Engineers play a huge role in creating new and improved materials for everything from sports to the green economy
In high school, Michael Williams always thought about maths and physics concepts in relation to his mad love for BMX bike racing. Now, his passion has led to one of Australia’s only niche specialist manufacturing businesses for high-quality bicycle parts, Williams Racing Products. “My business is founded on making custom parts for riders and to encourage the industry to think outside the box,” he says.
Business is booming
Michael’s business is part of a boom in advanced manufacturing based on need rather than mass production. Advanced manufacturing is a big growth area. Manufacturers employ 900,000 Australians, invest $4 billion in research and development, and contribute $100 billion to the economy. And, engineers are have a job to do at every stage, from the design cycle to the end product.
Michael’s business stemmed from an idea for a new type of bike clutch that came to him in his final year of a Engineering (Mechanical/Civil) degree at Deakin University in Geelong. With help from his mentor, Associate Professor Paul Collins, he got in touch with Spark Deakin, the university’s business accelerator program, won a scholarship and founded his business in 2017.
Skills for life
“We use different manufacturing techniques depending on the part we’re making,” says Michael.
“Studying STEM fields is really important in high school because of the scope it opens up. Whether you work in a STEM area or not, having the knowledge and breadth of those skills is really important.”
Michael’s study and career pathway
- Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical/Civil), Deakin University
- Senior Engineer and Project Manager, VicRoads
- Casual Academic Teacher, School of Engineering, Deakin University
Founder, Williams Racing Products
This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2021.
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs