Student Fabricated Bike Rack

Harper's Welding Students Leave Their Mark on Campus

Welding Students with Bike RackStudent Making Bike RackFabricating Bike Racks

The Welding Technology department and Harper’s sustainability efforts have joined forces to expand infrastructure on campus to promote healthy lifestyles and recreational opportunities. Take a look around and you will see shiny new bike racks popping up. Two new bike racks have been installed with many more to come: one in the new parking structure and one replacing the old rack on the south side of Building M. We are proud to show off the hard work of these students. Thanks to them for their great work!

Students from the Welding Fabrication program began making bike racks to be used on campus in the fall of 2014. The idea for the class to fabricate bike racks came from both a need to find a practical application to the class's bending and welding lessons and the need for increasing the number of bike racks on campus. It was a perfect fit.

The class works each semester to fabricate two bike racks and Physical Plant staff will continue to install the bike racks on campus. This is a great opportunity to showcase student work on campus while helping to contribute to Harper's green efforts. Instructor Adam Phan shares his excitement for "spotlighting our program and giving the students such a great opportunity to have a long lasting, positive impact on campus; this is really something we can all be proud of."  

Keep an eye out for more bike racks being installed around campus as construction projects are completed. Take a look at all of Harper’s bike rack locations and find the one that works best for you! Don’t forget to join Harper’s team for the National Bike Challenge and log the miles you ride this summer. Keep pedaling!

Top photo: Adam Phan (instructor), Matt Henderson, Robert Wilkinson, Sam Long, Bridget Mathes, and Jeff Vander. 

Check out more photos of Harper students fabricating bike racks on the Harper Flickr page

Transportation on Campus

Bikes  Biking is a great way to get to campus, and get some exercise! Look for the bike racks that are installed around campus. See Map.PDF

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations  Harper has two electric vehicle charging stations on campus that are available for public use, one located in parking lot 14 and one in lot 1.  Each charging station can accommodate two vehicles. See the Harper College interactive map for charging station locations.

Share the Drive  Share the drive and find others who live near you to cut some of the costs.  Learn more about Pace RideShare or Pace Vanpool.  

Metra  Find your Metra line - Palatine: Union Pacific Northwest Line, Schaumburg: Milwaukee District West Line.

Electric Vehicles on Campus

Harper Employee using Electric Vehicle Charging Station


This is my secret code for today. These are the numbers that mean I'm paying less than $0.02 per mile to drive my car. These are the numbers that mean I've spent a sum total of about $40 to travel over 2,300 miles. These are the numbers that mean I've saved up to $700 on gas over the last four months.

"What numerical wizardry is this?" you may ask.

Answer: The electric kind. I drive a Nissan Leaf.

When my wife and I first encountered a Nissan Leaf back in 2011, she immediately fell in love with the unique contours, the sophisticated interior, the entire electric vehicle (EV) concept. I was sympathetically enthusiastic, but inwardly remained unmoved. There was no way I was about to pay that kind of money for a car that would never carry me more than 100 miles on the best of days.

Fast forward to 2014. As we discussed all the ways our lives would be turned upside-down after the birth of our daughter, we recognized an emerging need for a second car. We explored a variety of used car options, ranging from Smart Cars to Priuses to Honda CRVs. The Leaf reared its electric head once again. Dutifully, we added it to our mix of car purchase scenarios and starting crunching loan terms and lengths, down payments, interest rates, leasing options, even fuel economy. Two clear contenders emerged: a 2010 Prius IV…and a 2012 Leaf. When the dust finally settled, the Prius was a solid step forward but not enough of one, given the fact that we would still have our 2008 Camry for long-distance and backup use. The Leaf stood victorious.

Somewhere in the back of my head, Hell froze over and pigs sprouted wings to escape the infernal arctic blast. But I had no other recourse: The numbers didn’t lie. So my wife happily drove our new Leaf home (although, ironically, I would be the one who actually used it).

In all honesty, the Leaf is not for everyone. In fact, it’s probably not for the majority of people out there-but it suited our needs and fit our specific situation. Looking back, I might also have looked into a Chevy Volt, given its 38 mile EV range in addition to gas-powered performance. But the bottom line is that I don’t regret my decision to go electric one bit. The numbers still don’t lie.

These days, I wonder if there’s any way I could wrangle a used Tesla for myself in five years or so-or if current Tesla models would be utterly eclipsed by something else. I wonder if my daughter will ever drive a gas-powered vehicle. I wonder if, by the time she is of driving age, a self-driving Google car will drive her instead.

In Bob Dylan’s words, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

They are indeed. Apparently, so am I.

​By Marc Westenburg, Marketing Specialist and EV enthusiast​

*Secret code deciphered: Dollars spent on recharging, kWh charged, miles traveled, kWh/mile.