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Engineer weighs in on designing water slides

Posted: 7:07 PM, Mar 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-29 00:07:36Z
Engineer weighs in on designing water slides

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The indictment in the case claims that neither Jeff Henry nor John Schooley had a background in engineering.

From the start Verruckt had issues. Video of testing of the first design shows rafts flying off the ride.

“I think the big concept there is kinetic energy. So, any time you have a moving object there’s a certain amount of energy associated with it,” said Greg King PhD, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UMKC.

King says kinetic energy is a key element in the dynamic engineering of a roller coaster or water slide design. He also says it’s one of the first concepts he teaches his engineering students.

“They first probably start to learn about it in their engineering physics 1 course, which would usually be taken during their freshman or sophomore year. Definitely beginner engineering concept,” said King.

According to the indictment, a structural engineer was hired to build the pillars and foundation of the ride, but not a single engineer was directly involved in Verruckt’s dynamic engineering or slide path design.

The indictment also reads that experts in the amusement park industry that inspected Verruckt after the ride was closed stated a ride like Verruckt requires three or four members including two fully-qualified and experienced engineers. The team would need three to six months of calculations before even breaking ground on a prototype.

Records show Verruckt was designed and constructed in 36 days.