Alyssa Carraha

Mentor: Dr. Warren Dixon
College of Mechanical Engineering
 
"I got involved in research to broaden my professional and hands on experience. Research will provide new methods of learning and opportunities to develop myself academically as well as professionally."

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Biomechanics
  • Electronic Muscle Stimulation

Academic Awards

  • College of Engineering Dean's List 2013
  • College of Engineering Dean's List 2014
  • College of Engineering Scholarship 2014
  • Sylvia T. Mckenney Scholarship 2015

Organizations

  • Women's Water Polo
  • Pi Tau Sigma
  • Jamaican American Students' Association

Volunteer

  • Gator Plunge Beautifaction Project
  • Helped coach Gator Club Water Polo- Summer 2014

Hobbies and Interests

  • Water Polo
  • Volleyball

Research Description

Customizable Cycling Pedals
The purpose of the proposed University Scholars Research project is to examine efficient pedaling motion. This effort includes the development of a set of bicycle pedals that can measure both normal and tangential applied forces, as well as the angular location of the pedals relative to the bicycle frame. This task will be carried out by using strain gauges and encoders on each pedal. Pedals that can simultaneously measure the force applied to the pedals and the pedal position relative to the crank arm can provide researchers, physical therapists, and athletic trainers with a powerful tool to quantify pedaling performance. As a second task, efforts in this project will focus on analyzing the force exerted, in combination with the pedaling angle, to facilitate the ability to optimize stroke with respect to a speed to energy ratio. Each pedal will have its own set of acquisition instrumentation and therefore the strength and efficiency of each leg may be developed and observed separately. This aspect is important to independently examine the asymmetric effects of certain injury or disorder. These tasks facilitate new insights into the efficiency of FES-induced cycling. These efforts will provide a foundation for continued, longer term research efforts that investigate FES control methods to yield improved pedaling performance and enhanced neuromuscular fitness.