A tour of the Valpo Solar Energy Research Facility

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Engineering Your Own Path

Engineering Your Own Path

When Theresa Green ’16, Ph.D., transferred to Valparaiso University to complete her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, she never predicted the connections and future she would discover pursuing engineering education. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in engineering education at Utah State University, Theresa participated in a remote internship with the Smithsonian Science Education Center this past spring. Working alongside science curriculum experts and specialists, she worked specifically to help revise the engineering modules for grades one and two. “As I’ve been going through my graduate studies, I’ve been very interested in curriculum development specifically,” Theresa says. “I was curious about what it looks like in the K–12 setting.” Theresa’s interest in engineering education developed during college, and she had the chance to explore her curiosity at Valpo. Theresa connected with Ruth Wertz, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor of general engineering, and pursued an opportunity to do research about the concept assessment tool for…

Fostering Community

Fostering Community

In Valpo’s College of Engineering, students are encouraged to explore their professional interests and foster community through extracurricular involvement. Two student organizations — the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) — were recently established to serve as professional homes for historically underrepresented students within the College of Engineering. “I was drawn to the idea of joining a Black community where we all are working toward similar educational goals,” says Justine Dorsey ’24, a mechanical engineering major with a minor in Spanish. “The community has been very beneficial as a first-year student. Coming to Valpo, I didn’t know anyone, but I met friends through NSBE who are all engineering majors and are able to give me advice about the classes they have already taken.” NSBE at Valpo focuses on increasing awareness and interest in various engineering disciplines and careers among younger, underrepresented students.…

Student Organization Spotlight: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Student Organization Spotlight: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) is one of the College of Engineering’s newest student organizations. In the short time the organization has been on campus, students have already begun to connect deeply with the mission of the group. Valpo’s SHPE chapter works to fulfill the goals of the national organization: change lives by empowering the Hispanic/LatinX community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness access, support, and development. At Valpo, that starts with members building each other up at every meeting, working to create a world where Latinos are highly valued and influential as leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. On campus, the group supports members in and out of the classroom. Biweekly study tables help members keep academics at the forefront, while professional development opportunities, on and off campus, build confidence and networking skills for the organization. Both SHPE President Monica…

Dedicated Lab Creates Home for Bioengineers

Dedicated Lab Creates Home for Bioengineers

Beginning with construction in spring 2021, updates to the Donald V. Fites Engineering and Innovation Center will provide Valpo’s bioengineering students with a dedicated lab. This lab will be possible thanks to the generosity of James Guilbeau ’60. His vision is to provide bioengineering students with a state-of-the-art facility for educational laboratory experiences. Having a dedicated space will allow students to learn about a variety of bioengineering technologies within the confines of the engineering building, rather than its temporary location in Neils Science Center. “Bioengineering students will have a place to call their own in Fites, where they can really delve into the different paths offered by the three tracks in bioengineering: biomechanical, bioelectrical, or biomedical,” says Craig Goehler, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering. “Our hope is that with a dedicated bioengineering space, students will feel a greater sense of belonging within the College of Engineering, similar…

Three Valpo Students Named Tau Beta Pi Scholars

Three Valpo Students Named Tau Beta Pi Scholars

Tau Beta Pi, the world’s largest engineering honor society, has awarded more than 2,798 scholarships for their senior year of engineering study since the program was established in 1998. Three Valpo engineering students were named Tau Beta Pi Scholars for 2020–2021. “Valparaiso University’s three 2020–2021 Tau Beta Pi Scholars demonstrate the continuing excellence of the College of Engineering,” says Eric Johnson ’87, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering. “Their dedication to learning and success is a testament to their hard work and the support of Valpo’s programming and faculty. We are incredibly proud of their success, and we look forward to the world-changing work they will implement in their respective fields after graduation.” Jon Bayert ’21 is a computer engineering and mathematics major. Jon is thankful for the opportunities to pursue education, clubs, and research at Valpo, all of which contributed to putting what he is learning into action…

Valpo Alumna Follows Passions Around the Globe

Valpo Alumna Follows Passions Around the Globe

Britney Meyer ’11, a civil engineering and Spanish double major, has traveled the world using her faith and her interests to impact communities in the Midwest, Honduras, Tanzania, and beyond. After working for the city of Chicago for three years after graduation, Britney pursued an opportunity that would take her overseas for a year. Britney participated in the World Race, a program for young adults who travel to 11 different countries in 11 months and partner with local Christian organizations and missionaries. “It was a year full of growth, adventure and culture. I had the chance to participate in construction work, water filter distribution, teaching English, serving in orphanages, and assisting with agriculture — all to glorify the Lord,” Britney says. While World Race was Britney’s longest overseas service opportunity, it was not her first. Through Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Valpo, Britney participated in an implementation trip to Tanzania…

