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Muralidhar K

Muralidhar (aka Murali) is senior mentor and course designer at GenWise with 20+ years of experience in the social sector. In addition to delivering Vocational Training to young adults, he is currently responsible for design, manufacturing and marketing operations at a traditional handicraft (wooden toys) enterprise near Bengaluru. Murali has also delivered training and professional development programs for secondary school science teachers and 'making' skills to "gifted students" for around 4 years.

Murali has a bachelor's degree in Engineering from IIT Madras.

Engineering Design via Bicycles

Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.

Theodore von Karman, Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer, & physicist


May 7-28, 2023

Engineers make all kinds of cool things which make our lives better - from everyday objects like bicycles and smartphones, to racing cars, hyperloops, and spaceships! Using the everyday bicycle as an example, this course provides a carefully curated introduction to the various aspects of engineering and design involved in making great products.

Some of these important aspects include:

  • Scientific Knowledge: Understanding the physics of forces, how the load gets distributed in the bicycle frame, the ‘mechanical advantage’ of a gear system are examples of this.

  • Functional Design: The use of a bicycle in different contexts results in different requirements that the engineer/ designer has to satisfy. For example, a commuter who takes his cycle on to a train everyday needs a compact or maybe a foldable cycle, whereas a racer is much more concerned about speed and aerodynamics. Also, the same functional requirement can be met through different design approaches.

  • Prototyping & Testing: Engineering ideas are refined through building and testing prototypes which allow us to predict how well the idea will work.

  • Use of Technologies: New technologies can offer new possibilities like carbon fibres that provide both strength and are lightweight. Electronic sensors and actuators can switch on the headlights in dim conditions or change gears automatically based on conditions.

In this very hands-on course, students will:

  • Understand how a bicycle works by taking it apart and assembling it together; learn to do some simple repairs

  • Learn the physics involved in the working of a bicycle

  • Work on design challenges by building and testing various prototypes

  • Learn about the history of bicycle design and understand how and why changes happened at different points of time

  • Do a couple of small projects with electronic sensors and actuators on a bicycle, demonstrating the impact of new tech.

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