Announcements

Unparalleled International Experience Develops Global Engineers

Valpo’s College of Engineering is committed to maintaining a program of excellence that provides students with a wide range of interactive experiences, both inside and outside the classroom and around the world. In recognition of the global forces that affect today’s business environment, the College of Engineering encourages students to take advantage of the international experiences the College offers, specifically the Valparaiso International Engineering Program (VIEP). “VIEP provides our engineering students with the opportunity to intimately mix their engineering studies with a Study Abroad experience,” says Luke Venstrom ’07, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “The program provides students with the skills that they need to be successful in a global economy that continues to become increasingly global. They develop the ability to span cultural gaps and do engineering with people who come from different backgrounds and speak an entirely different language.” Established in 2003, VIEP is a five-year program that…

A Solid Foundation: Valpo Alum Primed to Build a World of Difference

Travel the world one day and build it the next. The architecture across Europe inspired Rebecca Otte ’95 to work to preserve historic structures in the United States after earning her civil engineering degree from Valparaiso University. Rebecca has led many projects as an environmental planner for the Regional Planning Commission’s (RPC) Brownfield Redevelopment Program. (BRP) in New Orleans. Through grants provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, the BRP assists developers, property owners and prospective purchasers to navigate the environmental obstacles of redeveloping abandoned and underutilized properties. “The purpose of the BRP is to promote economic development and create jobs in urban environments,” Rebecca says. After starting her career as an environmental consultant in California, she moved to New Orleans and began overseeing the environmental aspects of the BRP at RPC, quickly transitioning to handling all aspects of the role, including overall project and grant management. One recent project was…

Professor Reva Johnson ’09 Incites Cutting-Edge Research in Bioengineering Field

In fall 2017, Reva Johnson ’09, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, commenced her third year with the College of Engineering faculty. A passionate teacher and innovative researcher, she has embraced her new role, joining the ranks of accomplished faculty who inspired her as a student less than a decade ago and propelling the College of Engineering into the future. “With the emergence of the bioengineering program, it was the perfect time to return to Valpo and be involved in shaping a program,” Professor Johnson says. “I have the opportunity to teach at a place that not only values teaching, but excels at it — and I get to do research. This is the ideal situation for me, teaching and doing research in topics that I love.” Professor Johnson enjoys working at the intersection of mechanical engineering and bioengineering. Her research involves human-machine interfaces and human learning, both…

Spring 2017 Senior Design Capstone Projects Captured Live

All College of Engineering students at Valpo conclude their undergraduate academic career through immersion in a hands-on senior design project. Utilizing the technical skills acquired in the classroom, students work in interdisciplinary teams to tackle practical, real-world problems under the guidance of a distinguished faculty advisor. And now, senior design presentations are recorded and available to view online. Take a look back at the innovative accomplishments of the class of 2017 at youtube.com/watch?v=arPeo79ibdg.

VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY ESTABLISHES INNOVATION HUB

Valparaiso University recently announced the establishment of the Innovation Hub at McMillan Hall, an interdisciplinary center of entrepreneurship learning. The Innovation Hub is a joint venture of the College of Business and the College of Engineering. Beginning this fall, it will provide students with the opportunity to develop projects and programs, in an environment that combines real-world experience with academic expertise. Thanks to the support of Deborah “Deb” A. Tschetter ’71 Spannraft, a late alumna,and Stewart McMillan, a Valpo businessman, the Innovation Hub has become a reality, providing a space for young entrepreneurs to come together and flourish. The University received nearly $1.4 million from Deb’s estate, and Stewart donated the building that will house the facility. Deb’s gift will serve as the initial investment in an endowed fund to support the programs and operation of the Innovation Hub. Stewart, CEO of Task Force Tips, donated the building to the University. The facility…

Valparaiso University Hosts Intercollegiate Robotic Football Championships

Valpo, the defending robotic football champion , returns to the field on April 8 in the Athletics-Recreation Center for the robotic football playoffs. Valpo Robotics will showcase their engineering prowess as they seek to remain the only undefeated team in the league and vie for the Brian Hederman Memorial Trophy. For additional information, including a schedule of events, please visit valpo.edu/college-of-engineering/2017/01/09/stem-faire/

Opportunity Abounds in Civil Engineering

Since her arrival on campus, Rebecca Valliere ’18 has fully immersed herself in the College of Engineering. She has thrived in the small, collaborative community, developing close relationships with her fellow students and faculty and discovering a true passion for civil engineering, which has extended beyond the classroom. “Civil engineering is often deemphasized or overlooked, but it’s a large part of our society and affects a lot of people,” says Rebecca. “At its core, civil engineering focuses on people. I want to ensure our roads, buildings, bridges, and water are safe for the benefit of society.” From creating structurally sound buildings to providing clean water, Rebecca is keenly aware of the major role civil engineers play in ensuring our society operates effectively and efficiently. She is committed to receiving an education that will prepare her to serve the community through engineering. Rebecca recognizes the uniqueness of Valpo’s civil engineering program…

Hesse Center Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Established in 2001, the Hesse Learning Resource Center (Hesse Center) advances the vision of Herman Hesse, who served as dean of the College of Engineering from 1949 until 1965. Hesse and his wife, Helen, bequeathed the funding necessary to establish the center, recognizing the impact it would have on recruitment, retention, and overall student success in engineering. “In line with the mission of the University, the Hesse Center encourages students to seek their vocation and to give back to others,” says Laura Sanders, assistant dean for student success and director of the Hesse Center. “I have a personal love for tutoring and academic support. And, this is a place that fosters a love for teaching and helping others.” As an academic support program focused solely on engineering and housed in a comprehensive University, the Hesse Center is unique. While its doors are open to anyone enrolled in a course in…

