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Velo-City Global sets wheels in motion for industrial design student

by Rosanna Galvin

James Sherrard holding the Design-Cycle Student Award. The Award was designed by UniSA tutor Shane Haddy and was created in the School of Art, Architecture and Design’s Digital Fabrication Workshop. James Sherrard holding the Design-Cycle Student Award. The Award was designed by UniSA tutor Shane Haddy and was created in the School of Art, Architecture and Design’s Digital Fabrication Workshop.

For one UniSA student and cycling enthusiast, last month’s Velo-City Global Conference in Adelaide was just the start of an exciting cycling journey which will take him to China.

Industrial design student James Sherrard (pictured above) won the Design-Cycle Student award at the Design-Cycle exhibition as part of the conference, which is the world’s premier cycling planning event.

James Sherrard’s design for a new bike-share scheme in Adelaide.James Sherrad’s design for a new bike-share scheme in Adelaide.

James won the award for his innovative ‘Ride Back’ public bike-share scheme design (pictured right), for a competition in which entrants were asked to come up with a new bike-share scheme for Adelaide. James says after using Adelaide’s current bike-share system, he encountered a number of issues which he wanted to address in his new design.

“I found the current scheme to have a confusing hiring and return procedure, which was labour-intensive and time-consuming,” James says.

“The system I created incorporates an automated app-based payment option and users are able to collect and return bikes at different locations – docks – located throughout the CBD.

“Instead of traditional bicycles, my system is based around a foldable, lightweight electric scooter. The reason behind this is that many bike-share scheme users are office workers, who are often in clothing which is restrictive on a normal bicycle.

“I wanted to make riding a bike the easy option by reducing the obstacles that users face when they consider riding. Cycling is such a fantastic and sustainable method of transport which is perfect for big cities. Effective bike-share schemes can play a big part in facilitating bike-friendly cities.”

James is now preparing to jet off to China to undertake an internship at a leading Chinese bicycle manufacturing company.

From mid-June, James will find himself in China – a country with one of the greatest numbers of bikes per capita in the world, where there are more than half a billion bicycles. Joined by three other UniSA students – Nick Jolly, Andrew McIntyre (see our story about Andrew’s design accolade) and Jack Nyland – James will intern at bicycle manufacturing company Tianjin Battle Electric Bicycle Co Ltd (Battle Bikes) as part of the Australian government’s AsiaBound grant program.

Set to complete his Honours degree in Design (Product Innovation) this year, James says he doesn’t know what to expect at Battle Bikes but he plans to take advantage of all the opportunities an international industrial design internship will offer.

“I can’t wait to be on the ground at a huge manufacturing company and just see how things work,” he says.

“The ultimate would be the chance to come up with and hopefully share some designs for new bikes with professionals. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get to develop a prototype or contribute to creating a new product.”

The industrial design internship has been developed in collaboration with Tianjin University, which has a number of connections with UniSA including a joint research initiative, the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development.

Scientists join the cycling conversation at Velo-City Global

As part of the Velo-City Global Conference in Adelaide last month, UniSA hosted the Scientists for Cycling Colloquium, a day-long event which explored the science behind bike-friendly cities.

Bringing together leaders from government, business and academia, the colloquium covered a number of topics surrounding the sustainable mobility movement, including how to produce a cycling culture, the systems behind public bike schemes and cycling safety.

UniSA exercise scientist Professor Kevin Norton, who chaired the event, says the colloquium examined the research that underpins bike-friendly public policy and initiatives.

“It was a chance for researchers from across a number of fields – from economics to epidemiology – to come together and find out what we can do to make cycling safer and more sustainable,” Prof Norton says.

“Scientists can play an important role in getting society on their bikes as they provide the hard, evidence-based research that underpins policies on cycling.

“During the colloquium, we looked at a whole range of issues, from investigating the best safety measures for cyclists to how safe cycling messages can be successfully promoted and targeted.”

UniSA was the official Bronze Sponsor of Velo-City Global Conference and the host of the Scientists for Cycling Colloquium.

For UniSA staff who ride to work, Bike SA is offering a free safety seminar on our campuses. See our story about this.