The Faculty of Science at Göteborg University is awarding an honorary doctorate to Werner Stengel, who is a legend in the field of roller coaster construction throughout the world. The university has used his constructions in teaching mathematics and physics.
Werner Stengel started working with roller coasters in 1963 and is the man behind the majority of the world's top-ranked roller coasters, including such classic structures as the Liseberg Roller Coaster in Göteborg and new Balder and The Cannon roller coasters. The latter features a loop in the form of a clothoid that was introduced by Stengel as early as 1975. The clothoid form of the loop ensures that the strain on the body is much less than it would have been if it had been perfectly circular. Stengel is also involved in a research team that is studying the strains of roller coasters on the human body, and he is actively working on European standards for amusement park rides.
Since 1995 the Faculty of Science has used rides at Liseberg in its instruction, first in its educational program Problem-Solving in Natural Science and then through its Project Impact: Science in the Liseberg Amusement Park. A total of some 10,000 school and university students have experimented at Liseberg within the framework of the project. In connection with this project the university was granted access to Stengel's designs for the Liseberg roller coaster and other constructions.
"Working with authentic tasks involving the forces in roller coasters is inspiring and helps students develop three-dimensional thinking," says Ann-Marie Pendrill, professor of physics and director of the Project Impact: Science in the Liseberg Amusement Park.
The reasoning behind the choice of Werner Stengel to be awarded an honorary doctorate is: "For his inexhaustible creativity in linking physics and design to the experience of the body in roller coasters and other rides." This award is well timed, because 2005 has been declared the International Year of Physics and the Year of Design in Sweden.
The conferment ceremony will take place on October 22.