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Wednesday, pre-CNE

The show opens Friday morning. The threatening rain yesterday did not catch us, and today was windy but dry. There were still many rides on the midway that had not been completely put together and fenced in, giving us a good chance to look at the machinery from all angles. We also had a chance to watch inspections of some rides, including the Ring of Fire and the Crazy Mouse spinning coaster.

These were great opportunities for the group to think about how to mimic the mechanisms of the rides for scale model club projects, and challenge themselves to spot key features like brakes, proximity switches, drive wheels, cables, and chains on a variety of rides.

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Happy New Year

Every year, summer winds down and the CNE marks the imminent start of the new school year. Since 2002, the THRILL Lab has spent time during the CNE construction week observing and learning.  Some years, we have one or more studies on the go, other times, we are collecting ideas for future studies or designs. We meet new people and reconnect with people we know who have been so generous sharing their expertise. Increasingly, the CNE construction week has been an extracurricular “course” in amusement design and technology. This year, 11 students will participate in parts of the week. 

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2014 May Visit with Rob

KW RK 2014May

During a little post-exams strategic retreat this Spring, I had the chance to visit and catch a few mid-day rides at Universal Islands of Adventure with alumnus Rob Kipping. Rob is a 2013 Ryerson Computer Engineering grad (participant in THRILL Lab CNE field trip 2012) now working as a ride integration engineer, designing and developing industrial electronics used in major theme park attractions, both as a subcontractor for major theme parks and supplier of turnkey attractions for smaller parks. After a busy year based in Orlando, he’s headed for Asia for his next project.

Coming attractions: CNE 2014

The Lab and the Club are looking forward to putting on our hard hats, safety shoes and high-visibility vests and heading to the construction zone at Exhibition Place for the THRILL Lab’s annual experiential learning highlight behind the scenes at the Canadian National Exhibition. During the construction of the fair, students meet operators of the show, North American Midway Entertainment, the CNE, many widely respected consultants, and certified amusement device inspectors from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), a not-for-profit organization that regulates technology relevant to public safety, including amusement devices, throughout Ontario, and the Electrical Safety Authority, their electrical inspection and regulation counterparts.

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Industry week, 2014

Reading Week, Winter 2014, Ryerson Thrill Club members followed up the ASTM Committee F24 meetings in Ft. Lauderdale with a road trip to Orlando. Generous industry supporters arranged valuable behind-the-scenes tours and career-relevant tips. We’re so grateful for the commitment to the next generation!

[Photo thanks to John Riggleman.]

Thank you, NSERC

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) administers a highly coveted Discovery Grant program to provide basic funding to successful researchers. We’re thrilled to receive funding for 2014-2019 to keep the THRILL fires burning. Full operation of the lab requires supplementary and complementary funding through scholarships directly to students, industry contracts, subsidies, gifts in kind, and internal university sources, but without NSERC’s valuable support, it would be difficult to maintain the lab. Thank you, NSERC!