Rollercoaster Engineer. 

“The enthusiasm in this field is contagious. This isn’t just your average engineering job”

It turns out that Lego blocks don’t only build toy castles. For David Chesney, they built the foundations of his career. 

“I always loved to build, to make things out of nothing – it was that ability to take an idea out of your head and bring it to life in its physicality.”

Engineering seemed like an obvious choice, but David didn’t stop there. Growing up close to Wonderland, he realized that he could bring his building dreams to life while giving others the thrill of their lives. 

Amusement parks contain so much more than the shrieks of people being whirled around and turned upside down. The vast number of mathematical calculations, analyses and paperwork that go into bringing each ride to life is a thrill in itself, according to David. 

“The enthusiasm in this field is contagious. This isn’t just your average engineering job.”

“Seeing something you spent months designing is so exciting. You’re a small part of the ride but you know that you contributed to it, and that all of your hard work went in to that.”

Instead of going on the rides himself, David derives the most satisfaction just from watching others. “Seeing their fear, excitement and happiness really drives me to know that I’m doing the right thing.”

David explains that our strange attraction to rollercoasters comes from the sensation of having escaped potential danger. “That feeling of an adrenaline rush is a biological reaction we love to have. Roller coasters give us the ability to fear in a safe way.”

Most importantly, every day, David walks into work with a smile. “If I stop enjoying my job, that’s when I know it’s time to make a change.”

“I’m just a guy from Thornhill doing something I really enjoy. Anyone can do that, and everyone should.”


1. Coffee or Tea
2. Raptors or Leafs
3. Save or Spend
4. Bad habit? Biting my nails
5. Last book you read? Devil in the White City


David Chesney grew up in Thornhill and studied Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University. He currently lives in Detroit, working for Roush, engineering rides and animatronics for major theme parks.


Interview by Adina Samuels