Dean Anderson. I'm an engineer and even own a Jeep Wrangler YJ today because I grew up watching MaCgyver.

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    Dustin Leduc A.M.ASCE
    Field Engineer
    Sambatek
    Shakopee MN
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  • 11.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-19-2020 10:57 AM
    Having watched a lot of Peppa Pig with my 3 year old during the pandemic, Daddy Pig appears to be a Structural Engineer. He really likes concrete, and about his job, he says: "I take big numbers, transmute them and calculate their load-bearing tangents."

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    Carmen Franks
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  • 12.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-19-2020 06:32 PM

    Interesting discussions. Here is my take. Public perceptions of civil engineers, therefore portrayal, are often (not always) limited to such events as: when a great civil engineering work is commissioned (but most often credit goes to politicians who cut the ribbon, or to bureaucrats and others); or when a failure of civil engineering structure occurs (then the blame goes squarely on engineers); or when a public driving on the road sees a person with a hardhat (but mostly they are technicians, not engineers).

    Apart from these, an engineer's life is less dramatic (therefore not very interesting) than many others – this is because: (1) engineers belong to the genre of bureaucratic/technocratic professional who are mostly very serious and humorless people by default (this is partly due to our education, and partly due to our devotion to details, highly regulated by our own professional expectation as well as by licensing authorities), (2) historically engineers were fully employed, therefore life was rather highly disciplined in a status-quo framework and less dramatic (that is not the case anymore however, engineers are now facing chronic on-off employment and under employment); and (3) societal understanding of, and attitude toward engineers are not same as those toward the politicians and lawyers (these two belong to the ruling class category, we are not!).

    -----

    Dilip

    Website

    ORCID ID

    Google Scholar



    ------------------------------
    Dr. Dilip Barua, Ph.D, P.Eng, M. ASCE
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    https://widecanvas.weebly.com
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-20-2020 09:53 AM
    Big fan of classic MacGyver and no mention of him would be complete without the A-Team who built at an even bigger scale!  I love it when a plan comes together!

    Ted Mosby is a great architect, but cannot hold a candle to fictional, fictional architect George Costanza (why does no one pretend to be an engineer?).

    At this point the Science Channel should probably be known as the Engineering Channel.  Their programing slate has been awesome lately, but popularization of the profession can lead to confusion and generalizations about what it actually entails.  They have many real engineers serving giving talking head insights with great enthusiasm.  Rob Bell is billed as "Engineer and Adventurer."  Probably the coolest title ever, but I am still trying to figure out how to get Adventurer added to my business card.

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    Chad Morrison P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
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  • 14.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-23-2020 08:49 AM
    As someone with a film school diploma and civil engineering degree I love this topic.

    Saw: John "The Jigsaw Killer" Kramer was a former civil engineer
    Family Affair: Bill Davis is a civil engineer, I think.
    Gotham: Jeremiah Valeska, one of the "proto-Jokers".

    In comic books, Ex Machina, the main character Mitchell Hundred, before becoming the world's first super hero and a politician, was a civil engineer who knows a lot about the Brooklyn Bridge.



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    Maxx Taga EIT,A.M.ASCE
    Student/Intern
    Glendale CA
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  • 15.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-25-2020 02:15 PM
    127 hours is about a guy who gets stuck in a rock formation and uses his skills as a civil engineer to save himself. The movie based off a true story.

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    Andrew Buell A.M.ASCE
    Scottsdale AZ
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  • 16.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-23-2020 08:49 AM
    The scene in the remake of "The day the earth stood still" with Keanu Reeves. They all introduce themselves as like chemists, physicists, astro biologist and the one dude says something like "I'm a Civil Engineer"

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    Nikolai Halverson A.M.ASCE
    Senior Engineer
    West Jordan UT
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  • 17.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-27-2020 03:41 PM
      |   view attached

    Very glad that the topic has inspired some very enthusiastic responses from our young colleagues – with infos that perhaps many of us did not know. If one attempts to see for a moment, from the premise of portrayal of civil engineers to engineers as portrayers in mass media – in literary and creative works – one finds engineers venturing into these interesting fields. There are many engineers in different cultures, who became well-known for their non-engineering literary works.

    Russian novelist and philosopher Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 – 1881), the author of such famous titles as: Crime and Punishment (1866) and The Idiot (1869) was an engineer. Tom Moran has listed some 7 American literary authors (see the attached) who are engineers. But he writes: '. . . The creative writing endeavors of handful of engineers . . .'

