Research Project

Workers and Technology Together (WATT)

Abstract

The Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM (ARCS) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), proposes to conduct convergence research into the potential for autonomy
technologies to improve the efficiency and productivity of the organic waste processing industry and the safety and security of those who work in the industry. The FW-HTF-P: Workers and Technology Together (WATT) project team, consisting of ARCS faculty from legal, business, computer science, art/design, mechanical engineering, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and manufacturing systems engineering disciplines, along with ARCS graduate research Fellows and undergraduate Associates, will team with experts in environmental regulations, advanced concepts, and an organic waste processing facility partner to use a convergence research approach to identify socio-technological innovations that will address the challenges with separation, conversion to energy, legal frameworks, adaptation of best practices, and climate change analyses in the context of organic waste processing. Through its research, the project team will determine if applying autonomy technologies to some key organic waste processing functions will increase the capture of organic waste, reduce hazardous job functions for line workers and enforcement agents, increase the efficiency and profitability of organic waste processing, and up/reskill low-skill, temporary workers to assume full-time, semi-skilled positions working alongside automation assistants.

Research Team

Lead Researchers 

  • Nhut Ho – ARCS Director – Mechanical Engineering
  • Bingbing Li – Manufacturing Systems Engineering & Management
  • Farshad Ghodoosi – Business Law
  • Joe Bautista – Associate Director and Professor of Art + Design

Collaborators

  • Los Angeles Local Enforcement Agency, Waste Management, Anaergia

Student Team

  • Mitesh Sawant, Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management
  • Douglas Cruz, Business and Economics
  • David Bell, Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management
  • Melissa Baghoumian, Business and Economics
  • Jianhao Zhu, Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management

Funding

  • Funding Organization: National Science Foundation
  • Funding Program: Future Work – Human-Technology Frontier
Research Team

Lead Researchers 

  • Nhut Ho – ARCS Director – Mechanical Engineering
  • Bingbing Li – Manufacturing Systems Engineering & Management
  • Farshad Ghodoosi – Business Law
  • Joe Bautista – Associate Director and Professor of Art + Design

Collaborators

  • Los Angeles Local Enforcement Agency, Waste Management, Anaergia

Student Team

  • Mitesh Sawant, Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management
  • Douglas Cruz, Business and Economics
  • David Bell, Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management
  • Melissa Baghoumian, Business and Economics
  • Jianhao Zhu, Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management
  • Joshua Vazquez, Art and Design

Funding

  • Funding Organization: National Science Foundation
  • Funding Program: Future Work – Human-Technology Frontier