Hugo Loyola receives the 2021 AIMS International Safety Award

By | September 14, 2021

The AIMS International Safety Award is presented annually to the individual or organization that demonstrates leadership, innovation and foresight in improving safety in the amusement industry. With safety as the industry’s number one concern for guests and employees worldwide, efforts in improving safety are shown in many forms: the design and implementation of new products and technology, the development of safety education programs and training, and by exemplary leadership in influencing others. The AIMS International staff and board of directors are proud to announce the 2021 recipient of this prestigious award: Hugo Loyola.

Loyola was born in a mining camp in the country of Chile and traveled to the U.S. as a high school exchange student in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 1994, he returned to Chile and studied Mechanical Engineering and Fluid Dynamics. As a student, he developed an intravenous blood oxygenator prototype in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. and the University of Santiago in Chile. 

After graduation, Loyola worked as a manager in the field of plastic transformation in Chile and later in Luxembourg, where he worked on automation concepts in fast mold change robot assistance. In 2004, he worked in Chile as a maintenance manager in the non-metallic mining sector. Later, he attended a training course in Reliability Centered Maintenance in Hattingen, Germany. In 2007, he joined a multinational company in the engineering business where he held the position of quality assurance (QA) manager of the corporate supply chain. QA was carried out under his supervision in Australia, India, England, and South Africa. In 2010, he joined another multinational company in the energy and automation sector, where he held the position of contract manager and participated in a Project Manager course in Santiago, Chile. 

Since 2015, Loyola has been working in Fantasilandia Amusement Park in Santiago, Chile, where he started as a maintenance manager. He led and formed high-performance teams, establishing communication channels, standards, methodologies, and technologies that ensure employee safety and ensure the quality control of processes, as well as sustained increase in productivity and digital transformation. In 2019, he became the corporate process manager of the Diversur Group, which includes Fantasilandia, an amusement park, and Happyland, an FEC. In this position, he performs annual audits to improve the company processes in an effort to reduce or eliminate operational risks in all areas of the business. Lately, his focus has been on robot process automation as a way to increase efficiency and safety. 

His background and experiences as a miner gave him the strong skills and determination to become an advocate for employee safety and an expert in component failure mode analysis. This has given him the opportunity to collaborate with AIMS, IAAPA and ACOLAP. 

Loyola has been a member of the AIMS International Safety Seminar faculty since 2019, where he has taught many courses on inspection, process improvement and digital technology.

His latest contribution to the amusement industry was the coordination of 20 hours of Spanish-language safety, operation and maintenance topics at the 2021 AIMS International Virtual Safety Seminar. This was the first time these courses have been offered in Spanish at an AIMS International seminar.  He is working on a Spanish translation project which will allow AIMS to offer more virtual courses in Spanish-speaking countries.

His contributions to the industry don’t stop with AIMS. He is a current member of the IAAPA Facilities Operations Committee North America and also a member of the IAAPA Safety Committee of Latin America and the Caribbean.  As a member of both committees, he has taught a variety of virtual and in-person safety classes, workshops and webinars.  

He is also a valuable contributor to ACOLAP and SENA, which deliver weekly seminars to the Colombian park employees, a program for which he collaborates as co-instructor.

Loyola joins an impressive and exclusive group of past AIMS International Safety Award winners: Harold Hudson in 2016, Har Kupers in 2017, Patrick Hoffman in 2018, Ronald Burback in 2019 and John Riggleman in 2020.

Mary Jane Brewer, AIMS International