    -----

    Dilip

    Website

    ORCID ID

    Google Scholar



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    Dr. Dilip Barua, Ph.D, P.Eng, M. ASCE
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    https://widecanvas.weebly.com
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)



  • 18.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-29-2020 05:56 PM
    The Big Bang Theory is mostly about perpetuating stereotypes around nerds and masculinities. Mr. Howard Wolowitz is clearly an Aerospace Engineer: he builds and programs things to work in outer space, like a robotic arm, a self-sustaining gyroscope and a "space shelf".

    So for Civil Engineers, I just think of the Saw franchise (John Kramer's puzzles).

    ------------------------------
    Alexander Granato S.M.ASCE
    Student
    Bexley OH
    [Phone]
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-30-2020 09:19 AM
    I wish there's a show about civil engineers as good as the one about software engineers (HBO's Silicon Valley)


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    Tung Nguyen, PhD
    Water Resources Engineer
    Sacramento, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 11-30-2020 09:19 AM
    Interesting subject! Last week, I watched the" Greenland" action drama, the character played by Gerard Butler was a successful Structural Engineer who's struggled with his family for survival in the face of a natural disaster. It was a good movie! But not a new idea of its kind!

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    Meena Al Chqmaqchi EIT,A.M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Citrus Heights CA
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  • 21.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-07-2020 06:58 PM
    For those like me who watched and loved Breaking Bad, I just recently came across another depiction of a civil structural engineer in Better Call Saul (which is still on Netflix as of today)!  In Season 4 of Better Call Saul, we meet Werner Ziegler, a German engineer who was hired to oversee the construction of...let's just say...an important site in Breaking Bad as to not spoil anything. While they don't necessarily give you all the details of the project to check his work in the feasibility of this construction sequence, Werner does mention some challenges of many construction projects including the noise close to current houses. My favorite part was when he mentions the option of building a secant wall as I was able to pause the episode and tell my partner who was watching with me what they are and that I saw them used on a recent project I reviewed! 

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    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE (She/her)
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-08-2020 08:38 AM

    From another generation, likely YouTube would have some episodes of "Family Affair", the lead character is a civil engineer.  I am old enough to know of this show from the late 1960s but likely watched more reruns in the early 70s when I was growing up.  Possibly the story connection to Indiana also appealed to me but certainly BIG skyscrapers in NYC was a factor too.  Anyhow, I recall more about the non-traditional family and silly circumstances of the children adopted by a single man.

    Since I am a civil engineer, evidently that show persuaded me more than Mr Brady the architect on the Brady Bunch.  The "weird" family house with multiple levels always struck me, walking up to the front door w/ a few steps inside a house was not familiar to me and then also up and then down into the den where Mr Brady had a drafting table, oh my another generation ago too!

    While in college in the late 80s, a popular show was "LA Law" and laments from civil engineers at some ASCE events is a clear recognition, "there should be a show about civil engineering ..." Not all the portrayals about lawyers was positive in that show, for sure.

    Building Big on PBS and many other construction related shows as well as documentaries feature civil engineers.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/about.html

    The show/series titled Extreme Engineering is much about large construction projects.

    Bridge on the River Kwai, Academy Award winning movie from the 50s, well before my time, fictional depiction somewhat based on real events of WW II, reading the book is better - more reality as the movie is entertainment not documentary, accurate history portrayals can be emotional for sure considering the workforce used for the bridge construction.  The movie focus is POWs, mostly British w/ one American to connect into the US audience likely.  The real history is native Thais and Burmese suffered multiple times more than POWs.  In the movie British engineers were needed to figure out the bridge construction mostly of timber, in reality Japanese engineers knew what they were doing and construction was w/ a steel bridge, relocated and still in use today even after sections were destroyed by aerial bombing.


    More lighthearted, although same area/region of the world, the 80s movie "Volunteers" with Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson who soon after became married; and John Candy - civil engineer!  A timber bridge blown up again.  This movie is quite unlike my own Peace Corps experience.




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    David Devine P.E.,L.S.,M.ASCE
    Fort Wayne IN
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  • 23.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-08-2020 09:53 AM
    I highly recommend the television series Numb3rs, currently available on Hulu. It features the premise of two brothers, one in the FBI and the other a math genius, who find ways to solve crimes together. The father, played by Judd Hirsch, is described as a city planner. His knowledge of infrastructure is helpful in several cases. He's never named as a civil engineer but it's close.

    ------------------------------
    Jeannine Finton
    Senior Manager of Pre-College Outreach
    ASCE
    Reston VA
    jfinton@...
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-10-2020 10:42 AM
    Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) has his Master in Electrical Engineering.
    I know that it's not a movie per se, but it's always fun to see him act and know that he's an engineer.

