When Paul Gregg retired from his job as an aerospace engineer, he went from Boeing to backyard fun.

Gregg, who graduated from the University of Utah’s College of Engineering in mechanical engineering in 1979, took all of his experience as an engineer at the aerospace company designing and analyzing composites, titanium, and adhesive bonding and applied it to his current job as the founder and chief designer of Backyard Roller Coaster Research, his company that designs backyard roller coasters for kids.

“I saw a couple of people who tried (making backyard coasters) online and I thought I could do it a lot better, so things got out of control,” he told KSL.com in a 2016 interview.

Gregg, who now lives in Washington State, started the company after building three backyard roller coasters for his grandchildren. That led to two e-books he wrote and sells, how-to manuals that document the research he conducted into building his coasters, designs that put an emphasis on safety. You can purchase his books and learn more about his company here.

Gregg owes a lot of his engineering skills to what he learned while attending the U’s College of Engineering. We asked him some questions about his experience at the U.

When and why did you decide to go into engineering as your educational and career choice?

I changed from pre-med to mechanical engineering about my second year. I had worked at an emergency room in Salt Lake City, and engineering just seemed to fit me better. I really love engineering. I’ve worked my way into a job where creativity and continuing education make the job fun.

What was your experience like going through the University of Utah’s College of Engineering?

The U of U was a good experience, a great investment. I really appreciated all of my professors.

What did you learn most during your time here at the U?

I learned how to study, most of all, self-discipline.

Did you have a favorite professor and if so, who was it and why?

They were all really good in the engineering department. I remember Dr. (Larry) DeVries was a really nice guy.

What advice do you have for those who have just graduated and are now entering the workforce?

Know that where you hire into a company may not be where you end up. The first few years can often be spent interfacing with other groups and companies, and you can make the moves to where you really want to be. Above all, stay curious, and you’ll go somewhere.