Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gaetano Restivo


The GRVLR team designed and constructed a human powered rock crusher intended to assist impoverished widows in Birendranagar, Nepal. These women crush rocks for a living as a result of intense gender discrmination which limits their access to better employment opportunities. The goal of this device was to provide an alternative method to this work that was superior under the criteria of efficiency, ergonomics, and safety. In order to inform the design of the machine, the GRVLR team used customer needs data to generate design requirements and success metrics, and finite element analysis (FEA) in order to evaluate and improve the strength of the system components. After several rounds of design iteration, the team produced a pedal operated rock crusher that uses a chain lift to hoist a heavy weight to drop onto the rocks below. The team is in the process of finalizing a working prototype to test its efficiency. Once this is completed next steps are to coordinate with the project's non-government organization contact in Nepal to see about introducing the device to the community and performing further design iterations based on firsthand customer feedback.