This master’s thesis research seeks to explore and document the biomechanical risks on the hand and wrist area that agricultural workers undergo while collecting coffee in the coffee bush through a mixed methods approach. A contribution of this work will to provide empirical evidence of finger and hand forces during two different harvesting methods (i.e., hand picking and scraping) as well as qualitative data of worker musculoskeletal discomfort and postural analysis.
  • Period: August 2014 - present
  • Coding: MS Thesis
  • Sponsor: n/a
  • Amount: n/a
  • Collaborators:
    n/a
  • Involved Students:
    Ambar Rodríguez
  • Involved Professors:
    Dr. Cristina Pomales
We are close to deploying a web-based tool that will help Puerto Rican families prepare for disasters. The tool will prescribe a list (and quantity) of items that are required for families to survive a major disaster provided their main shelter survives the catastrophe. Although the students graduated, we continue working to complete this multi-year project.
  • Period: August 2013 - present
  • Coding: n/a
  • Sponsor: n/a
  • Amount: n/a
  • Collaborators:
    n/a
  • Involved Students:
    Alexis Figueroa
    Rosemarie Santa
    Anned Vargas
  • Involved Professors:
    Dr. Hector Carlo
  • Period: August 2013 - present
  • Coding: n/a
  • Sponsor: USGS
  • Amount: n/a
  • Collaborators:
    Missouri S&T University
  • Involved Students:
    Wilson Alvarez
  • Involved Professors:
    Dr. Hector Carlo

Puerto Rico is an archipelago located in the Caribbean with approximately 3.7 million inhabitants in an area of 3,515 square miles. Due to its location, Puerto Rico is issued over one hundred weather-related emergency warnings per year and records daily seismic activities. Furthermore, it is estimated that approximately 85% of the consumable products in Puerto Rico are imported. Due to the vulnerability of Puerto Rico to natural disasters and its dependence on imports, it is imperative that Puerto Ricans are made aware of the essential household items necessary for survival during and after an event. This study presents a consolidated household preparedness emergency list for an average family of four including details such as items: duration, type, estimated cost, amount recommended per family per week, and manufacturing location(s). The emergency list is obtained based on a meta-analysis of three existing emergency item lists created by three different government agencies: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and the Department of Consumer Affairs of Puerto Rico (DACO). The proposed emergency list has received endorsements from several emergency experts.

  • Primary Contact: Hector Carlo
  • All Authors:
    Hector Carlo
    Luis Miranda
    Andrea McDougall
    Silmarie Torres
    Priscilla Saavedra
    Rosemarie Santa

The Puerto Rico's World's Best 10K Race (WB10K) is a yearly international event with approximately 10,000 participants per year. The WB10K race is recognized as one of the best races in the world by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF); with five consecutive Gold Label awards. In an effort to further improve the WB10K, this study quantifies number of times a runner passed another runner during the race in the past three editions. This information is then used to assess the effectiveness of the current rule for assigning runners to starting positions in the race (i.e. starting placement rule). Lastly, a regression-based starting placement rule is compared to the current placement rule and to a random placement rule.

  • Primary Contact: Hector Carlo
  • All Authors:
    Hector Carlo
    Rosemarie Santa
    Arlene Colorado
    Mercedes Ferrer