An area where SASWE has made a contribution to engineering education is Cinematography. This effort had its beginning as a freshman course designed in 2007. Groups of four freshmen students engaged in a semester-long project to create movie documentaries on a civil engineering concept for a movie-making competition. These movies are made entirely by students, with continuous guidance provided by SASWE members (movies are posted on; search for “CEE1020” on search field of youtube). The student-made movies are all rated by a panel of independent judges toward the end of the semester to adjudge the best movie-making group. Such empowerment (through movie-making) actually improves learning of physical concepts and improves retention in the undergraduate program for STEM disciplines.

This heritage of multi-media film making has now evolved to a broader and more professional level on the silver screen. In 2013, SASWE group directed and produced ‘RISING TIDE’, which is a highly successful and Hollywood style movie. RISING TIDE represents a Fulbright and USAID-sponsored docu-fiction to popularize how satellite technology positively impacts the social fabric of inhabitants in delta nations. Using the vehicle of multi-media entertainment and a real-life scenario, an alternative approach to illuminating the societal relevance of water, sustainability and satellites for the environment was experimented with. The movie is online at

The next big film with more stunts, thrill and aerial shots (from UAVs) was launched in 2015, titled “BAY OF HOPE”. The movie is online at Bay of Hope was selected for the 8th Eco-Film Festival in Malaysia-2015.

The biggest budget documentary yet (>60,000 USD) ‘Cotton Fields from the Ivory Tower’ has just been launched in June 2017.The movie is online at

SASWE’s current production rate of movies is about 1 per two years. We are currently looking to accelerate this through more investment and a business plan. The SASWE group has also played an important role in launching the Inaugural CEE Film Contest in 2017. This is the nation’s first Student Film Contest for Engineers that will be held every two years in University of Washington. The second Student Film Contest is scheduled for 2019. The range of movies and documentaries produced so far with SASWE contribution are listed below.

Feeding Asia: Mainstreaming Smart Ag Technology

Cotton Fields from the Ivory Tower

Bay of Hope – English Subtitle

Bay of Hope French Subtitle

Bay of Hope German Subtitle

Rising Tide

Hydrology and Hydrodynamics Program of UW

Space: Come Hell or High Water

Cotton Fields from the Ivory Tower