Jenny Marley Recognized with Outstanding Teaching Award

Jenny Marley Recognized with Outstanding Teaching Award

Jenny Marley, Ph.D., Frederick F. Jenny Professor of Emerging Technology and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the 2020 C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teaching Award. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ international honor society, Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN), recognizes one electrical or computer engineering professor each year who has demonstrated, early in their career, special dedication and creativity in their teaching responsibilities. “There are a lot of aspects of Valpo that helped me earn this national award,” Professor Marley says. “The College of Engineering faculty have encouraged me to try new modes of teaching and push myself to present material in engaging ways. The students want to learn; their enthusiasm makes it possible to play games and conduct activities that are not standard.” The Frederick F. Jenny Professorship of Emerging Technology was established by his wife, Catherine Jenny, in 1993 to honor the life and work of…

Professor Grossman Brings Professional Experience to the Classroom

Professor Grossman Brings Professional Experience to the Classroom

After spending the first part of his professional career working full time in the field of civil engineering, Jay Grossman, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor of civil engineering, sought to impart his knowledge in the classroom. He joined the Valpo faculty in 2017 as a way to teach and train the next generation of engineers. “When I was finishing my Ph.D., a visiting professorship opened at Valpo,” Professor Grossman says. “After working closely with interns and new hires in the field, Valpo’s teaching-oriented program attracted me to apply.” Before teaching at the University, the College of Engineering’s reputation for developing career-ready students had been evident to Professor Grossman. He had many opportunities to interact with Valpo students while he was an engineer in northern Indiana. “I had worked with many Valpo graduates throughout my years in the field, and they always stood out,” Professor Grossman says. “Valpo engineering students are getting…

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Engineering Your Own Path

When Theresa Green ’16, Ph.D., transferred to Valparaiso University to complete her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, she never predicted the connections and future she would discover pursuing engineering education. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in engineering education at Utah State University, Theresa participated in a remote internship with the Smithsonian Science Education Center this past spring. Working alongside science curriculum experts and specialists, she worked specifically to help revise the engineering modules for grades one and two. “As I’ve been going through my graduate studies, I’ve been very interested in curriculum development specifically,” Theresa says. “I was curious about what it looks like in the K–12 setting.” Theresa’s interest in engineering education developed during college, and she had the chance to explore her curiosity at Valpo. Theresa connected with Ruth Wertz, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor of general engineering, and pursued an opportunity to do research about the concept assessment tool for…

Fostering Community

In Valpo’s College of Engineering, students are encouraged to explore their professional interests and foster community through extracurricular involvement. Two student organizations — the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) — were recently established to serve as professional homes for historically underrepresented students within the College of Engineering. “I was drawn to the idea of joining a Black community where we all are working toward similar educational goals,” says Justine Dorsey ’24, a mechanical engineering major with a minor in Spanish. “The community has been very beneficial as a first-year student. Coming to Valpo, I didn’t know anyone, but I met friends through NSBE who are all engineering majors and are able to give me advice about the classes they have already taken.” NSBE at Valpo focuses on increasing awareness and interest in various engineering disciplines and careers among younger, underrepresented students.…

Student Organization Spotlight: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) is one of the College of Engineering’s newest student organizations. In the short time the organization has been on campus, students have already begun to connect deeply with the mission of the group. Valpo’s SHPE chapter works to fulfill the goals of the national organization: change lives by empowering the Hispanic/LatinX community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness access, support, and development. At Valpo, that starts with members building each other up at every meeting, working to create a world where Latinos are highly valued and influential as leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. On campus, the group supports members in and out of the classroom. Biweekly study tables help members keep academics at the forefront, while professional development opportunities, on and off campus, build confidence and networking skills for the organization. Both SHPE President Monica…

