Portrait of Jay Kapellusch

Jay Kapellusch, PhD

  • Head of School, School of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Professor, Programs in Occupational Therapy Science, Technology & Rehabilitation


Ph D Industrial Engineering University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2010
MS Industrial Engineering University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2006
BS Industrial Engineering University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2001

Speaker Topics

  • Occupational Biomechanics
  • Occupational Physical Exposure Assessments and Modeling
  • Human Centered Design for Manufacturing Systems

Interests & Expertise

Jay Kapellusch’s primary research interests are in development of quantitative ergonomics job design algorithms that can be proactively used to design highly productive, safe jobs in manufacturing and service industries.

He is working to integrate these algorithms with modern Industrial Engineering philosophies, such as Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma, as well as traditional Industrial Engineering tools and techniques, such as methods engineering and statistical quality control, to provide industry with a comprehensive job design system.

On a parallel track, Kapellusch is interested in studying the physical capabilities of older and disabled populations with the primary objective of developing simple yet effective devices and/or equipment that would enable these individuals to be more functional and productive members of society.

He also works with members of the UWM Center for Ergonomics to build upon his ergonomics systems work with industry to create comprehensive job risk management software, training packages and to extend state of art consulting services/resources to industry on a “fee for service” basis.

Selected Publications

Kapellusch, J. M., Bao, S. S., Malloy, E. J., Thiese, M. S., Merryweather, A. S., & Hegmann, K. T. (2021, November). Validation of the Revised Strain Index for Predicting Risk of Incident Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a Prospective Cohort. Ergonomics, 64(11), 1369-1378.
Wang, I., Kapellush, J., Hou, F., & Mohammad, R. (2021). Trends in TC/HDL and LDL/HDL Ratios across the Age Span: Data from the 2007-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Asian Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 9(1), 6-15.
Wang, Y., Kapellusch, J. M., & Rahman, M. (2019). Shoulder UE Rehabits: Co-calibrate Three upper extremity functional questionnaires in outpatients with shoulder injuries. , 100(10), e120.
Wang, Y., Kapellusch, J. M., & Sindhu, B. (2019). Psychometric evaluation and clinical interpretation of the Upper Extremity Functional Index (UEFI). , 100(10), e111.
Kapellusch, J. M., Bao, S. S., Silverstein, B. A., Merryweather, A. S., Thiese, M. S., Hegmann, K. T., & Garg, A. (2017, December). Risk assessments using the Strain Index and the TLV for HAL, Part I: Task and multi-task job exposure classifications. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 14(12), 1011-1019.
Malloy, E. J., Kapellusch, J. M., & Garg, A. (2017, September). Estimating and Interpreting Effects from Nonlinear Exposure-Response Curves in Occupational Cohorts Using Truncated Power Basis Expansions and Penalized Splines. Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, 2017, 1-16.
Tang, R., Poklar, M., Domke, H., Moore, S., Kapellusch, J. M., & Garg, A. (2017, February). Sit-To-Stand Lift: Effects of Lifted Height on Weight Borne and Upper Extremity Strength Requirements. Research in Nursing & Health, 40(1), 9-14.
Applegate, K. A., Thiese, M. S., Merryweather, A. S., Kapellusch, J. M., Drury, D. L., Wood, E., Kendall, R., Foster, J., Garg, A., & Hegmann, K. T. (2017, February). Association Between Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59(2), 154-160.
Merryweather, A. S., Thiese, M. S., Kapellusch, J. M., Garg, A., Fix, D. J., & Hegmann, K. T. (2017, July (3rd Quarter/Summer)). Occupational factors related to slips, trips and falls among home healthcare workers. Safety Science.
Garg, A., Moore, J. S., & Kapellusch, J. M. (2017, July (3rd Quarter/Summer)). The Revised Strain Index: an improved upper extremity exposure assessment model. Ergonomics, 60(7), 912-922.
Harris-Adamson, C., Eisen, E. A., Neophytou, A., Kapellusch, J. M., Garg, A., Hegmann, K. T., Thiese, M. S., Dale, A. M., Evanoff, B., Bao, S., Silverstein, B., Gerr, F., Burt, S., & Rempel, D. (2016, November). Biomechanical and psychosocial exposures are independent risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome: assessment of confounding using causal diagrams. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 73(11), 727-734.
Ronna, B. B., Thiese, M. S., Ott, U., Effiong, A., Murtaugh, M., Kapellusch, J. M., Garg, A., & Hegmann, K. (2016, August). The Association Between Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Motor Vehicle Crashes Among Professional Truck Drivers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58(8), 828-832.
Bao, S. S., Kapellusch, J. M., Merryweather, A. S., Thiese, M. S., Garg, A., Hegmann, K. T., Silverstein, B. A., Marcum, J. L., & Tang, R. (2016, August). Impact of Work Organizational Factors on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Epicondylitis. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58(8), 760-764.
Garg, A., & Kapellusch, J. M. (2016, February). The Cumulative Lifting Index (CULI) for the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation Quantifying Risk for Workers With Job Rotation. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 58(5), 683-94.

Recent Funded Grants

Preventing Work Injuries and Chronic Illnesses in Truckers (4/1/2007 – 3/31/2010)
Centers for Disease Control, NIOSH

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Arun Garg (Subcontract from University of Utah)

GOAL: Perform cross-sectional study of 1,000 truck (≤ 10,000 lbs.) drivers in two states to identify risk factors leading to elevated prevalence rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and sleep disorders, as well as increased tobacco use, and prescription and over the counter medication use relative to industrial workers and the general population. Compare Commercial Driver Medical Examination (CDME) with questionnaire, blood test and urinalysis results to develop an improved CDME. Develop and pilot test a truck driver health promotion program.

The primary objective of this study is to address factors that shorten drivers’ careers, shorten CDL certifications and contribute to increased incident of motor vehicle crashes and other injuries.

ROLE on PROJECT: Collect and analyze data for the Wisconsin sub-contract. Assist with development of improved CDME and “health promotion program.” Conduct pilot test of health promotion program in Wisconsin.

Honors & Awards

Liberty Mutual Award Shortlist Article (2020) Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Leadership Award (2019, May 10) College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
D.L. Hart International Resarch Award (2018) Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc..
Bullard-Sherwood Award for Research to Practice (2018, June) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
2017 IEA/Liberty Mutual Medal (2017, July) Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Ambassador Award (2016, May) College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Winner: Outstanding Presentation at the UW-System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (2014) UW-System Symposium.
Inaugural Fellow (2013) University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee: Design Research Institute Fellow.
Alumni of the Year (2005) Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.