Mechanical Engineering Department Named Bicycle-Friendly Workplace
Every day is Earth Day for Billy Epting, who in a year saved more than 1,920 pounds of carbon dioxide and more than $800 by riding his bicycle to his engineering lab at Carnegie Mellon University.
Through Epting's work spearheading bike-friendly initiatives, CMU's Mechanical Engineering Department has been recognized as a bronze level Bicycle-Friendly Business (BFB). CMU was one of 67 awardees announced this year.
"This is a wonderful honor for the university and I'm proud to be part of this growing initiative to use bicycles as an easy option for transportation," said Epting, a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student from Coopersburg, Pa. Epting reports that he has burned more than 80,000 calories pedaling to school every day for the past year.
Bicycle-friendly employer initiatives improve the workplace, contribute to the community and benefit even those who do not choose to commute by bicycle.
"CMU's Mechanical Engineering Department is at the forefront of a movement to make American businesses more competitive, sustainable and attractive to the best and brightest employees," said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. "An investment in bicycling enhances employee health, increases sustainability and improves the bottom line."
Nadine Aubry, the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor and head of CMU's Mechanical Engineering Department, praised Epting for helping obtain the bicycle award. "Our students are extremely busy, but they always make time to be involved with positive initiatives that spill into the community," Aubry said. Her department set up a special bicycle repair stop for people who commute by bicycle.
Last year, a handful of engineering students working with the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research launched the "Heels on Wheels" program to encourage more CMU faculty, students and staff to ride bicycles to work.
With this recognition CMU's Mechanical Engineering Department joins more than 400 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that have been designated bicycle-friendly by the League of American Bicyclists.
See more photos of some of CMU's biking initiatives and of Epting.