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 from the first through the last year.
Professors are actively engaged in research that considers sustainability from a wide variety of aspects. A student engineering club (Renewable Energy Organization) works to educate the campus and community with a technology perspective on energy issues.
Renewable Energy Organization
Recently, the Renewable Energy Organization at Calvin installed a small wind turbine on Calvin's campus to begin towards the goal of using renewable energy at Calvin. To see more specifics on the wind turbine, visit the Wind Turbine website.
Another form of renewable energy that Calvin has is solar energy. Calvin currently has two solar panels on campus.
One of those solar panel systems is at the Bunker Interpretive Center. This project was done by a 2003-04 Sr. Design team. This team received a grant from the state of Michigan for their work on the solar panel. For more information on this source of energy, visit http://solar.calvin.edu or Senior Design 03-04, Team 5.
In the 2002-03 school year, the "Just Add Sunlight" Sr. 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.
In addition to the other Sr. Design projects that have been done in the area of sustainability, one of the 2008 teams worked on a project in the area of Geothermal Systems. To view the team's project, visit their web site at Senior- Design 2007-08, Team 4.
During Interim '08, Dr. Paulo Ribeiro, fresh from his sabbatical leave, has once again motivated students to apply what they are learning to the real world. The course, Electrical Power and Energy Systems Management Systems, introduced students to real world problems. Besides learning the analytical basis of power and energy systems and the consequent environmental impact, and using professional stat-of-the-art computational tools, the students worked on several real life projects in the Grand Rapids area. These included:
A Feasibility Study for Wind Power Generation at Belknap Lookout. This project is being developed with the support of the Newberry Co-Housing Community,
A Feasibility Study for the Recovery of a Small Hydro Power Station at the City of Plainwell, Michigan. This project is being developed with the support of the City of Plainwell.
Look for this poster in the hall outside Prof. Ribeiro's Office for a summary of what took place.
Other projects include Learning about Grid Operations with the support of Consumers Energy, analytical studies regarding Distributed Generation and Micro-Grids, and Nuclear Power Assessment.
Students visited the sites, talked to managers and engineers and collected the data necessary to produce the analyses. Since the studies may take longer than the class period the projects will be extended to the end of the summer. The reality however is that the students will be exposed and attempt to solve real world power and energy engineering problems.
Here at Calvin, our faculty is very involved in sustainability research. This includes alternative energy sources, energy conservation, materials recycle, water and air quality, and more.
|Dr. Matthew Heun
|Dr. J. Aubrey Sykes
|Dr. Jennifer VanAntwerp
|Prof. David Wunder
|Prof. Wayne Wentzheimer