Merryweather and TetraSki Featured in University of Utah Magazine-Winter 2020

“It’s such an honor to work with visionary people like Dr. Jeffrey Rosenbluth. Through his forward thinking, nothing is impossible attitude and the hard work and creativity of many student engineers, we can realize the impossible. Thanks to all those who dedicate countless hours and efforts to developing technologies unmatched anywhere in the world.” – Dr. Andrew Merryweather


E&S PADS Featured

The PADS (Portable Accessible Dock System) is highlighted in the Student Innovation at the U 2018, 11 Ways Students are Creating the Future…and How You Can Too.  This publication is produced by the University of Utah‘s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

The PADS was developed by Ergonomics & Safety Program graduate student Nicholas Brown (MSME 2018) and Prof. Andrew S. Merryweather in conjunction with Dr. Jeffrey P. Rosenbluth, Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Acute Rehabilitation Program at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

PADS is also discussed in the E&S Program’s Enabling Technology page.


Rehabilitation and Enabling Technology

Rehabilitation and Enabling Technology

The University of Utah Rehabilitation Center – in partnership with the Colleges of Health, Mechanical Engineering Ergonomics & Safety Program, Computer Science, Businesses, and Architecture and Planning – conducts research and development in the field of assistive technology and adaptive recreation.

The Rehabilitation Center and Tetradapt ( currently has as their core project the TetraSki, the world’s first independent alpine sit-ski for any physical disability (shown above).  The Tetradapt Community is a nonprofit organization working closely with the University of Utah to build, distribute and support assistive technology products and is the vision of adaptive sports leader and founder, Jeffrey Rosenbluth, spinal cord injury medical director at the University of Utah Rehabilitation Center.

Also among the enabling-technology projects undertaken by the partnership listed above is the PADS project (shown below).

PADS–Portable Aquatic Docking System

Prof. Merryweather Presents Seminar at Washington State University

Advancing Human Safety and Ergonomics through Sensing and Simulation (October 8, 2018)

In the current era when the way we work and interact with our world is evolving with rapidly expanding technologies, ergonomics and human factors must be creative in order to meet these new challenges. Ergonomics and Safety are scientific disciplines used to engineer better solutions to complex relationship between people and their environments. Goals include the reduction of musculoskeletal disorders, worker errors, and physical strain and exhaustion through the study of engineering, biomechanics, human factors, anthropometry, industrial design, and user-interface design. We can use wearable sensors, robotics and computational models to enable greater knowledge of exposure, injury and prevention. This presentation will highlight examples of how research from the Ergonomics and Safety Lab at the University of Utah is using a variety of techniques and methods to expand our understanding of how to safely and efficiently interact with our ever changing world.

Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering is hosting a seminar presented by Andrew Merryweather

Dr. Mitja Trkov and Fall-Prevention Awareness 2018 Events

On September 14th and 20th, Dr. Mitja Trkov attended the Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services Fall-Prevention Awareness events which were open to the general public.  Dr. Trkov shared fall-prevention tips and discussed Ergonomics & Safety Program research.  He was accompanied by Prof. Andrew Merryweather on the 14th and by Prof. Ken d’Entremont on the 20th.

Attendees were able to learn of simple ergonomic principles to help prevent the slip, trip, and fall of the aging population.  In addition, many of those attending were able to see dynamic pressure maps of their own feet in real-time using the E&S Program’s instrumented insoles as shown in the photograph below (September 20, 2018).

Dr. Mitja Trkov explains the foot-pressure map of instrumented shoe insoles to an attendee at the Salt Lake County Fall-Prevention Awareness Event (September 20, 2018).

Terrain Display Study

Mockup Environment (with imbedded force plates) used for initial gait testing
Mockup Environment (with imbedded force plates) used for initial gait testing
Participant with Parkinson's navigating the Mockup Terrain in passive motion capture markers
Participant with Parkinson’s navigating the Mockup Terrain in passive motion capture markers

Parkinsons disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with a deficiency in healthy dopaminergic neurons that can result in a slew of motor disabilities. Due to the effects of the disease, patients with PD have a very high risk of falling. Under the direction of Dr. Mark Minor (PI), a team of researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Physical Therapy have joined together to develop technology and methods to understand PD gait and revolutionize training therapy to reduce falls. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation (#1162131).

V3D model portraying gait observed on the Mockup Terrain
V3D model portraying gait observed on the Mockup Terrain