Gilbane Gold

©1989 – 24 minutes

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General Information


When faced with ethical issues and questions, decisions aren’t always easy. Ethical decisions often require considerable moral courage. This classic video presents a study of ethical responsibilities and choices similar to those encountered in engineering practice. Some concepts brought out in the story are:

  • Protection of public health and the environment (spirit versus letter of the law)
  • Quality of life and welfare of people (jobs and taxes)
  • Free enterprise (profitability and competition in an international marketplace)
  • Personal integrity (view of self and living up to personal standards)

Gilbane Gold is 24 minutes long, making it short enough for viewing and discussing at society meetings, company lunches, and college classes.


Gilbane Gold is the name given to dried sludge from the city of Gilbane wastewater treatment plant. It is sold to farmers as a commercial fertilizer. The annual revenue generated saves the average family about $300 per year in taxes. Z CORP, a computer components manufacturer, discharges wastewater containing small amounts of lead and arsenic into the city sewers. By current city test standards, the discharge meets allowable levels. Z CORP environmental engineers know of a newer test which shows that the discharge may still meet the letter of the law, but the test exceeds the spirit of the law. Protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public is a concern.

Free Downloadable Material

Presentation Handout

It is often helpful for viewers to have information on the characters while they watch the movie. The presentation handout is two pages – one page contains the synopsis and a brief introduction to the main characters. The other page contains a list of sample questions relating to the various issues contained in the movie. The handout may be printed on both sides of one piece of paper, or the facilitator can decide to only use the introduction or only the sample questions. To view and print this handout, please click here.

Study Guide

study guide may be downloaded free which contains additional information about the story, list of characters, a suggested strategy for study, and a suggested assignment.

PowerPoint Presentation

A set of 36 PowerPoint slides may be downloaded free, modified to fit the presentation format. They may be shortened to serve as only an introduction to the video or, if desired, used uncut to include slides on the importance of ethical leadership. View the PowerPoint presentation..


A copy of the entire script and production details may be downloaded free of charge..

Purchase Information

Purchase Price

The Gilbane Gold DVD is priced at $200 and the VHS is priced at $160, plus $20 for shipping and handling. Universities, colleges, and libraries receive a 70% discount while engineering societies and distributors receive a 60% discount. If you would like a copy of Gilbane Gold, please contact to order. Also, please look at the policy below regarding usage of NIEE movies.

Marketing Opportunity

Marketing organizations, including Societies, Universities, and other recognized groups (hereafter called Marketing Organizations) may purchase copies of NIEE videos at discounted prices and resell them to their own customers. Contact NIEE for more information, discounts, and conditions.

Policy Regarding Use

Whenever NIEE movies are shown, appropriate credit shall be given to the National Institute for Engineering Ethics.

NIEE movies may be:

  1. Shown to students or company employees without charge in non-fundraising venues.
  2. Posted on a university server for internal use only without a usage fee.
  3. Posted on other servers with a negotiated usage fee.