Engineer turned champion mountain biker and entrepreneur speaking Oct. 10

Contact: Kara M. Kuchinic
Photo of Sonya Looney riding a bike on a trail thorugh the woods.

World Champion mountain biker Sonya Looney

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Engineer, adventure traveler and world champion mountain biker Sonya Looney will speak on "From Electrical Engineering to World Champion Mountain Biker and Entrepreneur: Learning to think like an engineer will make you successful in any business," at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Parkview Room, D-132, in Floyd Hall on Western Michigan University's Parkview Campus. The talk is part the Custer Leadership Lecture Series sponsored by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


Looney, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering and biomedical instrumentation, respectively, has sought out the hardest bike races in the most remote, beautiful and interesting places in the world. A world champion mountain biker, she has traveled across the rugged Himalayas, through sweltering sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, and through the jungles of Sri Lanka.

Looney is a professional speaker, keynoting at large conferences, has spoken at TEDx, and is an accomplished writer on the topics of mental toughness, attitude, psychology, plant-based nutrition, all things cycling, and wellness. She also hosts the podcast, The Sonya Looney Show and founded her own apparel brand, Moxy & Grit. Find her at and on Instagram: @Sonya_Looney


The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Custer Leadership Lecture Series runs throughout the year. Speakers with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise the college and throughout the University. The events are free and open to the public.


Looney’s talk will be followed by a Meet and Greet at 4-4:30 p.m. at Pedal, 611 W. Michigan Ave. in downtown Kalamazoo. A group ride begins at 5 p.m. at the Maple Hill Trail, located on the west side of Markin Glen Park, 5221 N. Westnedge Ave.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.