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Where are the Engineers in Movies and TV Series? | Engineering IRL Podcast Rev.40

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

Episode Announcement! Trying to be one of the best engineering podcasts on spotify.

We engineers work on some of the grandest projects in the world and work in the cutting edge of technology. We also deal with everyday politics, companies, businesses and dramas that can unfold from working in industry.

With kind of backstory and high stakes impacting greater society but also having the everyday work, why can't we find several films and tv series with engineers?

I decided to make episode 40 of the Engineering IRL podcast dedicated to answering a few questions as to what the roadblocks are and what it is you can do to help!

The long story short is to help build the demand by watching content that have the main protagonist have a background in engineering.

Don't get caught up on minor inaccuracies of the actual engineering and let that stop you from watching a good story.

The problem with storytelling for engineering

Most non-engineering types look at engineering as boring or math or scienc-ey and that being the case there is a fair amount of great documentaries out there for example "Engineering an Empire" covering the Byzantines, The Aztecs, Persians and Roman Empires. I enjoyed that one and it's a good place to start but for this episode I'm budling documentaries as their own category. We're good for that kind of content, we have several lectures and detailed technical stuff.

So that's one issue because it's engineering, there's an expectation to educate and that results in documentaries. Which is great, but not exactly the creative storytelling part.

The next issue is engineers themselves might nitpick at every small inaccuracy and not even consider the rest of the show palpable. You might argue that it's the movie director and producers not being able to explain concepts correctly but that drives us back to the first issue.

One of the bigger issues is engineering takes place at the cutting edge of technology, this means it is hidden behind patents, copyrights and trade secrets that can have reputational impacts on companies. Meaning engineers typically struggle to share stories.

All in all, these aren't huge roadblocks but things that add up to where it is.

So what's something YOU can do to help? Demand. Help to increase demand.

That is by watching engineering content, movies and TV series and being open about the storytelling behind it and be okay with technical details not being perfect.

Listen on the Engineering IRL Podcast

For all of these questions I have answered in more detail in the Engineering podcast if you prefer to listen.

Check it out wherever you get your podcast.


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