THRILL: Human Factors in amusement attractions

Lapel pin of THRILL Lab logo: magnifying glass looking at Ferris wheel with carousel and roller coaster below

The THRILL Program (Tools for Holistic Ride Inspection Learning and Leadership) focuses on the application of human factors engineering (also called ergonomics) to enhance amusement rides and attractions.

The THRILL Program (Tools for Holistic Ride Inspection Learning and Leadership) focuses on the application of human factors engineering (also called ergonomics) to enhance amusement rides and attractions.

THRILL Lab research, led by Dr. Kathryn Woodcock, a professional engineer (P.Eng.), Canadian certified professional ergonomist (CCPE), and IAAPA Certified Attractions Executive (ICAE) studies future developments for amusement devices for enhanced “show” and guest experience, safer rider behaviour, easier-to-use control interfaces, quicker expertise development for new inspectors, and more valuable feedback from accidents and unsatisfactory performance. The lab’s priority is on translating human factors assessments into tools for designers, operators, regulators and inspectors.

Many THRILL lab trainees are interested in careers in theme parks and attractions, an important part of the tourism sector with few formal academic programs available focused on this industry. Dr. Woodcock is the producer and director of the Ryerson Invitational Thrill Design Competition, presented by Universal Creative, a valuable experience and exposure for students representing dozens international themed entertainment clubs.

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