Dedicated Lab Creates Home for Bioengineers

Beginning with construction in spring 2021, updates to the Donald V. Fites Engineering and Innovation Center will provide Valpo’s bioengineering students with a dedicated lab. This lab will be possible thanks to the generosity of James Guilbeau ’60. His vision is to provide bioengineering students with a state-of-the-art facility for educational laboratory experiences. Having a dedicated space will allow students to learn about a variety of bioengineering technologies within the confines of the engineering building, rather than its temporary location in Neils Science Center. “Bioengineering students will have a place to call their own in Fites, where they can really delve into the different paths offered by the three tracks in bioengineering: biomechanical, bioelectrical, or biomedical,” says Craig Goehler, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering. “Our hope is that with a dedicated bioengineering space, students will feel a greater sense of belonging within the College of Engineering, similar…

Three Valpo Students Named Tau Beta Pi Scholars

Tau Beta Pi, the world’s largest engineering honor society, has awarded more than 2,798 scholarships for their senior year of engineering study since the program was established in 1998. Three Valpo engineering students were named Tau Beta Pi Scholars for 2020–2021. “Valparaiso University’s three 2020–2021 Tau Beta Pi Scholars demonstrate the continuing excellence of the College of Engineering,” says Eric Johnson ’87, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering. “Their dedication to learning and success is a testament to their hard work and the support of Valpo’s programming and faculty. We are incredibly proud of their success, and we look forward to the world-changing work they will implement in their respective fields after graduation.” Jon Bayert ’21 is a computer engineering and mathematics major. Jon is thankful for the opportunities to pursue education, clubs, and research at Valpo, all of which contributed to putting what he is learning into action…

Valpo Alumna Follows Passions Around the Globe

Britney Meyer ’11, a civil engineering and Spanish double major, has traveled the world using her faith and her interests to impact communities in the Midwest, Honduras, Tanzania, and beyond. After working for the city of Chicago for three years after graduation, Britney pursued an opportunity that would take her overseas for a year. Britney participated in the World Race, a program for young adults who travel to 11 different countries in 11 months and partner with local Christian organizations and missionaries. “It was a year full of growth, adventure and culture. I had the chance to participate in construction work, water filter distribution, teaching English, serving in orphanages, and assisting with agriculture — all to glorify the Lord,” Britney says. While World Race was Britney’s longest overseas service opportunity, it was not her first. Through Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Valpo, Britney participated in an implementation trip to Tanzania…

Jenny Marley Recognized with Outstanding Teaching Award

Jenny Marley, Ph.D., Frederick F. Jenny Professor of Emerging Technology and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the 2020 C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teaching Award. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ international honor society, Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN), recognizes one electrical or computer engineering professor each year who has demonstrated, early in their career, special dedication and creativity in their teaching responsibilities. “There are a lot of aspects of Valpo that helped me earn this national award,” Professor Marley says. “The College of Engineering faculty have encouraged me to try new modes of teaching and push myself to present material in engaging ways. The students want to learn; their enthusiasm makes it possible to play games and conduct activities that are not standard.” The Frederick F. Jenny Professorship of Emerging Technology was established by his wife, Catherine Jenny, in 1993 to honor the life and work of…

Valparaiso University Robotics Team Qualifies for World Championship in First Season

  While Valpo Robotics continues to find success in the Midwest Robotics Design Competition (MRDC) and the Collegiate Robotic Football Conference, the team wanted to provide opportunities for newer members to immediately contribute. David Chandler ’21, project manager of Valpo VEX U, approached the Valpo Robotics Executive Board about expanding its programming into the VEX Robotics Competition. VEX holds yearly competitions for elementary through university students where they must design, build, program, and drive a robot to complete an objective. The organization boasts more than 20,000 teams from more than 60 countries. The Executive Board approved the notion and presented it to the College of Engineering to secure funding. David had previously competed in VEX EDR (the high school division) and thought VEX U (the university division) would not only allow more current students to join Valpo Robotics, but would encourage prospective students to continue their love of robotics in…

Valpo Professors Create and Deliver Face Shields to the Community

Giving back to the community is at the heart of what makes us Valpo. Led by Professor Daniel Blood ’10, Ph.D., a team of Valparaiso University faculty are working hard to 3D print and assemble face shields for health care professionals in need of additional personal protective equipment. Professor Adam Gibson-Even ’00, Ph.D., and lab technician Paul Nord ’91 from the physics and astronomy department, and Professor Liz Wuerffel ’00, MFA, from the art department, have assisted in printing, assembling, and delivering the shields to organizations in the area. So far, the team has produced more than 800 shields and delivered approximately 700 to local health care organizations in need. Valpo’s College of Engineering labs offer students critical hands-on learning opportunities throughout the year. With students continuing their studies through remote delivery of classes, Professor Blood saw a chance to re-purpose this valuable equipment to serve the community.

