Amusement Park Safety Engineer Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Mechanical Engineer, Amusement Safety, Engineer, Systems Evaluation, Design, Implentation, QSI, Qualified Safety Inspector, Family Entertainment Centers, Waterparks, NAARSO Certified, Ziplines, Zip Lines, Zip-Lines

Expert is Vice President of Jakes Associates, Inc. and an amusement safety system engineer and auditor with 15 years of experience in systems evaluation, engineering, design and implementation. He is a registered State of California Amusement Ride Qualified Safety Inspector (QSI), a Professional Engineer and a Senior Inspector/Engineer. As a QSI, Expert routinely performs amusement ride safety inspection and engineering services for a variety of theme parks, family entertainment centers, waterparks and other places with amusement rides. Expert is also a NAARSO Certified Amusement Ride Safety Inspector. He’s served California-based clients include Legoland California, Gilroy Gardens, Golfland, Boomers! Family Entertainment Centers (8 locations throughout California), Belmont Park and many others. He has also recently assisted several theme parks with their engineering and safety audit needs including Sahara Sam’s Oasis (New Jersey), Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park (Destin, FL) and Fantasy Island (Buffalo Area, NY).


  • 2002 California State University, Fresno B.S., Mechanical Engineering


Expert is currently licensed as a Mechanical Engineer in the following states:

  • California, Mechanical Engineering
  • Colorado, Mechanical Engineering
  • Nevada, Mechanical Engineering

Expert holds additional certifications/registrations, including the following:

  • California DOSH Qualified Safety Inspector
  • NAARSO Certified Amusement Ride Safety Inspector, Certification


Vice President DATES EMPLOYED: March 2004 – February 2011,
November 2013 – Present

State of California Amusement Ride Qualified Safety Inspector (QSI) – Lead Inspector/Engineer –

As a QSI, Expert routinely performs amusement ride safety inspection and engineering services for a variety of theme parks, family entertainment centers, waterparks and other places with amusement rides. California-based clients include Legoland (Carlsbad), Gilroy Garden (Gilroy), Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Vallejo), Boomers! Family Entertainment Centers (10 locations throughout California) and many others.

Island Waterpark (Fresno, CA) Ohana Bay Installation Design Support, QAA Inspection, Performance Verification –

Project Manager/Engineer – Expert recently provided system development, engineering analysis, structural evaluation, and QAA audit/inspection and other activities in support of a new kids play structure at the Island Water Park in Fresno, CA. Specific activities included system assessment and evaluation and validation (according to California DOSH guidelines) pertaining. Manufacturer product design documentation and contractor construction results were audited in accordance with all California regulations.

Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park (Destin, FL) New Kids Play Structure Engineering Design Support –

Project Manager – Expert was the Project Manager and Engineer in

the replacement of a new kids play structure at the Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park in Destin, Florida. For this project, he interfaced with the selected manufacturer to determining installation and interface requirements, met with City, County and State officials to determine permitting requirements and developed the permit plan set. He also led the design of structural foundations and FEA analysis/verification per stringent Florida hurricane loading requirements. He was also instrumental in making sure the project stayed on schedule and worked closely with the contractor throughout the construction phase to ensure timely project delivery.

Pearlridge Monorail Full Automation System Upgrade Project – Project Manager – Expert was the Project Manager to design and implement upgrades to the existing Pearlridge Shopping Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Specifically, Expert was in charge of project coordination, design, engineering, and implementation activities that enabled the semi-automated monorail system to be converted to full-automation status. Expert oversaw all aspects of the project, including conceptual design, design development and final design, construction and system upgrade activities (both on-board, wayside, and station equipment upgrades), testing, commissioning, and construction administration. Strategic operational planning and advice was also provided throughout the project, including post installation phase.

SFMTA Historic Car Fleet Development, Engineering, Testing –

Support Engineer – Expert assisted the SFMTA on technical issues with recent vehicle rehabilitation and program management. He supported warranty administration and validated historic vehicle compliance verification. He assisted the design, engineering, and integration of critical door, brake, LVPS, propulsion, bolster assembly, and other mechanical/electrical systems.

