Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Awards: Riding High

BIG WHEELS: Left to right, Deborah Sperling’06 Th’07, Hannah Murnen ’06 Th’07, Nathan Sigworth ’07, and Augusta Niles ’07 model the Gyrobike for Popular Mechanics. Photograph by Chad Hunt, courtesy of Popular Mechanics.
BIG WHEELS: Left to right, Deborah Sperling’06 Th’07, Hannah Murnen ’06 Th’07, Nathan Sigworth ’07, and Augusta Niles ’07 model the Gyrobike for Popular Mechanics. Photograph by Chad Hunt, courtesy of Popular Mechanics.

How far can a gyrobike go? All the way to Popular Mechanics magazine’s 2006 Breakthrough Awards. “One of my favorite inventions this year is the Gyrobike, created by a group of Dartmouth students. It’s an elegant, simple solution to the eternal problem of learning to ride a bike,” writes Jim Meigs, the Popular Mechanics contributing editor who oversaw the awards project. “People have been perfecting bikes for over 100 years, and there’s been a knowledge of gyroscopes for much longer, but these students were the first to combine them in a device like this. And they did the work in an introductory engineering course, which shows that you don’t have to be an expert with an advanced degree to invent something important — you just need creativity and resourcefulness.”

The editors of Popular Mechanics aren’t the only people who like the Gyrobike. Kids who’ve never ridden a two-wheeler love it because they can hop on and ride it right away.

Gyrobike inventors Hannah Murnen ’06 Th’07, Augusta Niles ’07, Nathan Sigworth ’07, and Deborah Sperling ’06 Th’07, who created the bike for their ENGS 21 class in 2004, are working to bring it to market.

Categories: The Great Hall, Awards

Tags: award, design, entrepreneurship, projects, research, students

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