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    Daniel Bressler EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Junior Engineer
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 25.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-26-2020 08:03 AM

    Q. Where are TV shows that are binge-watch worthy for an engineer's standard!

     

     

     

     

    ·     15 Best TV Shows for Engineers [3]

     

            Stay Healthy!

            Cheers,

    Bill

     

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=YRzeShE1MdA

    [2]

    [3] https://interestingengineering.com/15-best-tv-shows-for-engineers



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-27-2020 06:57 PM

    Barnwood Builders on DIY channel takes wood from old barns for reuse. Mark Bowen, the proprietor, is a West Virginia PE. Very interesting show.



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    Alan Hyman P.E., M.ASCE
    Director-Transportation Operations
    Florida DOT
    Deland FL
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  • 27.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-28-2020 09:14 AM

    Two civil engineering movie characters come to my mind. There's the guy from "Prison Break" (aka Michael Scofield), the structural engineer who gets put in prison just to break out his innocent brother. There's also the guy from "Saw" (aka crazy old guy), who builds and sets up all the lovely building structures in those movies (hint, sarcasm). Both very interesting characters!

    This scene always made me laugh!



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    Jacob Nussel P.E., M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    Gainesville FL
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  • 28.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-31-2020 03:09 PM
    If you are into DIY projects yourself there's a great woodworking blog/youtube channel called Rogue Engineer.

    The channel is a mechanical engineering graduate, Jamison, who now does these DIY Projects as a full-time occupation.  If you are interested in starting out DIY he gives plans and step by step instructions which are very useful for starting out.


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    Daniel Bressler EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Junior Engineer
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 29.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-28-2020 09:15 AM

    I would like you all to know that I am currently part of the development of a blockbuster-esque film where the main character (and supporting characters) are civil/structural engineers.  The movie is about engineers saving a building under construction from collapse, however, their job site is attacked by terrorists, and the engineers lead the construction crew in a defense, setting booby-traps and using equipment to defend themselves (front end loaders, tower cranes, etc.).  Think '13 hours' mixed with 'No Escape'.  It is called 'STRUCTURAL DAMAGE'.

    So, there is hope yet for the pinnacle of engineers in film!  Stay tuned...

    Jeff Walkley



    ------------------------------
    Jeffrey Walkley A.M.ASCE
    CE
    Michael J Walkley, PA
    Towson MD
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-31-2020 03:09 PM

    Jeff,

    This sounds so cool!

    When is the expected release date?



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    Daniel Bressler EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Junior Engineer
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 31.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 01-05-2021 11:38 AM
      |   view attached
    Daniel;

    We have a director and a producer, and are currently gathering partners (funding) and additional talent (actors).

    So it is still very early and has not been green-lit.  I will keep you apprised though! It will truly be something else for the entire construction industry.

    Attached is a PDF of the pitch deck to whet your appetite.

    Jeff

    ------------------------------
    Jeffrey Walkley P.E.,S.E.,A.M.ASCE
    Vice President
    Michael J Walkley, PA
    Towson MD
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    SD PITCH DECK.pdf   11.95 MB 1 version


  • 32.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-28-2020 10:16 AM

    If we are willing to extend this thread into the realm of video games, I can think of a few more. 

    Red Faction: Guerilla – Mason, the playable character, is a mining engineer. The major premise of the game is about finding weak points in buildings in order to cause them to collapse.

    Half Life – Gordon Freeman is a PhD in Theoretical Physics

    Dead Space – Isaac, the playable character, is some sort of engineer.



    ------------------------------
    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
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  • 33.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 12-28-2020 12:16 PM

    I agree with the article that our jobs are to make sure nothing bad happens, hence difficult to make binge worthy TV.  What would probably work would be exploring the "what ifs" .... What if the developer ignores the civil engineer's design considerations?  What if the construction crew ignores the drawings?  .... then focus on the interpersonal drama that unfolds between people when either failures happen or trying to correct the issue before the failure?

     

    Start off with a young civil engineer, just got their PE license and decided to setup shop in an old run down building with their dog and fiancé in a bad part of town.  PE goes off on his own because he became disillusioned with the lack of focus on smaller, more personal projects.  Then as low budget projects come in (ones bigger firms turn away) focus on shady contractors, individuals looking for help but not sure where to go since they cannot afford much, etc.   



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    Christopher Huhnke P.E., M.ASCE
    Owner/Civil Engineer
    Cleveland OH
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  • 34.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 01-05-2021 11:38 AM
    I forgot to add the IMDB link for the movie that is in development to get you all excited.  Here you go:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10804246/

    Jeff

    ------------------------------
    Jeffrey Walkley P.E.,S.E.,A.M.ASCE
    Vice President
    Michael J Walkley, PA
    Towson MD
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 01-05-2021 11:38 AM
    Two Civil Engineers Profiles in Courage would make wonderful dramas - One is Brad Raffensperger , trust the numbers, trust the data.  The other is Marc Edwards, UW graduate who discovered the Flint Water Crisis (BTW - he is good looking enough to star in the TV show).



