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Career Choice - Design Engineer?

I have to write a report and give an oral presentation on the career of my choice that I would seriously consider entering after high school in my honors composition class.

But I'm sort of stuck. I really want to design roller coasters for a living, because I love them so much. But that is too small of a subject to find any vaild information on, and design engineer is too big.

I finally decided that I could enter as a civil engineer and then go to roller coasters from there.

Does anyone have advice, resources, or anything that might assist me? Your consideration is appreciated.
Well, believe it or not, I'm a Civil Engineer. The very interesting thing about this topic is the vast number of diciplines the subject has. These include:

Water Engineering,
Structural Engineering,
Highway Design / Transport Strategies,
Geotechnical Engineering,
Project Management,
Environmental Engineering,

The list goes on.

What it would be best to do is to look at a few areas you're interested in and present on them. For example, the Millau Bridge in France was an amazing feat of Architecture and Engineering - why not make a presentation about that? There will be plenty of info available online.

Again, why not examine some Civil Engineering companies? Jacobs is one of the world's largest Engineering Consultancy companies. They recently bought Babtie - the UK's biggest Engineering Consultancy, extending their reach into Europe. There is a load of information on the Jacobs and Jacobs Babtie websites including case studies of past projects.

I'm based in the UK just now, so I can only advise on the ones near me, but there are also several professional institutions such as ICE and IStructE where you'll be able to get a host of information.

Virtually every project you have ever seen has had a Civil Engineer involved from the buildings you work in to the roads you use to get there. There are also some less well-known areas of the discipline like sewerage treatment and traffic modelling. In making a presentation, you should try to appear interested in what you're talking about and the best way to do this is to actually be interested in it. Look for info on any project you like and just talk about an Engineer's role in that project.


And believe it or not, Jacobs has a Rollercoaster Design section to their business Wink
I think you will find plenty of information on roller coasters as they are a very complex ride to design. If it is truly what you like then yeah, make a presentation on them. You also have to be good at physics and math Very Happy I mean really good to be an engineer.
Roller coasters are cool, I did an essay on them in first year of uni.

I know Animal through my Civil Engineering course.

It depends upon which parts of the rollercoaster you wish to design. Actually building the thing, physically, would be civils, and is the part which would interest me the most. But I guess it's mechanical engineering which would get you into the design, manipulating the physics so that the ride is as exciting as possible.

It depends which part you are most interested in. Civil and machanical are both very broad trades to go into, whilst crossing quite a bit, they are quite different.

Civil = things which dont move, such as the rollercoaster structure.
Mechanical = thing which move, such as the coaster itself.


Check out Calatrava, engineer / architect if you want to see bridges. Based on the human form. Very cool
Thanks for the assistance everyone, now I need to find someone to interview... hmm.

And they have a roller coaster division? That's awesome! I just love them, I want to design them & build them, I'm really focused on that.

I'll look into some of the things you've said, thanks again!
This is true of any calling.
In todays society, you can't always expect to get the role you are 'destined' for. The role you would take over everything else.
Sometimes, the best thing one can do is educate themselves on the broad topic, covering all aspects, and specialize with time and people.

That is to say, since it's not what you know but WHO you know, best thing to do is educate, get into the industry and then make your way towards the absolute goal.

Rollercoasters your thing? Get a Civil Engineering ticket and move towards Amusement Rides. Find a position with an amusement park as their technician so you can say you have experience with them first hand. That's a big selling point! Finally, design a few and apply at various manufacturing companies.

There are no one step programs to get into special fields...
Game developers and graphic artists know this all too well.
Hey !!

I'm actually (also) an engineer in the railway industry, in europe.

As much as you want it, designing roller coasters is too diversified a job to be done alone. You can however participate in the building of such structures by either becoming a mechanics engineer designing the different parts of the tran and drive system, or becoming a civil engineer.

But hey !! It's not easy... Just make sure you don't become one of those math geeks...

My 2 cents
Thats is a cool field to get into,
Yes you can do the design and the building, some people are famous for designing roller coasters, yes you should get the special training and experience to work your way up there.

If thats what you enjoying doing, beside you must be working with that lego stuff huh? ... well all and all learning everything there is to know about designing roller coasters and theme rides, the people involde, brake throughs case studies, research what you need ... education, experience... , suscrible to magazines. heres a link which can help you get started:

it as most profiles of people designing roller coasters, see what they did, there strenghts, there weeknesss and follow and achive more.

A word of thought.

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