Logo: University of Southern California

MEDIA ADVISORY- February 17, 2015: USC Viterbi School of Engineering and National Academy of Engineering to Launch “The Next MacGyver” Competition for New TV Series with Female Engineer Lead

Contact: Megan Hazle - 213-821-1887 or hazle@usc.edu or Robert Perkins - 213-740-9226 or perkinsr@usc.edu
February 17, 2015 —

WHAT: In anticipation of this year's National Engineers Week beginning Feb. 22, representatives from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the National Academy of Engineering, and the MacGyver Foundation will be joined by top Hollywood producers to announce the launch of a worldwide crowd-sourcing competition, The Next MacGyver. Sponsored by the United Engineering Foundation, this competition is seeking ideas for a scripted television show featuring a female engineer as a leading character.

WHY: With women earning fewer than 20 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering today, speakers will discuss the importance of the positive portrayal of engineers in popular culture to help inspire young people, especially women, to consider pursuing engineering careers. Further information about the competition and next steps also will be discussed.

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 19 at 8:00 a.m. PST/11:00 a.m. EST

WHERE: National Academy of Sciences building (Lecture Room), 2101 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. For those who cannot attend, a live video webcast of the event will be available here.


  • Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of USC Viterbi
  • Lee Zlotoff, creator of “MacGyver”
  • Ruth David, president and CEO, Analytic Services Inc.; former CIA deputy director for science and technology; and NAE member
  • Mario Armstrong (moderator), digital lifestyle expert, TODAY Show
  • Ivan Bermudez, IT executive, Creative Artists Agency
  • Lori McCreary, CEO, Revelations Entertainment
  • Anthony Zuiker, creator of “CSI”

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 180 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 62 endowed chairs and professorships.http://viterbi.usc.edu

About the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
The mission of NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE, along with the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are private, independent nonprofit institutions established under a congressional charter granted to NAS in 1863.

Megan Hazle - 213-821-1887 or hazle@usc.edu
Robert Perkins - 213-740-9226 or perkinsr@usc.edu
To attend the event in Washington DC, please contact the National Academies' Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail news@nas.edu.