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Academics / Departments & Programs / Engineering / About Us / Sustainability

The engineering department has a long-standing commitment to sustainable technology. We see creation care as part of our job. Issues of earthkeeping are dealt with in classes every semester.

Our professors are actively engaged in research that considers a wide variety of aspects of sustainability. Students may also pursue a Sustainability Designation.

Solar panels

Solar panelsCalvin currently has two solar panels on campus. One is at the Bunker Interpretive Center. This project was done by a 2003–04 Senior Design team. This team received a grant from the state of Michigan for their work on the solar panel.

In the 2002–03 school year, the “Just Add Sunlight” Senior Design team worked on placing a solar panel on the roof of Calvin’s Science Building. This team also received a grant from the state of Michigan for their work.

Faculty research & professional experience

Here at Calvin, our faculty are very involved in sustainability research. This includes research on alternative energy sources, energy conservation, recycling, water, air quality, and more.

Matthew Heun
  • Renewable Energy Systems
  • Low cost refrigeration systems for developing countries
  • Balloon and lighter-than-air vehicle system design and optimization
  • Biological analogs for robotic group behavior
  • Passive trajectory control for stratospheric balloon systems
  • Thermal systems optimization
  • Survivable systems for planetary exploration
  • CEAP


Julie Wildschut

  • Suitable green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) alternatives for northern climates
  • Effectiveness of native plants for stormwater reduction
  • Sustainable spring capture and disinfection practices for rural community water supplies in Ecuador
  • Evaluation and assessment of natural stream restoration design technique
Jennifer VanAntwerp
  • Biofuels from non-agricultural lands and crops
  • Biotechnology, particularly protein engineering
David Wunder
  • Drinking water quality and treatment with student research assistants
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Anaerobic digestion of solids/residuals
  • Hydraulic/hydrologic system modeling and optimization

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