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  Spirited Engineering
By Mike Van Denend

Each May, the Calvin engineering department hosts its senior design reception on campus. Family and friends of Calvin seniors majoring in engineering witness presentations made by the students, explaining the results of their design project.

A regular feature of this event is the underlying theme of Calvin engineering --- designing with the Creator in mind.

Calvin engineering professors are excellent not only at preparing students for careers in the field, but also emphasizing that Christian engineers are persons who think deeply about the people whose lives will be affected by the product being designed.

At the senior design evening, the professors --- and all in attendance --- hear clearly that the central message has been received.

Calvin's engineering department has grown in stature and in students. This year, Parke-Davis, a division of Warner-Lambert, donated $1 million to Calvin for the establishment of a chemical engineering program (to join the three other specialties of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering).

"We look forward to working with Calvin College," said Peter Corr, president of pharmaceutical research and development for Parke-Davis. "Already Calvin has provided many of our most distinguished scientists."

This gift comes on the eve of the opening of Calvin's new Vermeer Engineering Projects Center and the Prince Engineering Design Center this fall, further enhancing the training of students and research partnerships for faculty members.

But the most important aspect of all this activity is that Calvin's distinctive approach as an outstanding college concerned with heart as well as mind can flourish.

Provost Joel Carpenter, in his dedication address for the new engineering structure, called it "Zion's Repair Shop," a creative reference to Calvin's desire to train engineers who see themselves as God's agents of renewal in our world. I've included some photographs of this year's senior design teams and their projects. We can thank God that more engineers with caring hearts and keen minds will soon be adding their perspective to the designs of the future.


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