We Remember Alan Kraft — Friend, Scholar, Leader, Colleague, and Mentor

Welcomed into the Valpo community more than three decades ago, Alan Kraft, Ph.D., who passed away in August, served the University in many capacities throughout his tenure, engaging students, inspiring colleagues, and advancing the University’s mission. “Al Kraft was a role model, a mentor, and a friend to faculty and students alike,” says Doug Tougaw, Ph.D., Leitha and Willard Richardson Professor of Engineering and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department. “Working tirelessly to help everyone at Valpo in any way he could, Al strengthened the University as a result of his life’s work. We should all be so blessed as to leave behind a legacy as remarkable as his.” A professor for 31 years, Alan was the senior member of the electrical and computer engineering department, where he developed close, mutually beneficial relationships with his colleagues. He was known amongst his colleagues as much for his impeccable advice…

Annual College of Engineering Career Fair

More than 20 Valpo alumni returned to campus this fall for the annual College of Engineering Career Fair to recruit quality engineering students. Valpo alumni remain engaged and dedicated to the University, forming an extensive network of successful graduates that benefits current students as they pursue internships and careers in the industry.

Civil Engineering Department Appoints New Chair

This summer Anne Raich, Ph.D., joined the College of Engineering as department chair and associate professor of civil engineering. “I am pleased to welcome Anne to the outstanding group of gifted and passionate faculty that comprises the College of Engineering,” says Eric W. Johnson ’87, Ph.D., dean of the college of engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. “Anne will play an important role as a teacher, mentor, and leader, challenging students inside the classroom and expanding student engagement outside the classroom. I look forward to working closely with Anne as we strengthen Valpo’s civil engineering program and possible expand into new areas.” Prior to her arrival at Valpo, Professor Raich served for more than a decade at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., where she taught structural analysis and design courses; mentored nearly 40 students through summer research or honor thesis experiences; and led two of the engineering study…

Valpo Engineering Student Explores Passion for Music

A mechanical engineering major, music minor, and member of Christ College—The Honors College, Alison Norris ’18 has forged her own path at Valpo, incorporating her love for music into an arduous academic schedule. “I chose to attend Valparaiso University for countless reasons — my mother’s alma mater, premier engineering program, and endless opportunity,” Alison says. “At Valpo, I have not only been able to explore my interests, I have been encouraged and inspired to do so.” As an engineering major, Alison finds herself continually challenged and motivated to excel both inside and outside the classroom. When confronted with scholastic obstacles, she looks to her professors for guidance, relying on the close faculty-interaction that is a hallmark of a Valpo education. Through internships, research, and service, she has gained extensive, valuable hands-on experience in real-world situations. Alison was connected with Valpo alumnus Scott Roller ’94, vice president of Texas Instruments (TI),…

Innovative Degree Expands Student Opportunity

Valpo’s College of Engineering launches a new bachelor of science degree in the rapidly expanding field of bioengineering, with student enrollment to begin fall 2017. The College has seen incredible growth across its existing programs over the past several years, and new, strategic programming will ensure continued expansion throughout the College. “Bioengineering is an initiative our faculty have been developing for a long time and one our students are eager to pursue,” says Craig Goehler, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “Relying heavily on what we do well here, the program builds upon Valpo’s standard engineering curriculum and incorporates courses in biological science.” For nearly a decade, engineering students at Valpo have worked alongside internationally recognized faculty mentors in the field of biomechanics on a number of research projects, including  various gait studiesgate study, prosthetic design and control, and human movement categorization. Strong student interest combined with an increase in demand…

Valpo Engineering Student Engages in Environmental Remediation in France

[caption id="attachment_3826" align="alignleft" width="400"] Christine Umerley ’17[/caption] It has been a year full of both challenges and growth for Christine Umerley ’17, whose involvement in Valparaiso University’s International Engineering Program (VIEP) took her to France in August 2015. Christine is a civil engineering major, French minor, and member of Christ College, the university's liberal arts honors college. The VIEP-French program includes a one-semester Study Abroad program in Compiègne, France, followed by an internship with an engineering company in France the next semester and ensuing summer. During this past fall, Christine took courses at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne in French, art, renewable energy, and urbanism. In February, she began a cooperative education placement with AECOM, which will extend through mid-July. At AECOM, she is immersed in a large-scale environmental remediation project in the northern France town of Petit-Couronne. Here, from 1985 to 1990, there was a sizeable refined fuel…

Valpo Engineering Offers New Course to Students Around the World

[caption id="attachment_3829" align="alignleft" width="200"] Mark M. Budnik, Ph.D.[/caption] The College of Engineering is partnering with Texas Instruments, element 14, and Udemy to offer a new Massive open online course (MOOC), Introduction to Microcontrollers and the C Programming Language, to students from around the world. This is the first MOOC offered at Valpo and is led by Mark M. Budnik, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and the Paul and Cleo Brandt Professor of Engineering. Professor Budnik joined Valpo in 2006 after a 16-year career in the electronics industry, bringing experience in engineering and engineering management. He says training was the most rewarding aspect of his career, and he wanted to focus on engineering education. As part of the Brandt Professorship, Professor Budnik researches and develops innovative new education techniques and integrates them with Valpo’s engineering curriculum. The MOOC takes a hands-on, interactive approach to learning about microcontrollers and…