April 20, 2021 – Valparaiso, Indiana – Luke Venstrom ’07, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering in Valpo’s nationally ranked College of Engineering, has received the 2021 Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work.portrait of Luke Venstrom

Venstrom has been a member of the Valparaiso University Department of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering (MEBE) since 2013. His research focuses on the field of solar energy, and he currently co-manages the University’s James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility, which houses the only solar furnace at an undergraduate institution in the United States. In 2019, Venstrom was awarded a University Research Professorship, which allowed him to perform research as a visiting scientist for a year at the Solar Energy Institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany.

The Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work recognizes a tenured faculty member who has made significant scholarly contributions to their discipline and/or to public discourse over the course of their career. The awardee, selected by the University’s Creative Work and Research Committee, is engaged in the national or international conversation within their domain of study, demonstrating notable accomplishments and recognition in scholarly, artistic or other relevant communities. The award comes with a $3,000 prize.

Venstrom will be honored for his achievements during the virtual Valpo Scholarship and Creative Works Reception on May 5.