James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility

The James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility will put Valparaiso University on the cutting edge of solar energy research – research that will be conducted by both Valpo faculty and undergraduates. At the heart of the research facility is a solar furnace. Only four research facilities in the U.S. have a solar furnace, and Valpo is the only undergraduate institute in the U.S. with one. The Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility will provide Valpo undergraduates with extraordinary engineering and research experiences and expose College of Engineering students to solar energy engineering.


This facility will enable research of critical importance to the world – using solar energy as a viable alternative energy source. Students will also learn about what is likely to be a very important energy resource deep into the 21st Century: concentrated sunlight.

The research facility is named after James S. Markiewicz, whose generosity made the Solar Energy Research Facility possible, along with funding from the United States Department of Energy. Markiewicz graduated from Valparaiso University in 1972 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Markiewicz founded Capital Engineering in 1984 and was the company’s president until it was sold in 2007. Mr. Markiewicz’s favorite quote (paraphrasing Confucius) is appreciated by Valpo’s engineering students: "Choose something you love to do and you will never have to work another day in your life."

The Valparaiso University College of Engineering anticipates that the Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility will be fully operational in the fall of 2012.