Professor Marley Shares Passion and Curiosity

Jennifer Marley, Ph.D., joined the College of Engineering in 2017 and has embraced the Valpo way of preparing students to lead fulfilling and successful careers while making the world a better place. Professor Marley is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and each level of undergraduates holds a special place in her heart. “In the first-year courses, I get the experience of helping students explore various engineering disciplines and fostering their curiosity,” Professor Marley says. “In my upper-level electives (taken in the junior/senior year), I then have the opportunity to share my chosen field of power and control engineering with students. Both are equally rewarding.” Outside of her teaching load, Professor Marley is involved in a few different research projects at Valpo. Her main research focus is on applying optimization methods to power systems. She has developed tools to schedule generation resources, such as wind energy, to optimally…

Engineering PLUS Provides Flexibility in Coursework

The Engineering PLUS program provides students the opportunity to customize their degrees to match their interests and career aspirations. Students in the program can graduate in four years, earning a Bachelor of Science in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, or mechanical engineering and a compatible major or minor. “Some students will add a complementary major or minor to make themselves more marketable to potential employers, while others will use the flexibility to spend a semester abroad or to lighten their academic load during semesters when their sport is in season,” says Doug Tougaw, Ph.D., P.E., Leitha and Willard Richardson Professor of Engineering and interim associate dean of engineering. Students who participate in the Engineering PLUS program complete nine credit hours in approved courses in the summer between their freshman and sophomore years. Students are then able to adapt their coursework to adhere to their long-term interests…

New Opportunities for Valpo Bioengineering Students

The Valparaiso University Bioengineering Club has officially become a student chapter of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB). The ASB encourages and fosters the exchange of information and ideas among biomechanists working in different disciplines and facilitates the development of biomechanics as a basic and applied science. Valpo is one of only three schools, along with the University of Florida and Montana State University, selected to be the first student chapters in the ASB. In the chapter, students will be able to become student members of the national organization. This will open opportunities to attend regional meetings and international conferences with other students and professionals in the field. Students will also participate in National Biomechanics Day initiatives each spring, and they will pursue personal design projects and chapter-wide local outreach activities, and explore the relationships between personal projects and outreach.

Introducing Mechatronics

Beginning in fall 2020, the College of Engineering will offer a minor in mechatronics, a rapidly growing field that includes strong influences from mechanical and electrical systems. Mechatronics is an exciting, versatile field, with a wide variety of career paths. With the increasing worldwide dependence on household, workplace, and industry robotics and automation, Valpo’s minor in mechatronics will build upon the foundations of students’ passions and open doors to new opportunities that are appearing every day. “The mechatronics minor will provide mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering majors a great opportunity to develop skills at the intersection of these disciplines,” says Scott Duncan, Ph.D., professor and chair of mechanical engineering and bioengineering. “Imagine how valuable an engineer would be who can combine a knowledge of mechanical systems with electrical systems and programming skills. Students who complete the mechatronics minor will have this knowledge and will be prepared for exciting careers in…

Engineering Students Join the IPC Education Foundation

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries is a global standards and trade organization dedicated to furthering the competitive excellence and financial success of its members, who are participants in the electronics industry. Through the IPC Education Foundation’s new student chapters, Valpo students gain access to industry scholarships, employment, and professional training opportunities. Students can earn certifications and develop relationships with IPC members in Chicago and the Midwest, providing mentorship and job-shadowing opportunities. Two Valpo students have received $1,000 scholarships and one was nominated to represent national student members within the IPC Board of Directors.

Valpo Students and Alumni Fulfill Aspirations with NASA

Nick Skytland ’02 didn’t wait for graduation to start living his dream. He began working for NASA in 2000 as a mechanical engineer in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and never looked back. Nick has continually advanced within the federal agency and was recently promoted to deputy chair of the Exploration Technology Office. During his time at NASA, Nick has led more than 500 training sessions to prepare astronauts for extravehicular activity and founded the 1958 Coworking Space at Johnson Space Center. Like Nick, Sarah Kuchel ’20 landed her perfect internship with NASA while attending Valpo, but she didn’t stop there. Sarah completed three internships and co-ops with NASA while a student and has accepted a post-graduation position at ERC Inc. to support the Test Operations and Support Contract at the Kennedy Space Center. “This is a dream come true, and I am looking forward to being a part of the…