Women of Engineering show their sexy side

By Mike Kelly

In the April 12 edition of The Daily Illini, the article “Women of Engineering show their sexy side” incorrectly spelled Ramadev Hukkeri’s name as “Ramaded.”

The University may never look at women in engineering the same again.

The “Girls of Engineering” calendar is scheduled for release on August 22. It will be a full color, monthly calendar featuring undergraduate women who are currently enrolled in the University’s College of Engineering.

Chiral Productions, the company responsible for producing the calendar, plans to shoot pictures for the calendar about a month after finals end.

The Chicago-based company consists of four partners, two of whom are graduates from the University’s Engineering Department.

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    In the past, they have focused on producing creative media-type projects, like commercials and independent films.

    “They’re going to be attractive photos,” said calendar producer Jen Wood, who is also a University alumna. “I want a lot of sex appeal in the calendar.”

    There is currently a preview photo on the company’s Web site, www.girlsofengineering.com, depicting a woman lying in black lingerie.

    Ramaded Hukkeri, the technical director of the project and University graduate said sex appeal is necessary to ensure marketability.

    Currently, they have enough models but are still accepting applications on their Web site.

    “A lot of what we’re looking for is personality,” said company partner Syed Karim. “The thing that really sets us apart is that we are really focusing on intelligence.”

    The young entrepreneurs hope to make a community contribution by promoting the idea of intellectual women. One of the main goals of the calendar is to promote engineering to younger girls.

    “I hope it is a great role model for girls who are still in high school and trying to decide what they want to do,” Wood said.

    Chiral Productions is not affiliated with the University. Members of the Society of Women Engineers knew vaguely of the project, but confirmed that they were not involved in its production or promotion.

    Female engineers on campus do not have a united opinion about the calendar.

    “Our society as a whole is a professional society,” said Laura Murphy, a junior in Engineering and the social director of the society. “I don’t think it would be too professional for members to be involved with.”

    Jennifer Mayberry, senior in Engineering, was more optimistic about the project.

    “Generally, I’m not a fan of swimsuit calendars, but that’s out there whether you like it or not,” she said. “I think that this calendar breaks down a couple of stereotypes. I think this could show that women who are smart – and maybe considered nerdy – can also be beautiful and sexy.”

    Initially, three to five thousand calendars will be produced and should be available in campus bookstores. Depending on the success of the calendar, Chiral Productions plans on replicating the same idea for colleges nationwide.

    Wood, who came up with the idea for the calendar a few years ago, said that the University is a great place to start the project. They are planning promotional events that will be announced later.

    “We want to defy the stereotypes of female engineers,” Wood said.