Design, Ergonomics, Manufacturing, & Systems

Students in this division study a wide array of topics, from integrating computer aided design and manufacturing tools to crafting machines that help people work more safely and efficiently. The Center for Engineering Design is a world renowned organization which is extremely active in the area of applied robotics and micro-electrical-mechanical systems.

DesignErgonomicsManufacturingSystemsMicro & Nano Systems

Hands-on design lab classes offer experiential learning

  • First-Year: Intro to Robotic Systems Design I & II
  • Second-year: Intro to Energy Systems Design I & II, Machining Lab
  • Third-year: Mechatronics I & II, Strength of Materials, Heat Transfer, Fluid Dynamics, and Thermodynamics II
  • Fourth-year: Senior Design I & II
Lab Link(s)
  • BioInstrumentation Lab: Research involves development of innovative methods of analyzing interesting physiological parameters of humans (and robots!).
  • Environmental Fluid Dynamics Lab: Our attempt is to further the understanding of fluid flow phenomena in the natural world.
  • Ergonomics & Safety: The Ergonomics and Safety program at the University of Utah is a multidisciplinary program integrating the efforts of Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Medicine, and Bioengineering.

Ergonomics and Safety Shoulder Stress Modeling: A computational study of shoulder muscle forces during pushing tasks.

Research projects in the Ergonomics and Safety Program generally relate to:

  1. Empirical research in the lab
  2. Field-based research into job physical risk factors associated with the development of musculoskeletal disorders, or
  3. Research and development relating to rehabilitation and assistive technology for persons with disabilities
Courses Offered

ME EN 5100/6100 ~ Introduction to Ergonomics ME EN 5110/6110 ~ Industrial Safety ME EN 5120/6120 ~ Human Factors in Engineering Design ME EN 5130/6130 ~Design Implications for Human-Machine Systems M E EN 5960/6960 ~ Special Topics: Engineering Control and Personal Protective Equipment ME E N 5960/6960 ~ Special Topics: Human Factors in Engineering Design ME EN 5960/6960 ~ Engineering Control and Personal Protective Equipment BIO EN 6230 ~ Musculoskeletal Functional Anatomy For Engineers FPMD 6759 ~ Occupational Safety and Health Field Trips ME E N 7100 ~ Advanced Ergonomics and Occupational Biomechanics ME EN 7105 ~ Advanced Ergonomics and Occupational Biomechanics Laboratory ME EN 7110 ~ Systems Safety ME EN 7120 ~ Functional Anatomy for Engineers ME EN 7960 ~ Research Methods and Computer Applications in Occupational Injury Prevention ME EN 7969 ~ Computer Application in Ergonomics and safety

Lab Link(s)
Examples of Typical Employment Opportunities in the Field

The Ergonomics and Safety (E&S) Program produces graduate-level E&S professionals who are prepared to assume lead roles in E&S programs in industry, labor, and government.  Students and graduates of the E&S Program are employed as ergonomics and safety specialists by such companies and agencies as 3M, Abbott Labs, Alliant Tech Systems, Argonaut Insurance, Becton Dickinson, Black Diamond Equipment, Conoco-Phillips, Cephalon, ErgoWeb, Ford Motor Company, The Human Solution, Intel, Intermountain Health Care, Medron, Raytheon, Safety Management Services, Sandia National Laboratory, Schlumberger, Thiokol Corp., University of Utah, US Army, US Navy, Utah Medical, Utah OSHA, the Workers Compensation Fund, and others.

Program Faculty
  • Donald S. Bloswick, Ph.D., P.E., C.P.E., Professor
  • Stacy Morris Bamberg, Sc.D., Associate Professor
  • Andrew Merryweather, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • Richard Sesek, Ph.D., CSP, MPH, CPE, Adjunct Faculty
  • Phill Drinkaus, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty


Contents for Manufacturing forthcoming . . .
Contents for Systems forthcoming . . .

Microfab Lab

Our engineering students have access to the “machine shop of the future,” with design, fabrication, test and assembly facilities to make tiny mechanical machines, implants, lab-on-a-chip sensors, and microfluidic devices that fit on a fingernail.

The University of Utah nanofab boasts 6,000 square feet of cleanroom and semiconductor fabrication tools used by our 40+ faculty PI’s and 100+ student researchers, who use the facilities to support $40M+ in research programs. We also collaborate with some of the most advanced research facilities in the world, such as Sandia National Labs, who build highly complex, surface micromachined devices in support of our student activities.

What is a Nanofab?

The Utah Nanofab encompases a microfab with cleanroom, packaging, and test areas. It provides the equipment, porcesses, and expertise necessary to design, build, and package, revolutionary micro and nanoscale devices. Facilities include device modeling, design layout, mask fabrication, thin film deposition, patterning, and device packaging. Visionary ideas and inspired creativity have helped the Utah Nanofab become a world leader in the fabrication of neural prosthetics, biomedical microfluidic systems and biosensor chips. The discoveries made in the Nanofab help create life-saving medical devices, faster microchips, and more efficient energy systems, resulting in many scientific publications and new companies.


There are many undergraduate and graduate courses taught in the Nanofab Lab through both the Department of Mechancial Engineering as well as Electrical and Computer Engineering. Some of those courses include:

  • Foundations of Microsystems
  • Micromachining
  • Microfluidic Chip Design and Fabrication
  • Photovoltaic Materials & Solar Cells
  • Microsensors and Actuators
  • Integrated Circuit Microfabrication
  • Heterogeneous Microsystems Technologies
  • Micro Actuators
  • Surface Analysis Lab
  • Nanostructure Fab/Characterization


Learn More!

Visit the Nanofab Lab for more information!  


Design, Ergonomics, Manufacturing, & Systems Faculty

AK BalajiA.K. Balaji, Associate Professor and Graduate Director

Research: sustainable manufacturing, interfaces between materials, mechanics, and manufacturing, science of machining processes and modeling of machining performance, . . .

Stacy Bamberg Stacy Bamberg, Associate Professor

Research: bioinstrumentation, gait analysis, aging, real-time rehabilitation, medical devices, inertial navigation using MEMS sensors, mechantronics Director: BioInstrumentation Lab

Don Bloswick Don Bloswick, Professor

Research: industrial ergonomics, occupational biomechanics, rehabiliation ergonomics, ergonomic applications and workplace designs for workers with disabilities Director: Ergonomics & Safety

Bruce Gale Bruce Gale, Associate Professor

Research: microfluidics, MEMS, and nanotechnology applications in medicine and biology, integrated microsystems for biomedical separations, sensing, and actuation, . . Director: Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluidics

Debra Mascaro Debra Mascaro, Research Assistant Professor

Research: organic electronics and optoelectronics, microfabrication, stretchable electronics Director: Undergraduate Program

Andrew Merryweather Andrew Merryweather, Assistant Professor

Research: 3D motion analysis, lower limb joint biomechanics, occupational injury biomechanics, ergonomics, rehabilitation engineering Ergonomics and Safety Lab

Bart Raeymaekers Bart Raeymaekers, Assistant Professor

Director: Nano-Tribology and Precision Engineering Laboratory

Bob Roemer Bob Roemer, Professor

Research: application of thermal sciences to biomedical problems

  RoundyShad Roundy, Assistant Professor

Research: energy harvesting, inertial sensing, self-powered wireless sensors, MEMS Director: Integrated Self-powered Sensing Lab