Cycling Scientist

uc davis mechanical aerospace engineering bicycle professor jason moore
Photo: Karin Higgins/UC Davis

By Jocelyn Anderson, originally posted by UC Davis Magazine.

At Bike Party Sacramento, a monthly music-filled trip around the city, Jason Moore, M.S. ’07, Ph.D. ’12, often rides a tandem bike he made with friends to look like a creature from The Neverending Story. As assistant professor of teaching in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, he studies bicycle dynamics — and he analyzed the bike’s controllability. “I realized that it’s awful to steer,” he said.

Moore actually developed his own software and mathematical model to design bicycles that he hypothesizes would be easy to control. His students tweak the designs to come up with new versions of bicycles, and then build and test them.

“For over a hundred years, we’ve had the same design,” Moore said. “So I want to know: Are there other variations of the bicycle that are different from what we’ve had for the past hundred years? We could potentially discover there is a different bike that nobody came up with.”

As a college student in Norfolk, Virginia, Moore started biking to and from school to improve his commute. He said he liked it so much that he started traveling everywhere by bicycle, and building his own racing bike. UC Davis seemed like a natural fit.

“I was blown away by the campus and seeing all the bikes,” said Moore, who doesn’t own a car. “I was riding by myself for years, and here, there’s all these other people.”

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