Ohio State Theme Park Engineering Group

Hey everyone, I believe this has been posted a long time ago (searched endlessly through all threads looking for it so I didnt have to start a new one), but I'm part of a club at Ohio State called the Theme Park Engineering Group. We started last February and have grown incredibly over the past year. As of now we have about 15 consistent members and are working on a couple projects (One actually involves an Amusement company!). Anyway, this isn't an ad or anything, but we've start a blog to go along with our website. We're currently building a model of an S&S launched tower out of balsa. We will update the blog as we continue working with the project and other parts of the group. We got to go to Cedar Point in February and wander around the park with Eric Lapp (an Engineer there). Those pictures should be up soon as well.

Anyway, I just thought it would be interesting for some of you. Any cool ideas you have for the group? We're looking into getting with Kings Island so we can check out the construction going on in the back of the park.
The website is: http://themeparkeng.org.ohio-state.edu/

and the blog is:


That's pretty cool. So what exactly do you guys do?
If you're based out of Columbus why don't you do the obvious and try to take a construction tour of Zoombezi Bay?

Do you accept members from other universities?

Right now we are in the process of designing a launched tower ride (very much like an S&S air launched) with an added twist. We have had company contact us about working on a new product so our S&S ride is on hold for now, but in the future we plan to completely design it. We will be doing all basic force calculations, stresses on the structure and on the human body. Really we'd like to go the whole 9 yards. We just started the club in February '07 so we have not grown large enough to expand to other universities, however that is something we do plan to do in the future. It's a great way to get engineerings with similar interests (theme parks) together and work on new ideas. We're all about creativity and innovation. We took a trip to IAAPA last year and plan to go back this coming year. We met the guys from Gravity Group (awesome people), GCI, Premier, Zamperela, and a bunch of other companies. We also took some time to visit IOA while we were in the area ;-). Keep an eye out for us in the future because this club really has a chance to grow! Also check the blog or website every so often because we will be updating it as we progress with things.

Zoombezi bay is a great idea! If we can't get back up to Cedar Point I think that would be a really good 2nd option. *** Edited 4/8/2008 2:52:59 AM UTC by DanLinden***

Yeah. CP is only about 3 hours from Columbus (take I-71 and pick up OH-13 to US 250). When I worked at CP I had a roommate who lived in Mount Vernon.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

janfrederick's avatar
Not to late to make a boiler though. ;)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Yeah it's really grown over the past year. Very unique group too! We're going to build a Dragon model from CoasterDynamix today! I'll post construction pics and a video if I can sometime today. In the future we plan to do a bunch of our own coaster designs with coasterdynamix. Also, Coasterdynamix is in O-scale, as with our tower model thus in essence we are starting to construct our own park!
Every considar doing branches of this at other schools?

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

It is in consideration. We are still ironing out the group structure here at Ohio State but we've gotten alot of interest around other schools as well. We'll be sure to publish any information for other schools on our website.
Nice. It'll be nice to get some fresh ideas flowing for coasters. It is possible one of you guys might design the first 600 ft maglev coaster.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

Hey guys, both the website and the blog has been updated. We added some exclusive pictures of Cedar Point that we took back in February. We had an all-access pass to the park with an engineer (Eric Lapp). Some cool pictures of the trains in various states of maintenance as well as some hard-to-see spots on Maverick and TTD. The blog has some pictures of the construction of a Coaster Dynamix model. Enjoy!

Hey everyone. It's been a while since I've mentioned anything about the group but we have some cool stuff going on right now.

We are currently in the process of constructing a 10ft model of an S&S launch ride. It's made of steel and will use a similar compressed air launch system Pictures of the construction are over at the blog (http://themeparkengineeringgroup.wordpress.com/). We've also been following the progress of the Columbus Zoo's new Polar Bear exhibit. Pictures will be posted on the blog soon.

Probably the most interesting bit of news is that Bill Watkins, the key designer of the original Space Mountain in Disney Land will be giving a 4-day lecture on the design and creation of roller coasters. After Disney he went on to own a business centered around amusement rides. This is quite the opportunity!

If you're in college, please contact me if you're interested in starting a group similar to the one at Ohio State. There are already groups sprouting up at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Toledo. We'd love to see this idea grow across the country and we can help you set a group up at your school.

And of course, if you're attending OSU or thinking about it, stop by a meeting! We have about 4-5 meetings a week so we're very easy to find!

Last edited by DanLinden,
WildStangAlex's avatar

This looks pretty cool. I wonder what kind of interest there would be in this from students at Purdue.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

I have a hunch you'd be able to find a good group of people interested. The guy who started it down in Cincinnati didnt have a problem finding people. We have about 20 active members. Who doesn't like theme parks?

WildStangAlex's avatar

Yeah I talked to a few people today. I'll probably be in contact with you. Our goal is to have enough information together to host a call-out next fall.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

Please do contact me. We are currently working on a national-level thing and if you're looking to start a club at Purdue we can get you involved in that. We have a bunch of resources and experience to help you create a new group!

delan's avatar

Man, I wish there were groups like this when I was in college.

WildStangAlex's avatar

For anybody interested in this at Purdue, please search for Purdue Theme Park Engineering on Facebook and join. We are planning on becoming recognized as a group in the fall semester.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

I have just found out that a group like this is starting up at the University of Toledo. :)

Wow, that is great these groups are popping up everywhere. There is a very large group similar to these called the Future Theme Park Leaders Association at the University of Central Florida. They're pretty similar to you guys but about managing and operating the parks, not engineering.

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