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Minnesota State College Southeast launching unique Bicycle Design & Fabrication associate degree in 2019
Program teaches mechanical engineering and design skills that can be applied to any industry involving fabrication, manufacturing, and engineering technology
Red Wing, MN (November 5, 2018) --- Minnesota State College Southeast today announces a new program option: Bicycle Design & Fabrication, an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree at MSC Southeast's Red Wing campus. In this one-of-a-kind program, students will explore a mechanical engineering technology and design curriculum in the nation's only two-year degree focused on the fabrication of bicycles and associated components.
Experts from several leading bicycle-related companies -- including Erik's Bike Shop, Hed Cycling Products, Quality Bicycle Products, and Trek Bicycle Corporation -- are serving on an advisory committee working with the college to develop the curriculum.
Students in the program will study the history and theory of bike design and take a course in physics as applied to the operation of bicycles. They will complete coursework on carbon fiber and composites, the mechanics of various bike components, CAD Drafting, 3D prototyping, and industrial testing while gaining hands-on skills in welding and CNC machining.*
Perhaps most exciting, in a second-year capstone project, the students will demonstrate the skills required to conceive and build a cycle frame or component of their own design.
"Students can start general education classes this Spring semester, which begins in January 2019; laboratories will open in Fall semester," according to MSC Southeast Dean of Trade and Technology, Travis Thul. "Seats in the program are limited to space available, so the time to apply for admission is now."
In addition to preparing students for careers in the bicycle industry, the skills mastered in this degree can be transferred to any industry involving fabrication, manufacturing, and engineering technology.
"The Bicycle Design and Fabrication curriculum is based on the most current technologies used in the bicycle industry, influenced directly by industry experts," said Greg Alexander, Director of Composite Engineering at HED Cycling. "These skills are beneficial across multiple industries, but students will get to learn them through highly interesting content."
Luke Strauss, Engineering Manager at Quality Bicycle Products, says that having a degree in this area would be a benefit to potential employees at his company or in the bike industry generally. "As we continue to build and grow our design and prototyping capabilities, it will be great to have a growing pool of students to hire from for internships and careers."
In addition to the opportunity to study bike design and building, students who move to Red Wing for the program will find it a cycling lovers' paradise. This historic town is located on the Mississippi River about 60 miles southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Cyclists can ride scenic bluff roads throughout southeast Minnesota, glide along the Cannon Valley Trail, or take on a challenging mountain bike loop in Red Wing's Memorial Park.
For MSC Southeast students, the program will combine cycling, high technology, hands-on skills, and the prospects for a challenging career.
"Developing design and fabrication skills through a medium like the bicycle is such a cool idea! You'll never look at a bike the same way again once you know how it's made," commented Greg Alexander.
For more information about the program and to apply, go to www.southeastmn.edu/bike.
*For a complete list of coursework, see: http://southeastmn.edu/academic_programs/Major.aspx?MajorID=749
About Minnesota State College Southeast
Minnesota State College Southeast is a two-year technical and community college that prepares students for a lifetime of learning by providing education for employment, skill enhancement, retraining, and transfer, to meet the needs of students and the community. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and updating its name to Minnesota State College Southeast in 2016 with the change of mission to offer both technical training and the associate of arts degree. Minnesota State College Southeast is a member of Minnesota State. For more information, visit www.southeastmn.edu.