Faculty Profile

Luke Venstrom, Assistant Professor

GEM 203

Curriculum Vitae


Professor Venstrom earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2012 and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Valparaiso University in 2007.  Prior to rejoining the Valparaiso University College of Engineering in 2013, he served as a postdoctoral research associate in the Solar Energy Laboratory at the University of Minnesota.  In his teaching, he strives to increase the ability of students to think critically and develop new skills in self-directed learning and exploration.  His research broadly encompasses the thermal fluid sciences, with a focus on renewable energy systems and, in particular, high-temperature solar thermal chemistry.  He thus actively utilizes the James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility.  He has received numerous honors for his scholarship including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2009, the Tau Beta Pi Graduate Research Fellowship in 2007, and the University of Minnesota Graduate School Fellowship in 2007.




Ph.D - University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, 2012 -  
M.S.M.E. - University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, 2010 -  
B.S.M.E. - Valparaiso University, 2007 -  

Areas of Specialization

Professor Venstrom specializes in the application of the thermal fluid sciences to the engineering of renewable energy systems, with a particular emphasis on solar thermal energy and storage.

Courses Taught

GE 100, ME 201, ME 373, GE 497/498

Research Interests

Solar Energy Research
Solar thermochemistry, radiation heat transfer, thermodynamics, reactor engineering, heterogeneous chemical kinetics.


  • “The Kinetics of the Heterogeneous Oxidation of Zinc Vapor by Carbon Dioxide,” , Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 93, 163-172., 2013  (Venstrom, L.J. and Davidson, J.H.)
  • “The Effects of Morphology on the Oxidation of Ceria by Water and Carbon Dioxide,” , ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Vol. 134, 011005. , 2012  (Venstrom, L.J., Petkovich, N., Rudisill, S., Stein, A., and Davidson, J.H.)
  • “Solar Thermal Electrolysis Process for the Production of Zn from ZnO: An Ionic Conductivity Study,” , ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Vol. 131, 031005., 2009  (Venstrom, L., Krueger, K., Leonard, N., Tomlinson, B., Duncan, S., and Palumbo,R.D. )

Professional Affiliations

  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
  • The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • American Solar Energy Society