"Engineering The Future" was presented at the Directors Guild of America in partnership with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA). We live in a world of nearly limitless possibility. What was once deemed impossible is now a matter of routine. What was once unthinkable is now everyday reality. This fact was nowhere better expressed than in the evening’s triumvirate presentations, designed specifically to highlight how the intersection of science and entertainment enriches both pursuits.
Frances Arnold, the Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at Caltech, creates new biological molecules and organisms by forcing their evolution in the laboratory. Maja Mataric, professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California, develops socially assistive robots that provide personalized human–machine interaction for those suffering from autism, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other debilitating ailments. Randii R. Wessen, the Deputy Manager of the Project Formulation Office at NASA/Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has, for the last 27 years, worked on multiple spacecraft searching for Earth-like planets around other stars. The evening was moderated by Jon Spaihts, the screenwriter for Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated Alien prequel, Prometheus, and a filmmaker who both understands the value and uses of the language of science to inform his storytelling.
IEEE-USA and The Science & Etertainment Exchange presented "Engineering The Future" at the Directors Guild of America in June, 2011. Moderator Jon Spaihts has worked full-time as a screenwriter since 2005. He wrote the alien invasion thriller The Darkest Hour and Ridley Scott's upcoming project Prometheus.
The Science & Entertainment Exchange (The Exchange) is a program of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that connects entertainment industry professionals with top scientists and engineers to create a synergy between accurate science and engaging storylines in both film and TV programming.Our world is changing rapidly, thanks in large part to engineers. This special "engineering sampler" explores the ways in which new systems are being built.