Cinematography

An area where SASWE has made a contribution to engineering education is Cinematography. This effort had its beginnings as a freshman course designed in 2007 by SASWE. In such a SASWE-designed course, groups of four freshmen students engage in a semester-long project to create movie documentaries on a civil engineering infrastructure, problem, or concept for a movie-making competition. These movies are made entirely by students, with continuous guidance provided by SASWE members (movies are posted on www.youtube.com; 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. The goal of this course is essentially to instill active learning by empowering students to satisfy their curiosity independently. SASWE research on engineering education has shown findings at a recent American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) conference that 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 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjxRLp6OP4Q (and contested unsuccessfully in Sundance-2014 and Berlin-2014 Film Festivals in the short-films category). RISING TIDE represents the first of many cinema style docu-fictions that SASWE plans to create with the thrill and entertainment factor over the next few years. Our next big movie with more stunts, thrill and aerial shots (from UAVs) has just been launched in 2015, titled “BAY OF HOPE”. The movie is online at http://youtu.be/qiYFOyt0_iY. SASWE’s current production rate of movies is about 1 per two years and we are currently looking to accelerate this through more investment and a business plan. The range of movies and documentaries produced so far with SASWE contribution are listed below.

Bay of Hope – English Subtitle

Bay of Hope French Subtitle

Bay of Hope German Subtitle


Rising Tide


Hydrology and Hydrodynamics Program of UW

Team 3 – The Boss Man

Team 2 – The Spartans

Space: Come Hell or High Water

Team 1 – The Fifth Element

1ST PRIZE- Team 3: Future of Interstate System


Team 1 – Future of Bridges- What they are and What they can be

Team 2 – Shell Structures – What they are and what they can be

Team 4 – Future of Transportation Systems

1ST PRIZE- GOLDEN EAGLES GROUP: Bridges in Civil Engineering

Movie Documentary by HOT MILK GROUP: Wastewater Treatment

Movie Documentary by TITANS GROUP: Railroads in the US