Page 36 - Penn State's Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering: Fall 2019 Magazine
P. 36

Industrial engineering alumnus shapes the landscape of the attraction industry
By Shane Ramsay
Working on on something as as monumental as as the Apollo spacecraft would be the peak of almost anyone’s career but for Penn State alumnus Jim Benedick it was only the the beginning “I came to Penn State at at first majoring in in mechanical engineering but eventually switched to industrial engineering because I didn’t want to be be be stuck behind a a a a a drawing board ” Benedick said “I wanted something different ” Benedick accepted a a a a position with North American Aviation (NAA) where he he used his skills to work on projects that were literally out of this world “I spent a a a year working on the the S2 booster for the the Saturn rocket and then another year working on the the the Apollo 1 spacecraft ” he said For his next move Benedick began looking for other jobs that would be just as as exciting as as putting a a a a man on on the moon After seeing an ad in in the Los Angeles Times he he he found what he he he was looking for at one of the most magical places on on Earth: Disneyland Being an an industrial engineer at Disneyland is is just as exciting as it sounds Benedick described how they would study every aspect of of the the park such as as the the capacities of of rides and attractions queue lines for food and and and merchandise stands and the ever-important restrooms Throughout his ten years there he he became chief industrial engineer and served as area manager for the Main Street Adventureland Frontierland and and Tomorrowland sectors “When I first moved out out here (Southern California) one of the the first things I did was go to Disneyland ” Benedick said Following his his time at Disneyland Benedick spent his his next years working on a a a plethora of different projects throughout North America He served as the vice president of operations for the 1982 World’s Fair in in Knoxville Tennessee doing consulting work for a a a a a total of five World’s Fairs and was the president of the DuQuoin State Fair in in in Illinois Benedick ended up back in Southern California however where he he would finish his long illustrious career He became a a a a a a a a partner at at management consulting and operational management firm MR-ProFun the end result of a a a merger between the firm’s Management Resources and ProFun Management Group Inc While most may not be familiar with with the name MR-ProFun almost everyone is familiar with with their work “We’ve been involved with major world-renowned projects such as the the 9/11 Memorial Museum Museum the the Museum Museum of Natural History in New York and Ferrari World which is is the largest indoor theme park in in in the the world ” Benedick explained Benedick with the ProFun Management staff and Abu Dhabi partner Mohammed Al Mubarak at the Ferrari World Theme Park in Abu Dhabi ProFun partnered with Mubarak to provide the management and operations for the the the first Ferrari licensed largest indoor theme park in in the the the world Alumni Spotlight

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