Top 5 Sci-Fi Classics That Feature Engineering-Related Elements

There have been some classic sci-fi movies with strong ties to the field of engineering.

Engineering is a frequently featured theme in sci-fi movies. The best movies even depict engineering theories and applications that are not only realistic but inspire a series of real-live applications and inventions as well. Whether it is civil or mechanical engineering, or even biomedical engineering, engineering-related theme, plot instrument, or characters in a sci-fi movie is a welcomed element.

There have been some classic sci-fi movies with strong ties to the field of engineering. We are going to take a look at the top five sci-fi classics that feature engineering-related elements in this article.

The Abyss

The Abyss tells the story of a diving team trying to find a lost nuclear submarine. The leader of the team, Dr. Lindsey Brigman, is a machine and marine engineer, as well as the designer of the oil rig that is at the center of the search.

The movie is also among the most successful in depicting an engineer as a leader and the main character. This engineers-as-leaders approach is now the center of updated curriculums for online masters in engineering at top universities such as the University of California Riverside.

Engineers are no longer seen as the geeks behind the scenes. Those with online masters engineering degrees are filling key roles on the market, including the role of CEO, COO, and CTO.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

The movie’s main theme is cybernetic engineering. While A.I. Artificial Intelligence deals more with the emotional side of robotics and cybernetics, the engineering factor that acts as the foundation for the plot is difficult to ignore.

The movie also inspires a lot of advancements in engineering. As with his other movies, Spielberg brought in real engineers and scientists to be a part of the filming. The little boy’s journey to regain the love of his human mother is inspiring.


We really can’t ignore Alien as an engineering-themed movie. The movie features a number of engineers in the crew of the ship. In fact, there are a lot of engineering-related characters throughout the movie’s history, including in the movie’s sequels.

Apollo 13

Apollo 13 is among the most realistic engineering movies of all time. The movie is based on the real journey of Apollo 13, albeit with a bit of dramatization. It is a particularly fascinating movie to watch, especially from an engineering standpoint.

Apollo 13 depicts the way spacecraft system engineers try to solve problems on the ground brilliantly. The creativity and the way new procedures are developed in the face of unfamiliar challenges are what make this movie an all-time great.

Batman Begins

Alright, I admit I added this last one to the list just for the fun of it. Batman is that one hero that relies on gadgets and engineering instead of superpowers and special gifts, so it would be unfair not to include Lucius Fox, the brain behind all of those awesome Batman gadgets you see on screen, as an inspiring engineering-related character.

We also have Tony Stark and his awesome Iron Man tech, but we’ll save him for another list in the future. Until then, these are the top five sci-fi classics that got a lot of people excited about engineering and engineers.

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Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
One Comment
  • Nicholas Adam Yanes
    26 July 2017 at 7:46 pm -

    Great article!!

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