Jennifer J. VanAntwerp

Jennifer VanAntwerp


  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999
  • M.S. in Chemical Engineering
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering
    Michigan State University, 1994


My professional passion is teaching young engineers. At Calvin, I join with students in discovering how our interests in engineering work fit within a whole life lived in service to God’s kingdom. I job-share with my husband who is also a chemical engineering professor. This unconventional arrangement has allowed us to each pursue our professions while raising our five children.


Much of engineering education is about teaching students how to think like an engineer: How do I frame a problem? What are the real goals of this project? What are the constraints or trade-offs that I must consider? What might be the unintended consequences of this approach? What, exactly, are the steps required to get from here to there – and who will do them, how long will it take, and how much will it cost? Learning this mindset serves graduates well in many future activities, not just engineering work!

I also invite students to study the culture of engineering. I want Calvin alumni to join that culture, but also to radically transform that culture. I ask students to think about how their own behaviors impact their study or work environment: How do I allow each colleague to be more included and better able to contribute to the success of a project? How do I spread God’s light in all my actions? How do I ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect? How do my actions and my engineering products reinforce that each person is made in the image of God?

Professional experience

Chemical engineering is a very broad discipline, and as such, I have professional work experience in four very different industries. My work bridging biology and engineering was continued while consulting in both pharmaceuticals and environmental engineering. I have also worked as an engineering intern at IBM (semiconductor chip manufacturing) and at Amway (personal and home care product manufacturing).

Research and scholarship

The goal of my research program is to change the culture within engineering, so that the future engineering workplace will allow everyone to thrive. As such, I have published in the areas of sense of belonging, motivation, and structural barriers, each as related to persistence and flourishing within engineering.

My doctoral research was in protein engineering. Results published in my early research career, related to yeast-surface display, have been applied in various fields. One example is improved antibody binding affinity, which has supported medical applications including the development of more effective chemotherapeutics.

External Links


For additional information, see the link to CV at the top of this page.


VanAntwerp, J.J., & Wilson, D. (2022). Sex, Gender, and Engineering: Harassment at Work and in School. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

VanAntwerp, J.J., Wilson, D., Floyd Smith, T., Misra, S., Mullen, A., & Riskin, E. (2023). Sex, gender, and engineering: Responding to harassment at work and in school. Proceedings of the 2023 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Baltimore, MD, June 2023.

Misra, S., Kardam, N., VanAntwerp, J., & Wilson, D (2023). How did the landscape of student belonging shift during COVID-19? Journal of Engineering Education, 1-29.

Wilson, D., VanAntwerp, J.J., & Misra, S. (2023, June). Engineering CAReS: Measuring basic psychological needs in the engineering workplace. Proceedings of the 2023 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Baltimore, MD.

VanAntwerp, J.J. & Wilson, D. (2023, June). Gender harassment at work and in school: Seeing it; solving it. Proceedings of the 2023 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Baltimore, MD.

VanAntwerp, J.J. (2023, February). Recognizing and Eliminating Gender Harassment in Engineering [Presentation]. WeLocal Meeting of the Society of Women Engineers, Detroit, MI.

VanAntwerp, J.J. & Wilson, D. (2021). Left out: A review of women’s struggle to develop a sense of belonging in engineering. SAGE Open, 11(3): 1-19.

VanAntwerp, J.J., Wilson, D., Summers, L., Maynen, D., & Wright, J. (2019). After #MeToo: What’s next for women in the engineering workplace? Proceedings of the 2019 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Tampa, FL, June, 2019.

VanAntwerp, J.J., & Wilson, D. (2018). Differences in motivation patterns among early and mid-career engineers. Journal of Women & Minorities in Science and Engineering, 24(3): 227-259.

Baker, R., Yonker, J., & VanAntwerp, J.J. (2017, March). Equipping faculty to engage the theology of vocation with undergraduates [Presentation]. NetVUE Conference: Renewing the Theological Exploration of Vocation. Charlotte, NC.

VanAntwerp, J.J., & Wilson, D. (2015). Difference between engineering men and women: How and why they choose what they do during early career. Proceedings of the 2015 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Seattle, WA, June, 2015. Awarded “Best Paper” by the Women in Engineering Division of ASEE.

Plett, M., Hawkinson, C., VanAntwerp, J.J., Wilson, D., Bruxvoort, C. (2011). Engineering identity and the workplace persistence of women with engineering degrees. Proceedings of the 2011 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Vancouver, B.C., June, 2011.

VanAntwerp, J.J., Reed, R., Bruxvoort, C., & Carlson, N. (2008). Engineering student retention: Development of a validated, quantitative instrument for exploring the role of personal and institutional context. Proceedings of the 2008 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, June, 2008.

VanAntwerp, J.J., & Ermer, G.E. (2006). Male and female He created them: Why Christians should care about educating more engineers and how to achieve it. Proceedings of the 6th Christian Engineering Education Conference, Bourbonnais, IL, June, 2006.

VanAntwerp, J.J. (2006). The Christian foundations of an engineering education. Proceedings of the 6th Christian Engineering Education Conference, Bourbonnais, IL, June, 2006.

VanAntwerp, J.J. & Wittrup, K.D. (2000). Fine affinity discrimination by yeast surface display and flow cytometry. Biotechnology Progress, 16: 31-37.

Shusta, E.V., VanAntwerp, J.J., & Wittrup, K.D. (1999). Biosynthetic polypeptide libraries. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 10: 117-122.

VanAntwerp, J.J., & Wittrup, K.D. (1998). Thermodynamic characterization of affinity maturation: the D1.3 antibody and a higher affinity mutant. Journal of Molecular Recognition, 11: 10-13.<10::AID-JMR381>3.0.CO;2-H

Professional Consulting, selected Documents

VanAntwerp, J.J. (2006). A trickling filter pilot study for the introduction of new industrial wastewater to a municipal stream: work plan. Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc., internal document, November 2006.

Schonewill, P., Smith, E., VanAntwerp, J., VanAntwerp, J.J., VandenBosch, B., Vliem, J., & Wentzheimer, W.W. (2003). Alternative sampling methods for pharmaceutical manufacturing. Final project report for Pfizer, Inc., November 2003.

VanAntwerp, J.J. (2000). Regioselectivity during biotransformations for Gabapentin synthesis. Pfizer Internal Document, July 28, 2000.

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