Professors R. Brouwer, L. De Rooy, G. Ermer (chair), F. Haan, M. Heun, R. Hoeksema, E. Nielsen, J. Jewett Van Antwerp, J. Van Antwerp, W. Wentzheimer, D. Wunder
Associate Professors C. Hartemink, Y. Kim, R. Tubergen
Assistant Professor M. Michmerhuizen
Calvin College offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree (BSE) with concentrations in chemical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, and mechanical engineering. The engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
Engineering is a design-oriented profession applying the principles of mathematics, science, economics, ethics, social sciences, and humanities with judgment regarding the problem of sustainable utilization of energy and materials for the benefit of humanity. The recommended first semester curriculum is CHEM 103 , MATH 171 , ENGR 101 , ENGR 181 and ENGL 101 . Students interested in engineering should consult with the department chair.
Mission of the Calvin College Engineering Department
The engineering program equips students to glorify God by meeting the needs of the world with responsible and caring engineering.
Our program is marked by these features:
- Christian-Integrating Christian faith into the curriculum as a foundation for understanding the role of technology in society and for forming engineers with a vocation of service to the world, including those who may be underserved
- Interdisciplinary-Emphasizing that today’s complex problems require integration and analysis across engineering disciplines as well as the inclusion of liberal arts context to inform engineering design decision-making, extend critical thinking, and advance communication skills
- Student-Focused-Creating a learning community that features small class sizes and a faculty committed to undergraduate teaching and mentoring
- Practical-Infusing the classroom with real-world engineering experience, challenging students to address open-ended design problems with multiple constraints in a team environment, and facilitating internships for students
- Sustainable-Advocating a thoughtful framework for technological development that stewards the resources of the world to enable the long term flourishing of human and non-human aspects of God’s creation
- Global-Sponsoring opportunities to prepare graduates for participation in the international marketplace and involvement in addressing the challenges faced by people in the developing world
- Innovative-Encouraging the cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset, business acumen, and the leadership and life-long learning skills that contribute to the growth of enterprises that build communities
The BSE degree from Calvin College is designed to provide a foundation for productive engineering work in God’s world. The objectives of the program are that recent graduates will
- apply and develop the basic principles and skills necessary for engineering (including mathematics, the sciences, business and the humanities) for appropriate assessment and analysis of current and complex problems.
- creatively generate innovative solutions to problems and move them toward successful implementation.
- contribute and communicate ideas successfully in multidisciplinary environments, exhibiting awareness of cultural context and team dynamics.
- demonstrate commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and the continued learning necessary to address the pressing problems of our contemporary world.
The long term goal is for our graduates to become kingdom servants whose faith leads them to lives of integrity and excellence, called to leadership with a prophetic voice advocating for appropriate technologies.
The engineering program has a strong emphasis on design. In engineering design work the student meets the challenging value and technical issues that arise when societal problems are dealt with through technology. The design experience starts with several projects in the first two years, which focus on societal problems and issues such as sustainability, and which emphasize conceptual design, creativity, and teamwork. Design experiences are then integrated into each concentration by way of specific courses or projects. Finally, the design experience is completed by means of a capstone design project course sequence during the senior year. Within this design perspective, students are aided in the development of a thorough Christian understanding of technology and its applications.
Each of the four concentrations in the engineering program has two or three major themes or emphases. The chemical engineering concentration has emphases of chemistry and chemical processing. The civil and environmental engineering concentration has emphases of hydraulics, structures, and environmental. The electrical and computer engineering concentration has emphases of digital systems and analog circuits. Finally, the mechanical engineering concentration has emphases of thermal systems and machine design.
The curriculum described above is designed so that students will achieve the following outcomes. Calvin’s engineering program will demonstrate that its graduates have:
- An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering,
- An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data to extract meaning,
- An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability, and to produce a prototype or model which can effectively test the basic principles of the design,
- An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams,
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems using fundamental principles,
- An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility from a Christian, holistic perspective,
- An ability to communicate truthfully and effectively,
- The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context including an understanding of Christian stewardship of resources,
- A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning, to aid in the fulfillment of their calling,
- Engaged contemporary issues demonstrating how their Christian faith relates to their profession,
- An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice to develop responsible technologies, and
- Significant exposure to the engineering profession.
