Henry’s Daughters

© 2010 – Subtitled in 13 languages – 32 minutes

For product ordering information, please contact: admin@niee.org

General Information


Although Henry’s Daughters and associated educational materials target engineering students, the movie also applies to practicing engineers and provides a broad perspective on professional responsibilities.

The movie and the training materials will also be suitable for educating students in business, science, and other majors. This offers an indirect benefit to the engineering profession: encouraged dialogue between engineers and other professionals.

The video shows that good and well-meaning people can unintentionally get into situations that may result in unethical consequences. The video is designed to:

  • Increase sensitivity to the ethical dimensions of professional work;
  • Advance knowledge of professional standards and public obligations and expectations;
  • Develop judgment and improve skills in moral reasoning; and
  • Encourage commitment to professional ethics and strengthen personal dedication to exemplary conduct.

The movie will introduce audience members to the concepts:

  • Ethical issues are an integral part of making decisions.
  • A professional’s obligations go beyond fulfilling a contract with a client or customer.
  • Ethical problems in engineering and technology have both technical and non-technical solutions.
  • While individual engineers have ethical obligations, the engineering profession also has collective social and ethical obligations to the public.
  • Workplace issues such as gender discrimination are an important part of engineering ethics.

Henry’s Daughters is 32 minutes long. Therefore, it is short enough for viewing and discussing at society meetings, company lunches, and college classes.

Subtitled Languages

The DVD contains subtitles for the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese – Simplified
  • Chinese – Traditional
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Synopsis of the Story

Henry is a retired but still well-connected automobile executive and lobbyist. GUIDEME, a client of Henry’s, is involved in an academia-industry-Department of Transportation smart highway design competition called SANSHANDS. The project goal is to develop specifications for automated highways and car control systems so that people won’t have to drive anymore. Laura, Henry’s oldest daughter, is a professional engineer who works at the Department of Transportation. She is the project manager, and responsible for compiling and recommending the specifications for the computer control system. Julie is Henry’s younger daughter. With her father’s finagling, she is an intern with OUTOCAR, a local start-up company recently founded by state university engineers in partnership with the University’s Business Incubator. OUTOCAR is competing with GUIDEME to take the design of SANSHANDS to the next level. The story intertwines the lives of both young women and their father. They are excited to be involved with a project that will impact the future of transportation. While most of their discussions focus on technical and personal challenges, sometimes they unintentionally cross the ethical line by letting proprietary information slip out. Ultimately, Laura’s team recommends OUTOCAR but the final award goes to GUIDEME. OUTOCAR personnel allege that ethical misconduct and possible criminal violations occurred during the project. Consequently, the state senate ethics commission holds a hearing and calls Laura and Henry to testify. Henry’s Daughters highlights ethical issues encountered by the characters, such as professional relationships, conflicts of interest, favoritism, confidentiality, proprietary information, intellectual property, gender issues, sexual harassment, and individual privacy.

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 pictures 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 pictures or only the sample questions. View and print this handout.

Study Guide

The 24 page study guide is available in two formats: PDF (with graphics) and Word (without graphics). It contains suggestions for use of the video, the story line, list of characters, synopsis of the video, purpose of the video, questions about ethical issues that the story raises, and a suggested assignment for students and viewers.


View the script for Henry’s Daughters.

Suggested Assignment

Before viewing Henry’s Daughters, please print and distribute the suggested assignment. After the movie, ask viewers to prepare a written response to the questions below. Suggested length is two to three pages with 1.5 line spacing, 12 point font, and 1 inch margins.

Purchase Information

Purchase Price

The Henry’s Daughters is priced at $500, in digital or DVD format ($20 shipping and handling fee for DVD media). Universities, colleges, and libraries receive a 70% discount (reduced price $150) while engineering societies and distributors receive a 60% discount (reduced price $200). If you would like a copy of Henry’s Daughters, please contact admin@niee.org 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).

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.