This Book, Entertainment Engineering, is derived from a course originally created by John Wesner for upper level undergraduate Mechanical Engineering students at Carnegie Mellon University. The original concept for the course was to introduce Mechanical Engineering students to the exciting career opportunities to which they might aspire in many aspects of the entertainment industry. Outside of a high school class trip to observe roller coasters at a local amusement park, few engineering students have been exposed to the many ways in which engineering serves entertainment. This is made more difficult by the fact that most of the engineering behind entertainment experiences is deliberately hidden, so as not to distract the people being entertained from the total entertainment experience.
The course started by looking at the entertainment industry, with a focus on delighting the customers (“guests”). In the latter part of the course the students were shown specific examples of key engineering in many different types of entertainment. The course was always offered in the spring semester, so that the class could as a class project design, create, and operate a Midway Booth for Carnegie Mellon’s annual Spring Carnival celebration. This gave them a chance to experience engineering an entertainment experience first hand.
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