Model High School Program
- 4 years of mathematics, including at least pre-calculus (AP Calculus and then AP Statistics if possible)
- 4 years of science, including 1 year each of biology, chemistry, and physics
- 2 years of a foreign language
- 4 years of English
- CAD, drafting, or other industrial design courses are recommended
Regular Admission: Students follow a common program for the first two years. Late in the second year, they apply for admission to a concentration in the engineering program. The minimum requirements for admission to the program are:
- Completion of CHEM 103 , CS 104 or CS 106 or CS 108 , MATH 171 , MATH 161, or MATH 170, MATH 172 , MATH 231 , MATH 270 or MATH 271 , PHYS 133 and PHYS 235 with a minimum grade of C-,
- Completion of Engineering Statistics (normally STAT 241 ) with a minimum grade of C-, alternatively AP Statistics with a score of 4 or better, or STAT 243 with a minimum grade of C-, or STAT 343 and STAT 344 with a grade of C- or better,
- Completion of ENGR 101 , ENGR 106 , ENGR 181 , ENGR 202 , ENGR 204 , and ENGR 209 with a minimum grade of C-,
- Completion of 14 hours of the required humanities courses
- Submission of résumé with application for admission to concentration
- Credit for ENGR 295 - Internship Workshop
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.30
- Credit for ENGR 294 - Engineering Seminar
Students must apply for admission to a concentration in the engineering program during the semester in which they are completing the required courses listed above. Admission to a BSE concentration is required for a student to enter 300-level engineering courses.
Conditional admission is available to assist certain students. Students who wish to take 300-level courses, but who have not completed the required courses with the stipulated minimum grade and/or who have not achieved the minimum required cumulative grade point average may be given conditional admission to the program. Conditional admission is granted at the discretion of the department chair. Conditional admission is normally granted as long as students do not have more than 10 semester hours of course deficiencies and only if their cumulative grade point average is no less than 2.20. Furthermore, the student’s GPA must be raised to no less than 2.30 and all course deficiencies must be removed within the period designated by the chair (normally not exceeding one year). Students who receive conditional admission and then fail to meet these conditions within the designated time period are not eligible to reapply for admission to the program at a later date. As an alternative to conditional admission, students may delay taking 300-level courses until they have met all requirements for regular admission to the program.
To maintain a student-focused program with acceptable student-faculty ratios in 300- level courses, the engineering department reserves the right to delay admission into an over-enrolled concentration if the student would require “academic conditional” status at the time of admission. Academic conditional admission is defined as failure to meet the first four criteria for regular admission as defined above (completion of CHEM 103 , CS 104 /CS 106 /CS 108 , MATH 170 /MATH 171 , MATH 172 , MATH 231 , MATH 270 /MATH 271 , STAT 241 , PHYS 133 , PHYS 235 , ENGR 101 , ENGR 106 , ENGR 181 , ENGR 202 , ENGR 204 , ENGR 209 , all with grades of C- or better), and/or failure to achieve the minimum required GPA of 2.30. Academic conditional students denied admission into their first-choice concentration have two options: a) waiting a year to re-apply (in the meantime completing all requirements for regular admission), or b) applying for admission to a different concentration that is not over-enrolled.
Transfer Student Admission
Students wishing to transfer from another school should apply to the office of admissions. In general, transfer students must meet the same course requirements as students who begin their programs at Calvin. Courses completed with a grade below C (2.0) will not be accepted. Transfer students must arrange for an analysis of transcripts and transfer course descriptions by the department chair well in advance of course advising. In addition, those who wish to take 300-level courses in their first semester at Calvin must:
- Have a 2.5 grade point average at their previous school.
- If requested, provide a letter from that school indicating that the student was in good academic and personal standing.
- Receive either conditional admission or regular admission or possibly special permission from the chair.
