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Principle Ride Control Systems Engineer

Walt Disney Imagineering

This is a Full-time position in Mid Florida, FL posted September 30, 2021.

Job Summary:

Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is the master planning, creative development, design, engineering, production, project management, and research and development arm of Disney’s Parks and Resorts business segment. Representing more than 150 disciplines, its talented corps of Imagineers are responsible for the creation of Disney resorts, theme parks and attractions, hotels, water parks, real estate developments, regional entertainment venues, cruise ships and new media technology projects.
At Walt Disney Imagineering, you’ll help inspire that magic by enabling our teams to push the limits of entertainment and create the never-before-seen!

Flying on the back of a Banshee through Pandora, blasting off into space, careening out of control in the jungle….. ever imagine what it takes to engineer these exhilarating adventures for Disney guests? Are you interested in the challenges of making these reality-defying, emotive experiences come to life?

Ride Control Systems Engineers work within WDI’s Florida based Ride Studio. These engineers are responsible for all aspects of delivering ride control systems for new attractions at the Walt Disney World Theme parks.

Ride Control Systems Engineers perform in a highly collaborative environment on diverse teams which include technical, creative, and park operations members. Ride Control Systems Engineers conceive, design, engineer, and deliver control systems for a wide variety of complex and innovative ride systems and related equipment.


  • Ride Control System Engineers perform a variety of tasks, some of which are listed below:
  • Define technical requirements, design, and implement operator intensive, safety-critical control systems and software
  • Write technical documents such as Theory of Operation, Design Specifications, Hazard Assessments, Software Design Document, Debug / Software Integration Test Plans
  • Create hazard assessments, and failure modes & effects analysis.
  • Write testing requirements, strategies, safety plans, and testing procedure documents.
  • Research new products, technologies, and methodologies and conduct trade-off studies.
  • Develop safety-critical control architecture, network architecture, and algorithms for ride attractions, ride vehicles, and motion systems that deliver high reliability.
  • Develop mock-ups and prototypes as needed to prove-out concepts.
  • Secure third-party inspection and UL certification of ride control systems.
  • Ensure code compliance with local jurisdiction inspectors and officials.
  • Develop facility interface requirements in documents, drawings, and 3D models.
  • Design operator interfaces and electrical control panels.
  • Analyze system performance to ensure requirements are satisfied.
  • Design, model, and analyze electrical, data communication, and dynamic systems.
  • Review Electrical (e.g. single line drawing) & Mechanical (e.g. pneumatic diagram) drawings
  • Conduct reviews and quality checks to ensure requirements have been satisfied.
  • Conduct ride system factory testing and field testing efforts.
  • Identify faults and troubleshoot to find root cause.
  • Perform Installation Validation, I/O Checkout, System Functions Testing, Fault Testing, Adjusting / Tuning, and Acceptance Testing of man-rated control systems, which may require the use of active fall protection, catwalks, ladders, scaffolding, lifts, and/or access to confined spaces.
  • Collaborate with attraction operators and project team members to define and deliver maintainable and reliable systems.
  • Oversee supplier design, engineering, testing, installation, and commissioning efforts at supplier locations and at project construction sites.
  • Lead a team of ride control engineers, software engineers, and other professionals, to develop and implement ride control systems that delivers the creative intent and meets operational requirements.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Minimum 10 years of experience with design, engineering, installation, and commissioning of control systems for electromechanical systems
  • Experienced with safety-related system design, including defensive design techniques, defensive programming, and fail-safe control systems.
  • Experience with control processors, components, and communication networks used in multi-processing real-time industrial and/or embedded applications
  • Experience in industrial control system installation, integration and commissioning
  • Experience in broad application of control system theory (closed-loop control, MIMO systems, positioning and navigation)
  • Experience with software development tools (Integrated Development Environment (IDE), compilers, linkers, debuggers, etc)
  • Experience with real-time control systems (competent at ensuring deterministic system)
  • Proficient in developing and reading electrical schematics and single-line diagrams
  • Proficient with engineering tools, including AutoCAD, Matlab, Simulink, Solidworks
  • Proficient in choosing appropriate equipment control devices based on requirements for performance, reliability, maintainability, and ease of use (motors, drives, sensors, effectors, servo, …)
  • Proficient at designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex systems, closed loop motion control.
  • Knowledge of pneumatic controls and devices
  • Experience with Safety Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and HMIs
  • Skilled in electrical troubleshooting skills (voltmeter, oscilloscope, etc.)
  • Electrical design standards and codes, including UL508a and NEC
  • Familiarity with amusement and automation industry standards, including ASTM F2291
  • Developing and reviewing electrical schematics, one-line diagrams, and technical documents
  • Experience with contractor/vendor management and technical contract documents
  • Managing multiple complex efforts simultaneously, coordinate team efforts, and manage tasks and priorities
  • Develop implementation plans and budgets for ride control systems.
  • Experience in scheduling and estimating control systems development
  • Experience in contractor/vendor management and technical contract documents
  • Ability to travel and work both domestically and internationally

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ride control and theme park engineering experience
  • Familiar with Configuration Management / Version Control Tool Usage
  • Proficient in software/system algorithm design and modeling methodologies such as Unified Modeling Language (UML) and System Modeling Language (SysML)
  • Understanding of communication technologies/protocols: TCP/IP, CAN, ProfiNET, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT
  • Experience with Software Case Tools
  • Experience coding in C++
  • Experience with Allen Bradley ControlLogix or GuardLogix (RSLogix), Siemens SIMATIC Step 7 or Total Integrated Automation (TIA Portal), Rockwell, and Beckhoff.
  • Experience in wireless communications for control and monitoring electromechanical system

Required Education

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in a controls systems related engineering field from an accredited college or university.
  • Licensed professional engineer (State of Florida or other locale with means for Florida licensure through endorsement).
  • Some coursework in the areas of Physics (Motion Equations / Dynamics), Computer Science, Systems Engineering, Control Theory.