Ride Engineering Competition

The only physical hands-on Engineering Competition in the Attractions Industry!

Gain skills in:
Project Management
Hands-on Manufacturing
Budget Management
Mechanical Design
Design Analysis
Electrical Control Systems Design
Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Engineering Standards Familiarity and Application
Reliable Design
Serviceable Design
Public Speaking

The Ride Engineering Competition, hosted by Iowa State University, offers students a chance to demonstrate real-world engineering practices within the industry focus of ride engineering and design. Student teams will have 6 months to design, plan, and manufacture an attraction for 1:50 scale riders based on a prompt that includes a plot of land and desired rider experience.

Teams will receive points for three major deliverables:
Systems Engineering Report that details the engineering decisions and actions throughout the project,
Functional Physical Model of the attraction,
and a team score for Final Presentation and Outreach.
Teams may also receive large point deductions for the relative cost of their ride compared to their competition.

The Competition culminates in a 1 1/2-day Virtual event featuring an 8-hour window in which all Ride Models must run continuously. During this time Teams will Service their rides whenever needed. Judges will award points based on the implementation of the ride and the team’s service preparedness, and teams will present their Ride and Engineering Process in a presentation.

2021 Competition Timeline

Pre-Registration OpensSeptember 4th, 2020
Official Kickoff, Prompt Announcement, Distribution of Rules and ResourcesOctober 23rd, 2020
Registration ClosesDecember 4th, 2020
Competition Event Details releaseFebruary 8th, 2021
Systems Engineering Report DueApril 9th 2021
Competition EventApril 16th – 17th 2021

Our 2021 Teams:

TPEG OSU, The Ohio State University

Coaster Cats, TEA@UC, University of Cincinnati

RIT Theme Park Enthusiasts, Rochester Institute of Technology

Hokies, Theme Park Engineering and Design, Virginia Tech

UB TPEC, University of Buffalo

Reiter Riders, University of Michigan, Purdue

UNL Theme Park Design Group, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

TEA@ND, University of Notre Dame

CAPED, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Steel Dreams, TEA at UCSD, University of California, San Diego

2021 Grand Prizes


Model League

Engineer, Manufacture, and Operate your Ride Model!

1st Place – $1000

2nd Place – $750

3rd Place – $500

Contactless League

Engineer a Ride model!
​ for teams that cannot meet safely

1st Place – $500

2nd Place – $250

Thank you to our Sponsors!