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    Susan Everett P.E., M.ASCE
    Design Manager
    Seattle WA
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  • 36.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 01-05-2021 09:39 PM
    Being a Civil P.E, since 1980, I thoroughly endorse the concept of Civil Engineers being well portrayed in television shows, it would be very easy for ''Hollywood'' to actually present relatively shallow images of Civil Engineers and Civil Engineering.  Similarly, I fear that we could be (genericized'?) like past actors who have portrayed Scientists by being ''dialogged'' to recite something inane like "I graduated in Science''.
    And, that a major construction project could magically ''appear'' fully completed, and in full use, after an absurdly short time snap, without any problems, late material deliveries, incorrect building components, delays caused by nature, costly material changes, simple accidents, or any of the other hurdles that were overcome to finish a job.
    Bottom line, we could always use more positive Public Relations with viewing audiences, but nothing is actually guaranteed on screen, but I am soooo hoping...

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    Kirby Arriola P.E., M.ASCE
    RETIREE
    Oxnard CA
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 27 days ago
    Hello Kirby,

    I think the key to well-written representation is to have people with the experience and/or understanding writing the scripts and episodes themselves.

    As I mentioned an earlier post, Howard Wolowitz from the Big Bang Theory was clearly an Aerospace Engineer. There were consultants to flesh out and correct his characterization and dialogue, just like all of the physicists and nerds on the show, but it was only for that. So even when his lines of work got the spotlight, it was largely him explaining his most recent creation to his friends and figuring out some personal way to use it, to sitcom results.

    (I made a draft with more detail earlier this week, but I can't find that draft.)

    ------------------------------
    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Student
    Bexley OH
    [Phone]
    ------------------------------



  • 38.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 01-07-2021 03:33 PM
    The 1959-1960 TV series "The Troubleshooters" was my favorite. It influenced me to choose the profession when I was 5 years old. The characters were either construction engineers or contractors. Would like to see it again, but it's never been rebroadcast or available. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubleshooters_(1959_TV_series)

    Louis Bernstein, PE, LEED AP
    Civil Engineer

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    Louis Bernstein P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Phoenix AZ
    ------------------------------



  • 39.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 01-08-2021 04:12 PM

    The interests on this topic are overwhelming – indicating how the largest of all engineering disciplines – the civil engineers (CE) love their profession. I am tempted to add further to my earlier postings.

    Most of a country's developmental and repair/maintenance budget pass through the CE hands – therefore we carry a huge responsibility on our shoulders to turn the wheel of progress forward. Yet members of the general public have very vague idea about our role – partly because mass/entertainment media like movies, talk shows and news/views hardly throw any light on CE works/accomplishments (except only when failure occurs). Perhaps they know all these, but think that CEs will always be found on their backyard, so why talk about it.

    But, those who are thinking of making a change (producing, directing, script-writing, etc) – there are enough rooms to be creative. Some examples are: many civil engineering marvels or innovative ideas, services and products that people are familiar with – have happy/sad CE stories behind them. Countless hours of computation and design efforts leading to engineering solutions and practical installations define our activities – not smooth always, but things get done in the end. Apart from documentaries depicting those, one can always weave stories and fictions to tell viewers – the star roles of CEs.

    We are part of the establishment; therefore perhaps do not prefer to be drawn into drama/controversies. But we are like everyone else – with weaknesses and strengths including the family that share rejoicing during ups and carry the burden of downs. Many CE stories are similar like others – only they have to be made palatable tuning to the taste of general public.

    -----

    Dilip

    Website

    ORCID ID

    Google Scholar



    ------------------------------
    Dr. Dilip Barua, Ph.D, P.Eng, M. ASCE
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    https://widecanvas.weebly.com
    ------------------------------



  • 40.  RE: Accurate and Inaccurate Portrayals of Civil Engineers in Movies and TV Shows

    Posted 01-08-2021 08:38 PM
    I recommend a Colombian drama about a young civil engineer trapped in a bad business relationship with a drug lord in the 1980 Medellín.

    All the actors are amateur or "natural" performers. The Director, Victor Gaviria, is famous for the quality he can achieve with his directing approach.

    Here's the IMDB link:
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0265825/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    Best regards to all,

    Luis Vásquez
    Aff. M. ASCE, ISAP member

    ------------------------------
    Luis Vasquez-Varela Aff.M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Manizales
    ------------------------------