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Most of my current planned activity is related to the THRILL Lab, which has a separate site. Visit site

This includes publications, media hits, analytical commentary, and other resources related to research about human factors and amusement attractions: safety metrics and safety evaluation, media analysis of safety, safety inspection, rider behaviour, and control interfaces.

Mock competition

Toronto Met Thrill Design Competition is now an established elite experience for students interested in theme park design. The TMU Thrill Club had a taste of the experience over the weekend of 22 – 26 March 2024, braving a big dump of snow to get to the challenge reveal. One attraction design challenge, and the luxury of FOUR days to tackle it! (The Invitational has a maximum of three, and as little as ONE day to design a challenge response!) As usual, all challenge details are top secret, so nothing more to say here. Teams presented to a fantastic professional jury comprised of Peter Marshall (FORREC), Joelle Javier (TSSA) and Jake Fulton (outgoing Club President and TMU 2024 grad joining Universal Destinations and Experiences).

Human factors in amusement rides and attractions

Virtual visit to Queen’s U
Themed Entertainment Development Team (QTEDT)

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. (IEA)

Topics discussed in the talk include these past projects.

Model of Safety Inspection

Rider error prevalence

Operation interface design

Rider eligibility:
Disability and participation
Determining participation eligibility
InPark magazine series “I am not an ADA guest”

Kathryn Woodcock main page

THRILL Lab main page

(Some links are broken due to the transition from to not automatically updating internal links. If you encounter a broken link, you can fix it manually by editing “ryerson” in the URL to “torontomu”. I will get to those edits when I can find the time.)

Toronto Metropolitan University Thrill Design Competition (TMTDC)

Other links

Master’s program in Occupational and Public Health

Master of Digital Media

Blue sky workshop

Logo of CAVU in gradient shades of blue, with subtitle "experience innovation"

We were thrilled to host a workshop that has engaged participants at IAAPA Expos and informed private client design planning. Facilitated by Mark Stepanian, President and Chief Experience Officer of CAVU Designwerks and one of Blooloop’s 2022 “50 Theme Park Influencers”, the workshop is the first such professional development experience in Canada for young professionals. CAVU Designwerks is a Canadian designer, manufacturer, and supplier of innovative experience-based rides and attractions found in theme parks worldwide.

Post-secondary students interested in themed entertainment and attractions attended this fantastic workshop at TMU on Saturday 2023 February 11. 

This professional-grade workshop covered the many facets of the process of designing for this exciting and complex industry and help them to identify their own potential role or path to their ideal career. The themed attractions industry has a place for almost every academic discipline, including the arts (set design, landscape architecture, interior design, and architecture, media, and gaming), technologies (engineering and sciences), and business and management.

As the name suggests, the Blue Sky Workshop starts at the “blue sky”, to define the attraction’s creative intent, and through the workshop experience, it examines not only the technologies to deliver the project’s creative goals, including media presentation type and ride systems, but also essential business considerations such as attraction footprint, budget, guest capacity, and project schedule.

The event was sponsored by The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University, with the assistance of the TMU Thrill Club.

Blue and gold logo of Toronto Metropolitan University + The Creative School