Rachel Bartels

  • MS in Systems Engineering
  • User Experience
  • Phone: Graduated: May 2019
  • Website


I hold a BS/MS in biomedical engineering, as my ultimate goal is designing life saving solutions. After 7 years in industry, I found myself realizing the best way to build meaningful products and systems was to build from a user-centric, human-focused perspective. Once I discovered the field of human factors engineering, I knew it was a fit. My research in the SIS lab focuses on human factors, user experience, and human performance. I am currently working on my Master’s Thesis, which is a user experience-based redesign of the breast pump. The breast pump is a great fit for this type of redesign as it was originally designed/built by those who do not have to use it. Thus, gathering feedback from the population that does use it, and watching interactions with it during usability studies allows us to really identify the problems/needs and redesign a device that meets these needs.

My additional interests and collaborative works in human systems engineering extend beyond healthcare into sustainable transportation via battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and engineering for democracy (RI VOTES).

MIT “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” Hack-A-Thon participant, 2018


MS in Systems Engineering, University of Rhode Island, 2019

MS in Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University, 2010

BS in Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University, 2010

Selected Publications

Bartels R. L., DiTomasso D., & Macht G. A. (2020). A mother-centered evaluation of breast pumps. Applied Ergonomics88, 103123. DOI:10.1016/j.apergo.2020.103123

Bartels, R. L., Kowalsky, D., Jonas, T., & Macht, G. A. (2019). Ease of EVs: Exploring factors that influence battery consumption. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 1-9. DOI: 10.1080/15568318.2019.1610920

Bartels, R. L. (2019). From Breast Pump to Best Pump: A Human-Centered Evaluation. The University of Rhode Island. Master’s Thesis.