Scott Bayus, From Developing Rides at Universal to Running his own Engineering Company
By Shelby Weininger, Intern
TAMPA (May 19, 2020) -- With the business knowledge he picked up while earning his Executive MBA at the Muma College of Business, along with the engineering skills he learned while developing rides at Universal Orlando Resort, Scott Bayus’ next career step is clear: starting his own engineering firm. Bayus aims to open PSB Engineers, based in Orlando, focusing on projects there as well as in the Tampa Bay area.
“I am interested in seeing how my background and skills can be put to use in new areas of engineering,” Bayus said. The fledgling firm will offer engineering services such as mechanical design, design validation and testing, 3D modeling and pump design.
His day job now is with Universal Orlando Resort, where as a mechanical engineer, he has had a hand in developing a variety of projects including the opening of the King Kong ride, the Jimmy Fallon ride and the Volcano Bay Waterpark.
To be sure, it’s a long roller coaster ride from where he began, on a track toward working in a kitchen.
In the beginning, Bayus, who grew up in upstate New York, always thought he’d fall into kitchen work, namely as a chef.
“The culinary part of my life was something I sort of fell into,” he said. “I enjoyed the fast pace work environment and creativity, but I knew that eventually I'd finish my engineering degree. I have always had a high level of mechanical ability and spatial reasoning. I enjoy working on cars and building things.”
Bayus’ associate degree in the culinary arts gave way to a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from USF.
After graduating in 2007, he worked at an engineering firm in Tampa. Three years later, he took a position with the federal government in Washington as an engineer at the Grand Coulee Dam with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The Grand Coulee Dam is the largest power generating facility in North America and the fifth largest in the world with a generation capacity of 6,807 megawatts.
After leading an engineering group, he was promoted to deputy regional power manager at the Pacific Northwest Regional Office in Boise, Idaho, where he started work overseeing the capital funding of 10 hydroelectric plants. During this time, he also co-chaired multiple committees in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bonneville Power.
In June 2015, Bayus came to Universal Orlando Resort. He began working with the Universal creative teams reviewing design documents and filling the liaison role between the Universal creative and the park engineering groups.
“I have been the mechanical engineer assigned to Volcano Bay since I started with Universal,” he said. “That experience began with design reviews in the construction trailers and progressed to construction of the entire park and now has evolved to maintaining the ride and working to increase ride availability for all the guests.
“We are constantly looking at ways to make the rides more reliable,” he said, “to ensure guests have the best day they can.”
In 2017, Bayus returned to the Muma College of Business to earn his Executive MBA, completing the degree in 2019 while continuing his work as a full-time engineer. He also passed the Florida Board of Professional Engineers’ exam, which, he says, is his greatest professional accomplishment so far.
And the future continues to evolve for the engineer. Starting in the fall, he returns to the USF to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering.
Bayus continues to expand his range of skills in the engineering industry whether it is creating exhilarating theme park attractions or learning the newest skills from the Muma College of Business, where serves as a member of the college’s Alumni Advisory Council. He is satisfied that he chose engineering over the kitchen.
“I am lucky,” he said, “to have found work that I have a passion for, being involved with engineering projects from cradle to grave.”