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The ASSE Foundation Announces Connecticut’s Bruno and Wisconsin’s Roberts as the 2011 Recipients of the Liberty Mutual Research Fellowship

Posted in on Fri, Mar 11, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Foundation recently announced that Jennifer Bruno of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, and Shannon Roberts of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI, are each recipients of the Liberty Mutual Research Fellowship, a program at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton, MA.  Bruno’s research project will examine forearm muscle changes and adaptation during a fatiguing repetitive wrist flexion task and the resulting low frequency fatigue (LFF).  Roberts’ project will seek to develop and employ a common measurement system in the assessment of driver calibration.

Jennifer Bruno has a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the field of ergonomics and safety at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Bruno’s proposal focuses on the effects of repeated sub-maximal voluntary contractions and LFF. Bruno will investigate the muscle activity produced by the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) during a period when the muscle is becoming fatigued and during periods when the muscle continues working while maintaining a constant level of fatigue.  The study will contribute to the question of how musculoskeletal disorders occur, the main goal being to gain a deeper understanding musculoskeletal disorder development. The findings will provide valuable information that will help prevent such occupational injuries.

Roberts currently attends the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is working on her doctoral degree in industrial engineering.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Roberts’ proposal focuses on employing a common measurement when assessing driver calibration.  Roberts notes that often when people judge their driving skills, they are miscalibrated, particularly when judging their abilities to drive safely while driving in a distracted state.  Roberts aims to develop a methodology for assessing driver calibration so researchers can easily compare results from study to study and aid designers and manufacturers in engineering systems to combat distracted driving.

The goals of the Liberty Mutual Research Fellowship Program include encouraging research activity in the field of safety; familiarizing graduate students, faculty members and other researchers with current research projects and up-to-date research models and applications to expand the body of knowledge; expanding and stimulating safety research understanding; providing a forum for linking safety professionals, industry needs, and quality research programs; and laying the groundwork for graduate students and faculty members to pursue safety/health applied research projects of their choice. Fellows will spend four to six weeks during the summer of 2011 at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton, MA.

“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2009 direct written premium.  The Company also ranks 71st on the Fortune 500 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2009 revenue.  As of December 31, 2010, Liberty Mutual Group had $112.4 billion in consolidated assets, $95.4 billion in consolidated liabilities, and $33.2 billion in annual consolidated revenue.

Owned and operated by Liberty Mutual Group, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety ( has helped improve the occupational safety and health of workers for more than 50 years.  Through laboratory and field-based investigations, the Research Institute seeks to advance scientific, business-relevant knowledge in workplace and highway safety, and work disability.  Research findings are shared with the worldwide health and safety community through peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.  Ultimately, these findings are used to develop recommendations, guidelines, and interventions that help reduce risk and control costs.

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, established by and in partnership with the American Society of Safety Engineers, generates funding and provides resources for scholarship, applied research, academic accreditation and related academic initiatives in order to advance the safety, health and environmental profession. For more information on the Foundation and its programs, visit

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 33,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education.  For more information, please go to and

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