It’s here! Summer! Although, in Florida it has been here for a few months already, we are still super excited to start the summer and take a look at all the fascinating engineering that goes down during the summer. One of the best examples of engineering summer fun is theme parks! From roller coasters to water slide, engineers design the structures that give thrills and fun all summer long.

For an awesome water slide, check out Noah’s Ark Water Park in Wisconsin. They opened the country’s first looping water slide. Made to mimic the thrill of riding an upside-down roller coaster, The Scorpion’s Tale speeds passengers up through an angled loop before the final wild splash. This loop-de-loop is the result of some clever engineering, as the makers had to be sure people would not get stuck or injured.

Right around the corner from our hometown in Orlando, FL, Universal Studios is opening a new roller coaster. This Harry Potter themed ride featuring indoor and outdoor track, dead ends and drops, is sure to give the rider an adventure. A design team typically made up of structural, electrical and mechanical engineers work hard to produce fun and safe rides. For themed roller coasters like this one, it can take 3-5 years to finish, from soil testing, to initial design drafts, to grand opening.

The development of a new roller coaster track is affected by a number of factors such as:

  • location of the structure
  • availability of space
  • type of roller coaster
  • interference/ interaction with other facilities and attractions which is of particular importance in countries where roller coasters are installed in small playgrounds or malls

Engineers will normally need to evaluate a number of different designs, only one of which will result in the final construction configuration.

The main responsibilities of a roller coaster engineer are deciding where the tracks should be placed, picking the right roller coaster for a particular environment and making sure all aspects are safe with each roller coaster. To make sure rides are safe, these engineers test them out, making sure all of the weights and speeds are set correctly.

More to come soon.

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