Riding bikes was a childhood passion that stayed with Mic Williams into adulthood. He got so good at it, that he was soon racing BMXs competitively. He’s competed in a BMX World Cup, two World Championships and 11 national titles. But athleticism isn’t the only thing that makes him a talented rider, it’s his understanding of how his bike works.
‘My dad’s an engineer and we’ve always talked about how bikes work and are made,’ Mic says. This led Mic to enrol in a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) at Deakin University. It was the access to new technology that really got Mic thinking about what he could achieve if he paired his love of bikes with engineering. ‘I had access to 3D printers, a full workshop, laser cutters,’ he says.
He points out that Deakin provides engineering students with a range of tools to prepare them for the workforce, including a 12-week industry work placement. By his fourth year, he was ready to embark on a project inspired by his riding experience and worked to enhance the transition system on a downhill mountain bike. ‘What I really love about this project is that I can take what I’ve learned, put it on my own bike and take it out to the field and try to break it. That way we can enhance it and try to make the product even better again,’ Mic explains.
But the most invaluable part of his education is the guidance he received as he developed a new bike product. ‘I was nervous about sharing my idea, I didn’t want it stolen,’ Mic explains, but says Deakin was happy to arrange a non-disclosure agreement so his concept was protected. In addition, the school provided legal advice and assisted him to get a patent for his prototype.
After completing his combined undergraduate and honours, Mic will be highly employable. He says that working on his product prototype gave him a passion for mechanical engineering and 3D printing and believes there are huge future opportunities in these spaces. He adds that undertaking a course that allowed him to try ‘a bit of everything’ to figure out what he wanted to specialise in was invaluable. ‘In engineering we can do the full research and development process at Deakin,’ Mic says and concludes, ‘This has broadened my education and makes me more employable in the future.’
Learn more about Deakin University’s Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours).
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