College Majors for designing?

Saturday, December 30, 2000 5:58 PM
I was wondering if anyone knows what major you would take in college to get into the roller coaster designing field. I plan to go into Architecture or engineering, or some sort of Physics field. I would like to know if there is any other major that I could take that would help to get into the field. Perhaps I could make Architecture a major or a minor, but it depends on which major is for coaster designing.

Thanks for your help!
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Saturday, December 30, 2000 6:06 PM
Mechanical Engineering....thats a real fun major too ;)
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Saturday, December 30, 2000 6:16 PM
I'm planning on doing the same thing. I e-mailed a coaster designer the other day and they said to major in Mechanical Engineering. After that, just go looking for a roller coaster job somewhere.

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What is life without ups and downs!?!?
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Saturday, December 30, 2000 6:39 PM
Ok - I am doing the same thing next year. Physics and Mechanical Engineering are the majors you want. After you graduate, you still won't beable to get in til you have a great deal of experience. Its very hard to get in to the industry, but its worth the effort IMO.

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Its 106 miles to Chicago. We've got a full
tank of gas, half-pack of cigarettes, its night,
and we're wearing sunglasses! - Blues Brothers
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Sunday, December 31, 2000 9:01 AM
Mechanical Engineering, man! Make sure you know a lot about machinery.
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Sunday, December 31, 2000 9:53 AM
While the general concensus seems to be MechE, you also might want to consider Civil Engineering. If you want to be involed with the layout and conceptual phase, MechE is likely your best shot. However, if you want to be involved in the build phase, civil E will likely serve you better, because on the emphasis of structural integrity provided by that major. Hopefully, you have a deep liking of math and physics because you will get a HEALTHY dose of each in college.
good luck
jeremy c. norris E.I.
--BSAAE UIUC 1999
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Sunday, December 31, 2000 10:14 AM
I think that I would rather go into business and own a theme park, though I do have some nice ideas for coasters .

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What is life without geniuses?
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Sunday, December 31, 2000 5:58 PM
Yeah, I'm probably going to go into Civil Engineering because I'd rather design the coasters than build them and figure out structual ingetrity information. My brother is in engineering at Purdue, and he says probably half of the students going there are going into the Mechanical field.
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Monday, January 1, 2001 7:17 AM
In oder to design the coasters, you MUST have Mechanical Engineering. Mech. Eng. deals with the movement of objects the are built, and Civil Engineering deals with the buildings, houses, etc...

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What is life without ups and downs!?!?
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Monday, January 1, 2001 10:09 AM
Drafting or computer design(auto cad)would be another field you should know something about.

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Ride with full FORCE
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Tuesday, January 2, 2001 3:42 AM
Josh: I dont know how much experience you have with engineering as a college major, but there is more than enough overlap between Mech and Civil that either degree could be used for design. To be brutally honest, I believe coaster design involves about every major engineering discipline (Civil, Mech, Electrical, Aero, Materials, Envionmental, etc), so there is no one degree one MUST have to do the design, though I agree that ME would give the best skills set.

And Andrew, you cant get a degree in Civil or Mechanical (or Aero for that matter) without taking a class to demonstrate proficiency in drafting (by hand and computer)
jeremy
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Tuesday, January 2, 2001 5:49 AM
So would you recommend Civil or Mechanical?
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Tuesday, January 2, 2001 6:55 AM
2hoystyl, I never said you had to go in to the field of draftingor computer design, I just said it would help to know a little about the field.

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Ride with full FORCE
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Tuesday, January 2, 2001 7:52 AM
CPgenius: I would recommend Mechanical and this is why. Mechanical engineering touches on just about every other, more narrow, engineering field. At the college I went to (Univ of Illinois) MEs had to take structural classes (like civils) circuit analysis classes (like electricals) chemistry classes (like chemicals) and fluid dynamics (like Aeros). Not to mention they also deal with thermodynamics (material science), computer programming (comp sci), and general dynamics (physics). All this will give you a very broadbase of skills, all of which will be an asset to you.

And andrew, I didnt mean to come across as snotty, I'm sorry.
jeremy
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Tuesday, January 2, 2001 7:44 PM
...And my totally uninformed opinion is that if you have interest in designing flat rides, or if you are interested in ride dynamics, you might consider aeronautical engineering. In many ways, aeronautical engineering...in terms of airframe design, anyway...has a lot in common with civil engineering...except that the structures have to be designed to handle dynamic loads, which is precisely the conditions you need to contend with on an amusement ride.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Who is not actually trained in any engineering discipline, but did play a broadcast engineer at work for a few years...
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Wednesday, January 3, 2001 3:37 AM
RideMan: Actually, Aero and Mechanical are closer than aero and civil. In fact, the main difference at my school was us Aeros took an extra fluid dymanics class (compressible flow) where the Mechs took a thermodynamics class (heat transfer), otherwise, the programs were virtually identical (of course, all our classes were geared specifically to aircraft/spacecraft) =]. But your right Aero is another possibility...
jeremy
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Wednesday, January 3, 2001 6:10 AM
Knowing a bit in carpentry and electrical never hurts.
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Thursday, January 4, 2001 4:52 AM
Thanks 2Hostyl and Rideman!
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Thursday, January 4, 2001 8:00 AM
Let me know when you design your first one..I'll be the test dummy!


CoasterCAptain

CoasterAddicts coming soon!
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Saturday, January 6, 2001 3:49 PM
Sure thing. ;)
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