Steve is a mechanical engineer with a degree from UWE Bristol, and a Chartered Engineer with the IMechE.
However it is a truism that Steve is more practical than academic, with an interest in how things work, why things are how they are and how things can be improved. As a cyclist Steve was immediately interested when he met Rob and they talked of bikes for transport and of ideas to replace the second car.
Steve on engineering…..
“Engineering in two words is ‘Problem Solving’. It’s about improving things, finding why things have failed, looking at new materials or processes to improve performance or quality. Engineers build the world around us and nearly everything we touch has been designed by somebody from a plastic fork to a space rocket. The exciting thing is that as a design engineer there is a chance to make a difference, create something new and build on the experience of others.”
Before Rodford, Steve spent two decades working in manufacturing for a large corporation learning how to mass produce quality products, a skill which directly translates into the Rodford business. Steve has some CAD skills which are used to design, simulate and simplify each Rodford design for manufacture. The CAD is used to produce working drawings and 3D models for laser cut parts.
When it comes to construction Steve enjoys the hands-on work of fabricating and welding prototype frames.
Outside of Rodford Steve is interested in anything with wheels, mostly motorcycles and vintage cars. His small home workshop is used to keep a miniature fleet of vehicles roadworthy and functioning. Head of the fleet is a 1971 Saab 96. A V4 engined model in red; not a handsome machine and it’s tatty, but it’s a reliable workhorse. The Saab is the prefered winter transport, perhaps one of the warmest and safest places to be on a snowy day.
The garage is home to an air-cooled BMW R60/6 from 1976. As a long time fan of these rugged twin cylinder machines, Steve added a homebuilt sidecar to the bike for family days out.
For short trips about town the VeloSoleX provides a fun way to get around. Steve has a 1965 3300 model with a puny 49cc motor driving the front wheel. Speed is not high, but the fun factor makes up for it and best of all it goes Baaaaring…..ding, ding, ding gggring……ding.
And……..for the kids there is a home-built electric Jeep for fun on the common and down the park.
Did you know? – on some occasions Steve attempts to play the trumpet.
Over the years Steve has spent many hours in the workshop turning out toys, models and various inventions of questionable use.
Some projects can be found at www.steves-workshop.co.uk
Steve’s top 5 favourite inventions.
- The bicycle – Probably the most significant leap in mobility in history. All of a sudden we could go places with an efficiency of 8 times that of walking.
- The Honda C50 – A vehicle that has mobilised entire nations. Basic, friendly and economical. Transport for the world.
- The JCB digger – Can literally do the work of 100 men. Unfortunately it put many out of work, but the power of hydraulics is a marvel.
- Flight – Without planes (specifically jet planes) global travel is a monotonous business and they can traverse any terrain without expensive/destructive infrastructure. Helicopters are second to none for search and rescue.
- The self tapping screw – what a time saver! More recent innovations can be driven into masonry without a pilot hole. Yay.
Steve on Rob…..
“Rob is the visionary behind Rodford bikes. It was his idea and his knowledge of the industry that started the Rodford Journey.
As a nerd, my skills compliment Robs, I can offer technical input, design drawings and a materials science approach. Rob has the dreams and our skill sets compliment each other into what we hope is a winning combination.”