Rick Sternbach

From 1977 to 1980, Rick Sternbach worked as an Assistant Art Director and Visual Effects Artist on Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage series, where he designed sets and storyboard sequences during pre-production and then worked on visual effects scenes during production. For his work on the episode The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean he won the 1980-1981 Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Creative Technical Craft.

In January 1987, Sternbach was hired along with Andrew Probert (the first two art department hires) to start design work for a new Star Trek series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sternbach recounts that he heard the news about TNG on his car radio, and then quickly called Gene Roddenberry's office.

Sternbach helped define the look of the 24th century that would be used throughout The Next Generation and the series that followed it, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Props such as the phasers, tricorders, PADDs and the communicator badge were all based on his designs.

During his time in the Star Trek art department at Paramount, Sternbach was also responsible for a number of starship designs including the Cardassian Galor class starships, the Klingon Vor'cha and Negh'Var class starships and Federation starships such as the Prometheus class, the Dauntless, the Nova class and the USS Voyager itself.

As fans of the original series of Star Trek and fans of the space program, Sternbach and Michael Okuda found roles as Technical Advisors on the series, advising the writers on technical matters and developing a number of concepts to add realism to the Star Trek universe, such as the Structural Integrity Field and the Inertial Damper. To this end, they produced a technical manual for each series, that was made available along with the series bible to any prospective script-writers to familiarize them with the concepts behind the series' technology. In 1991, Pocket Books published an updated, illustrated version of the Next Generation Technical Manual and then seven years later, the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual.

When Voyager finished its seventh year in 2001, the producers decided they wanted a different look for the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise that was set in the 22nd century, so Sternbach did not transfer over to the Enterprise art department, concluding his fourteen-year employment at Paramount Studios.

Sternbach returned to Star Trek in 2002, when he produced control panel designs and signage for the Enterprise-E and Romulan starships in Star Trek Nemesis.

Sternbach is also a noted contributor to the usenet newsgroup sci.space.history, and is an accepted expert on the various paint schemes used on the Saturn V booster. His company, Space Model Systems, is a leading provider of accurate decals for model kits of the Saturn V, as well as the Apollo Command Module.

4:00 pm

Below Decks: VOYAGER Behind The Scenes :: Main Theatre - Room 300
James Kahn, Rick Sternbach
Friday July 24, 2015 :: 4:00 pm to 4:50 pm

1:00 pm

NASA - Sci-Fi Tech vs. Real Tech – Tech Development :: Programming Room 2 - Room 305
Rick Sternbach
Saturday July 25, 2015 :: 1:00 pm to 1:50 pm