2022 Graduates

Some of the happiest (and saddest) days of an advisor’s career is graduation. This year was remarkable, given that 7 students from the E&S Lab completed their advanced degrees and another current student finished her BS as a steppingstone to continue pursuing a PhD. We have experienced some of the most difficult times ever to be a student during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet despite these challenges, the grit, tenacity and creativity of these students came through as seen by their performance and accomplishments. Congratulations to:

  • Sarvenaz Chaeibakhsh, PhD
  • Nicholas Gomez, PhD
  • Dorothy Taylor, PhD
  • Jamie Herridge, MS
  • Scott Tew, MS
  • Erik Steenburgh, MS
  • Daniel Waldram, MS
  • Katrina Cernucan, BS

The future is in good hands!

Smart Insoles – Lifting Coach

Senior Mechanical Engineering students advised by Professor Andrew Merryweather showcased their work during Design Day. The purpose of the insoles is to quantify biomechanical loading to understand risk and reduce musculoskeletal injuries from material handling. I’m proud of the team’s accomplishments and their efforts on the project. You can read more about the project on their poster.

Project Team:

Zack Anderson

Tayt Cooper

Justin Starr

Taylor Van Roosendaal

Jacob Worthington

Ergonomics and Safety Group – 2021

Despite the many challenges being faced around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, incredibly talented students continue to immerge and pursue graduate studies at the University of Utah in the Ergonomics and Safety Program. This is the first time since closures happened in March of 2020 that our group has been physically together at once. Sadly, we are still missing 4 of our valuable lab members from this picture because of various circumstances, so it’s not perfect, but it’s a start!

I’m so grateful for each of my students, their efforts, their support and of course, their patience with me as their faculty advisor.


ASSP Student Section – Recruitment Event

Members of the UU Student Section of the American Society of Safety Professionals actively engaged in the fall student recruitment event (Get Involved Fair) with other clubs and organizations on campus. Overall, the event was a success with the recruitment of new members to our organization. Congratulations for a job well done!


Student Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to Alex, Scott and Nick (unavailable for picture) for being awarded with 2021 Paul S. Richards Safety Workplace Scholarships from WCF Mutual Insurance. Alex was asked to speak at the event and shared her love for outdoor recreation enthusiasts and her goals to provide better training and new methods to prevent MSDs among ski and snowboard instructors. We are grateful for the unwavering support of the safety and health community in the region, and recognize the generous donations of WCF Insurance and the Paul S. Richards Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Product-Safety Engineering Textbook Now Available

A book by the Ergonomics & Safety Program’s Prof. Kenneth d’Entremont is now available from the publisher, McGraw Hill, and through many on-line retailers worldwide.

The book is titled Engineering Ethics and Design for Product Safety (DfPS) and could be the only text or professional book on the topic of product-safety engineering. The book presents an informed, yet unbiased, approach to designing safe products for consumers. The pivotal role of ethics is stressed to current and future design engineers working on products with the capability of injuring their users. The book covers both fundamental concepts and methods for application during DfPS where safe characteristics are designed into a product.

Years of industrial experience as a consulting engineer and later as manager of product-safety engineering for a large designer/manufacturer of hazardous products provided many insights and examples used in the book. A course at the University of Utah, ME EN 5150/6150, served as a mechanism for refining the curriculum which is also presented in the book. That book serves as a textbook for this course.

Among other things, the book and the course help the engineer, and others, answer the questions:

  • How does a priority differ from a value–and why does it matter?
  • Is it possible to teach ethics to engineering students and engineers?
  • To whom does the engineer owe allegiance?
  • When is a product “safe enough?
Prof. Adler guest lectures University of Utah Mechanical Engineering students on "Product Safety and Ethics."

Acting Chair of the US CPSC, Robert Adler, guest lectures product-safety students

Students in Prof. d’Entremont’s “Product-Safety Engineering and Engineering Ethics” course were privileged to hear a guest lecture by the Honorable Robert Adler, Commissioner and Acting Chair of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Commissioner Adler was faculty at the University of North Carolina where he taught law for twenty-two years prior to his time at the CPSC.

Prof. Adler lectured on the important topic of “Product Safety and Ethics” on Monday night. Many consider him to be the the preeminent voice for the American consumer today. His audience was a group of designer’s for some of tomorrow’s consumer products.

The Ergonomics & Safety Program and the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH) wish to thank the Commissioner and his office staff for making this lecture possible and for their time.

Work Vehicle Safety: Eliminating Hazardous Activities While Safely Improving Productivity

I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to present this work related to a highly underrepresented group of employees in the workforce. Field service workers deal with hazardous conditions and many work from a vehicle and in an uncontrolled environment. Some of our early work on this topic focused on studying pick-up truck beds that are upfit with tool storage systems (DECKED.com), and the ergonomics and safety concerns on this matter.

The work was presented as part of the 2020 Education and Research Center Webinars that is a collaborative effort on behalf of each NIOSH ERC’s Continuing Education program. For more information and access to these free webinars, please visit the website: https://www.coeh.berkeley.edu/20erc-webinars

A direct link to Dr. Merryweather’s Webinar is found here: Link to Webinar Page

COVID-19 Vehicle Testing Protection Device

As many others around the world, we have been playing a small part in the response to the global pandemic. When tasked with the goal of created a safer way to perform COVID-19 tests in vehicle test stations we developed a low cost portable screen to prevent droplet transmission and aerosol containment to protect healthcare employees. The system is comprised of 1″ PVC, a clear vinyl shield and shoulder length gloves. The shield has strip magnets to help adhere to the vehicle and is suspended from the frame to allow for easier access (ergonomics) and improved containment of any droplets or aerosols during the test. The adjustment comfortably accommodates all vehicles that can be safely accessed without leaving the ground (passenger cars and trucks).

If you would like more information, included a parts list and build plans (takes about 30 min to manufacture and assemble) please email us.