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Ride Control Software Engineer Principal

Glendale, CA - US

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Job ID 703177BR Location Glendale, California, United States Business Walt Disney Imagineering Date posted Mar. 11, 2020

Job Summary:

Hurtling through space, diving down a mountain in a log, careening out of control in the jungle… ever imagine engineering these exhilarating adventures for Disney guests around the world? Superhero flight, outdueling a space fighter, cartoon-like motions… how would you pull these off? Are you interested in the challenges of making these reality-defying, emotive experiences work under real world constraints, while providing the illusion of journeys beyond people’s wildest dreams?

Imagine designing and building ride control systems that meet an extremely diverse set of needs to create the most magical and immersive experiences in the world! Envision working in a highly collaborative environment with many talented Imagineers who come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a large number of differing skillsets. Come to the place where Disney theme park ideas are born and brought to life for our many parks and resorts around the globe.

Disney rides set the standard for world class attractions. As Imagineers, we adhere to systems engineering processes and standards to ensure the quality our Guests have come to expect. We are constantly striving for improvement in everything we do.
Occasional relocations to one of our resort area locations in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Orlando, or “the next great location” offer unique, rewarding, and culturally immersive experiences. Durations typically allow for a continuous 6 months to well over a year at one of these sites where you will be installing, testing, and being amongst the “first riders” of the ride you just helped design, build, and commission.


Design and document control systems for new ride systems:
  • Identification of functional requirements, use cases and scenarios
  • System definition, modeling, and decomposition
  • Analysis of design alternatives and trade-offs
  • Interface requirements specification
  • Software algorithm definition

Design verification and validation:
  • Performance analyses, such as timing and parameter sensitivity analyses
  • Hazard analyses including failure modes and mitigations
  • Develop and execute detailed test plans and procedures
  • Test software using a simulator, including processor-in-the-loop
  • Test systems on prototype and production hardware
  • Design, implement, and integrate/install software on production hardware in conformance with software standards
  • Lead and manage the control system development effort:
  • Plan and estimate a software engineering effort, both technically and logistically
  • Lead a team of 2-5 software engineers
  • Manage vendors and/or specialty subcontractors responsible for portions of a ride system, including specifying requirements, overseeing their work, and integrating and testing their final product

Basic Qualifications:

•At least 10 years of professional experience
•Strong analytical skills
•Strong verbal and technical writing skills
•Strong team skills – ability to both lead and follow as necessary
•Rigorous development discipline – adherence to coding standards, development process, etc.
•Experience in designing, implementing, and testing software for electromechanical systems
•Understanding of system-level design considerations – timing analyses, hardware/software tradeoffs, etc.
•Understanding of basic mechanical principles, including rigid body dynamics and pneumatics
•Ability to present technical concepts in a manner understandable by non-technical people
•Knowledge of various electrical circuits and sensor technologies – relays, proximity switches, through-beam circuits, quadrature encoders, etc.
•Knowledge of various actuator technologies – motors, drives, solenoids, pneumatic valves, etc.

Preferred Qualifications:

•Software/system modeling methodologies such as UML/SysML
•Understanding of communication technologies/protocols: TCP/IP, CAN, serial, etc.
•Control system theory experience (closed-loop control)
•Electrical troubleshooting skills (voltmeter, oscilloscope, etc.)
•Fail-safe and safety-related software design
•Multitasking software platforms
•One or more of the following: Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS), Allen Bradley or Siemens Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
•Software configuration management/version control tools

Required Education

•Bachelors Degree (B.S.) from an accredited college or university
•Some Physics Coursework (Motion Equations / Dynamics) required

Preferred Education

•Science (Physics, Computer Science, …), Engineering, and/or Math Double Major or Major-Minor highly preferred
•Some Computer Science Coursework highly preferred
•Some Engineering Coursework highly preferred
•Control Systems Engineering and/or Control Theory a plus
•Hands On Project(s) a plus

About Walt Disney Imagineering:

Founded in 1952 as WED Enterprises to design and build the world’s first theme park — Disneyland — Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is where imagination and creativity combine with cutting-edge technology to create unforgettable experiences. WDI is the creative force that imagines, designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions and cruise ships worldwide. Imagineering’s unique strength comes from its diverse global team of creative and technical professionals, who build on Disney’s legacy of storytelling to pioneer new forms of entertainment. The Imagineers who practice this unique blend of art and science work in more than 100 disciplines to shepherd an idea all the way from “blue sky” concept phase to opening day.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., which is part of a business segment we call Walt Disney Imagineering.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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