Calvin’s engineering program emphasizes the integration of Christian faith and a professional engineering education. This integration takes place in many ways. For this reason, a student seeking a BSE degree from Calvin should be part of the program for the equivalent of no less than four semesters as a full-time student at Calvin. It is also stipulated that at least one non-technical course be taken for each semester at Calvin.
Graduating with Honors
Those wishing to graduate with honors in engineering must meet the following requirements:
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and a total of six honors courses (18 hours minimum) overall, including at least two honors courses outside the major, and at least two honors courses in engineering (except ENGR 101 , ENGR 181 , ENGR 185 , ENGR 285 , ENGR 294 , ENGR 337 , ENGR 339 , ENGR 340 , ENGR 382 , ENGR 385 , ENGR 387 , ENGR 390 , and ENGR 394 ) with a minimum grade of A- (at least one of the engineering courses must be a 300-level course).
- Receive credit for ENGR 385 - Engineering Internship or ENGR 387 - International Engineering Internship .
Since the engineering department does not regularly offer honors sections, the honors courses in engineering are taken by special arrangement with the course instructor
Students may receive an international designation (e.g., “BSE Mechanical Concentration, International Designation”) by completing two of the following three international engineering items: 1) interim course 2) summer program 3) international internship while demonstrating some ability to speak the language of their internship country.
Other procedures and activities may qualify for the international designation. For additional details, please contact the department chair or the department internship coordinator.
Students may receive a sustainability designation (e.g., “BSE Mechanical Concentration, Sustainability Designation”) by completing all of the following: 1) ENGR 184 - Sustainability Challenges , 2) a 3- or 4-semester hour sustainability-themed course, 3) ENGR 384 - Analysis of Sustainability Engineering Systems , and 4) a sustainability-related practical experience such as a senior design project or internship. Contact the department chair or the Sustainability coordinator for a list of qualifying 3-4 semester-hour courses and additional details.
Notes Regarding Admission and Graduation
All students must display a high degree of personal integrity to be recommended for admission. This is demanded by the nature of engineering as a profession. After admission to the engineering program the student must continue to make adequate progress toward fulfilling graduation requirements. A grade below C- in a 300-level engineering course is an example of inadequate progress, and will require repeating the course. A student’s admission to the program will be revoked if the student fails to show adequate progress. If the grade for a repeated course does not improve, this will result in revocation of admission to the program. In addition to an overall, college-wide grade point average of 2.0, the student must obtain a grade point average of 2.3 in 300-level engineering courses completed at Calvin to be eligible to graduate.
Engineering Department Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy
Because of the nature of the profession, honesty and integrity is expected of every engineer. With this, and especially in light of our common Christian commitment, instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in the engineering program. As documented in the Calvin Engineering Department Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy (ED-AHIP), “engineering students at Calvin College are expected to learn and study with absolute integrity.” The ED-AHIP provides the framework for engineering department faculty to sanction dishonesty within the guidelines of Calvin’s Code of Student Conduct. Copies of the ED-AHIP are available on the engineering website as well as the engineering department office. Any questions, comments, and concerns regarding ED-AHIP and its application may be directed to the department chair.
Notes Regarding an Interdisciplinary/Group Major
Students may initiate an interdisciplinary major within the engineering department. This interdisciplinary or group major must be approved by the engineering department chair and include a minimum of two 300-level engineering classes. Students must also provide a written rationale for the group major that specifies how the writing program requirement will be met. Students should also be aware that a group major will require completing the full liberal arts core and that their degree will be either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree (not a BSE degree).
Advisory Council and Professional Societies and Student Clubs
The engineering department is served by an advisory board, the Calvin Engineering Advisory Council (CEAC), consisting of engineers from local industries, which meet semi-annually to review the program and give advice from an industrial perspective. The council is currently chaired by Mr. Eric Walstra. Calvin engineering faculty are members of a wide range of professional societies. Calvin College has student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Calvin also sponsors the following student organizations related to Engineering Unlimited and the Renewable Energy Organization (REO).
Prerequisite to all courses numbered 300 or higher is formal admission to a BSE concentration.