Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Richard T. Stone


This thesis investigates the factors that affect the temperature, humidity, and heat index inside a mask (under the nose and on cheeks). Previous research found that thermal burden and stress are the leading factors to intolerances to wear a mask during work. Researchers were mainly investigating facemasks that are worn by healthcare and industrial workers. Investigating the temperature build-up inside the mask or facial skin was always done with human participation. The work presented in this thesis, examines factors affecting retail companies' employees while wearing face masks in the COVID-19 era as the new norm of life. This study investigated the temperature, relative humidity, and heat index inside the mask without a human participant (via the use of a custom human breathing simulator). The thesis’s work is divided into two studies focused on wearing different face masks and their associated impacts on different human aspects. The first study investigated how employees in retail stores use facemasks and how smoking habits, workload, athletic level, and wearing eyeglasses while using masks influence employees. It was found that these factors had impacts on human sense, psychomotor ability, psychology, cognition, work tolerance, the sensation of discomfort, and thermal sensation. The first study's findings and the pandemic's current situation that add challenges to research humans bring the second study to the light. The second study focused on building a simulator of human breathing matching the temperature and humidity of exhaled breath. Also, build a simulator that is adjusted to several breathing rates and workloads. Moreover, this part of the work investigated the effect of the face mask types and workloads on temperature, relative humidity, and heat index inside the mask. The temperature and heat index build-up within masks is significantly affected by different face mask types and workload levels (under the nose and in front of cheeks). Overall, this work provides new insight into factors that impact employees in retail companies. Also, this device enables the researchers to study any face mask types or face shields under different conditions without risking the individuals.


Copyright Owner

Fatima Zeyad Mgaedeh



File Format


File Size

107 pages