By Constanze Ditterich
Biological and agricultural engineering professor Fadi Fathallah was recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) with the SMV Technologies Ergonomics, Safety, and Health award for his contributions to promote agricultural safety and health.
The ASABE major award recognizes outstanding contributions that advance agricultural and biological health and safety through research, design, education promotion, publications or service to the field.
“This award belongs to all the farmworkers who, every day, heroically and silently risk their health and lives to feed all of us, especially during these challenging times,” Fathallah said.
Fathallah has specialized in industrial ergonomics and occupational biomechanics since his days as a Ph.D. student at The Ohio State University in 1989. Ever since, he has dedicated his research career to improving the health and safety of workers in various industries, especially farmworkers. His research focuses on exposure assessment and the development of interventions to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. Fathallah and his team develop mechanical and robotic aids to lower the risk of occupational injuries and stresses of farmworkers.
These interventions span the entire body, from upper to lower spine health that is affected by everyday tasks like lifting, carrying, and dumping water buckets or manual harvesting of fresh fruits and vegetables. Low back disorders are one of the top health-challenging occupational illnesses for farmworkers.
Fathallah is a dedicated and successful mentor for young professionals at UC Davis and the ASABE community. His expertise and mentorship have led numerous graduate students to success in this field.
“I would like to thank my colleagues in the department for nominating me, and most importantly, my students and staff for their support and dedication; this recognition also belongs to them,” he said.
ASABE is an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. Founded in 1907, it comprises members in more than 100 countries.