OSU Theme Park Engineering Group to Host Conference for Students Interested in Themed Entertainment

Ohio State University’s Theme Park Engineering Group is planning on hosting their first conference designed for students looking to pursue careers in the themed entertainment and amusement park industry. Students in Themed Entertainment, or S.I.T.E., will give you an inside look at how Themed Entertainment and TEA-affiliated clubs throughout the nation contribute to the world of Themed Entertainment. You will get the opportunity to see the projects and skills university students from all over the world have been working on in preparation for joining the industry full-time.

In the past, Ohio State students have traveled to conferences such as IAAPA Expo, ASTM F24, SKYnext, FREDx, and more. This year, OSU TPEG are taking it one step further and hosting their own conference at Ohio State, welcoming young professionals from across the country to come learn more about the industry, meet new colleagues, and even present some of their own work.

SITE OSU will take place Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd, 2019.

The main conference will take place in a space in Scott Laboratory, the building home to the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering on Ohio State’s main campus.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect:

  • Networking with other students passionate about this industry
  • Presentations by industry professionals, including Jonathan Smith, Director of Rides and Engineering at SeaWorld
  • An opportunity to showcase your project work and learn what other students and young professionals are working on
  • Mixers and social events

While an official schedule is not yet available, Friday night will consist of a mixer for those who can make it, and the main conference will take place most of the day Saturday. There will be a social event after the conference Saturday night.


OSU TPEG Touring Steel Vengeance

The Theme Park Engineering Group was founded in 2006 at Ohio State as the first student-led theme park group and we’ve been following them all along. We interviewed Eamon Kelly, a student in 2010 who went on to work as a project engineer for Premier Rides. In recent years, many similar student groups have popped up at universities across the nation, including Ryerson. We are excited to know that this trend has caught on and other students are taking action to follow their interests and get involved in such an exciting industry! It’s amazing to see the collaboration between schools and professionals working together to help improve the amusement industry as a whole.

We believe in the value of networking, learning from one another, and creating a community that supports helping their peers by whatever means possible. – Ohio State Theme Park Engineering Group

Industry Chair Dan Mueller explained to us the idea behind the creation of TPEG’s own conference:

“After traveling to SKYnext, a conference for students hosted by Skyline Attractions, I really saw the value of meeting students with similar interests.  Then as I was elected Industry Chair for this year alongside our new president, Brad Giordano, we both were hoping to increase communication and collaboration with other university’s clubs and students.  There was also talk among executive members at the beginning of fall semester about planning a big event.

“Up until now, most conferences and industry events have been graciously hosted by companies.  Putting all this together, we came up with the idea of hosting our own conference to bring together students and professionals and encourage student organizations to start taking a bigger role in contributing to the Themed Entertainment Industry.  Moreover, SITE OSU would be hosted in a geographic region where no major events have taken place previously, offering the opportunity for enhanced interest and involvement.

“That is essentially where the idea came from, and since then I’ve been working hard with a committee of four other members, including Taylor Daniel (Treasurer), Stephani DuScheid (Social Chair), Robert Anderson, and Alex Short, to organize the event.  We are just excited to welcome attendees from across the country to network and learn from each other.  We hope to see you at SITE OSU this February!”

There will be a cost of $21 to attend if registered by the early registration deadline of January 12th or $30 if registered by January 19th.

Travel and Lodging are up to the participant. Must be at least college-aged to attend. Dress is business casual. Keep an eye out for updates as more details are solidified:


Please fill out our registration form by January 12th if you plan to attend:



This event will be a great networking opportunity for professionals and students alike as well as a more intimate setting to share projects and expertise! If you’re at all interested in a career in the amusement industry, I highly recommend you take the time to attend this event. Maybe even a Coaster101 staff member will see you there…


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.