Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert Marks


There are currently many non-profit organizations and social enterprises working to alleviate the hardships of living in a developing economy, such as lack of proper homes, schooling, and bathrooms. The solutions to these problems rely on concrete, and are currently limited by the mixing time for these batches of concrete in rural and remote areas. Mixing with shovels is inefficient and imprecise, and the possible solution of a portable gas-powered concrete mixer is too expensive and too immobile for remote areas. The Human-Powered Concrete Mixer (HPCM) provides an alternative to these methods that is more efficient and more precise than hand mixing with shovels, yet cheaper and more mobile than a portable gas-powered concrete mixer. Our team was able to successfully design a mixer that, in comparison to mixing with shovels, reduced mixing time from 15 minutes to 5 minutes, reduced the necessary number of laborers from 6 to 2, and produced structurally sound concrete. The modular design of the mixer allows the HPCM to be easily moved to remote construction areas, and the cost of the mixer makes it more economically viable for non-profit organizations and social enterprises than a gas-powered alternative. In sum, the HPCM provides a low cost, efficient, mobile, and reproducible alternative that enables non-profit organizations and social enterprises to more effectively help more people.