Rail Vehicle Procurement Management Services – Rail Vehicle Procurement Management Technical Specialist –

Expert has provided a variety of services to many railcar builders include Hitachi Rail Italy (HRI), CSR Sifang (now CRRC), Aeromovel (Brazil), Ansaldo Breda (now HRI), IHI-Niigata, and others. These services include: rail vehicle proposal development manager/specialist, parts sourcing, costing, preliminary engineering, design, documentation creation and management, customer liaison services, feasibility/benchmarking studies, market assessments, business plan development, vendor evaluation/outreach, value engineering, others.

Greater New Haven Transit District Advanced Transit System Development –

Project Manager – Expert was the project manager for the Greater New Haven Transit District (GNHTD) for the development of an innovative advanced transit system. Expert has assisted the GNHTD with project management, planning, oversight, engineering support, funding acquisition, project coordination and overall deputy project management for this project. This program will result in the development of a new, fully integrated hydrogen-fueled advanced transit vehicles and fueling infrastructure that will operate in the greater New Haven area.

BART Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) Planning, Engineering, Technical Analysis –

Project Engineer – Expert assisted the Port of Oakland in the Oakland Airport Connector project. He assisted with the engineering and development of station configurations and guideway alignments. Further, he performed engineering analyses, technical report development, engineering drawings support, life-cycle cost analysis, feasibility studies, technology assessments and reviews.

McCarran Intl. Airport Terminal 3 Transit System Planning, Design, Engineering –

Project Design Engineer – Expert assisted as a Project Engineer responsible for design coordination between the new Terminal 3 project architect and the selected APM supplier with regard to station and maintenance facilities. He assisted in identifying potential configurations, locations and design criteria and parameters of the APM station, maintenance facility and guideway tunnel. Further, Expert support various project activities, including performing reviews of the ATS supplier’s design and contract deliverables, passenger traffic flow modeling and defining utility interface requirements.

Dubai World Center Passenger Rail Study, Planning, System Design –

Project Engineer – Expert assisted with the preliminary engineering, design and planning for a new Transit System for the Dubai World Center development in Dubai, UAE. Part of his duties included review of previous study documentation, preliminary conceptual design, system alignment and station locations, technology reviews, passenger demand volume forecasting, technical evaluation criteria determination and fleet size/needs determination.

Light Rail Vehicle Procurement Program Management, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA –

Project Engineer – Expert provided project engineering and testing support for the procurement of one-hundred light rail vehicles on behalf of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. He reviewed and approved the pre-delivery acceptance tests and authorized vehicles for revenue service. Further, he reviewed the vehicle manufacturer’s existing project documentation and materials, and produced daily written reports on the status, inspection activities and finding of each vehicle acceptance testing session.

Project Manager, Teter Architects and Engineers DATES EMPLOYED: Jan. 2012- Oct. 2013 At Teter, Expert’s duties included the following:

  • Project management
  • Business development (proposal writing, outreach, technical writing, others)
  • Planning for higher education and transit (master plans, transit plans, technical writing, others)
  • Financial and performance tracking of all project active in the Visalia region (50+ projects).
  • Management reporting
  • Lead scheduling meetings
  • Assist project managers with work plans and project performance coaching
  • Managed and assisting partners with work assignments and resource planning.

Key Projects where Expert was the Project Manager included: Clinical Lab HVAC Study, New Kings County Jail Engineering & Design, New Golden Empire Transit Bus Maintenance Facility and others.

  • Senior Transportation Engineer, TPG Consulting DATES EMPLOYED: Jan. 2011- Oct. 2011 At TPG, Expert’s duties included the following:
  • Leadership role in management and coordination of transportation planning, studies and strategic advice projects.
  • Business development activities including site visits, introductory meetings, proposal development, pre-bid meeting attendance, team/JV formation, marketing, website development, other.
  • Client interfacing and management.
  • Transit system planning and strategic advice for transit agencies.
  • Public speaking, including presentations for transit studies and transit technology topic discussions.

Mechanical Engineer, Fisher Manufacturing DATES EMPLOYED: June 2002 – Feb. 2004 At Fisher, Expert’s duties included the following:

  • Project management, including planning and time budgeting
  • Design and implementation of new products, including prototype testing and analysis
  • Graphic design and layout for sales and marketing literature
  • Drafting duties included creation and maintenance of machine and assembly drawings, specification sheets and installation literature
  • Manufacturing engineering experience includes: development of assembly processes, design and development of assembly workstations, and BOM creation and maintenance
  • Directed engineering employment search and conducted interviews.


Available on full CV