Annual Engineering Awards

The Engineering Department is pleased to announce our annual year-end student awards. This list of awardees represents just the tip of the iceberg of the amazing engineering students at Hope College. Descriptions of the awards and some information about the recipients are give below.

Senior Engineering Prize

Chris Rexroth was selected by the engineering faculty to received the Senior Engineering Prize. This award is given to the senior student who is the most outstanding student in engineering. While at Hope College, Chris was heavily involved in our Engineers Without Borders student chapter, serving as the Project Lead during his sophomore year and the President during his senior year. His leadership helped to close out the project in Kenya, after installing three deep wells, and start a new project in Ecuador. He also was a research student in Dr. Polasek’s lab and played on the Hope football team. He will start work this fall at Gentex as an Embedded Software Engineer.

The VanPutten Engineering Design Prize

The VanPutten Prize is given by the Engineering faculty to a graduating engineering student who shows exceptional ability, interest, and accomplishment in engineering design. This award is named in honor of Professor James VanPutten in recognition of his accomplishments in engineering design and his efforts to establish the engineering program at Hope College. This year’s recipient was Adam Heisler. Adam’s senior design project focused on an interactive water fountain design. In addition to being a notable design engineer, Adam also is a great drummer and was on the Hope College Worship team for the past two years. After graduation, Adam plans on working as a systems control engineer at Apex Controls in Hudsonville, MI.

Blok-Williams Graduate Study Award

Josie Surel received the Blok-Williams award, which is given to a graduate school bound senior student for excellence in the study of the field of engineering. Josie was heavily involved in research while at Hope College, spending one summer doing research with Dr. Misovich and two summer’s in Dr. Christian’s lab. She presented her work two times at the annual American Institute of Chemical Engineers meeting and both times won first place in the undergraduate student poster competition. She was also awarded a graduate research fellowship program from the National Science Foundation, an extremely competitive program that provides research funding at a graduate institute for up to five years. While at Hope, she was involved in Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and also did various tutoring and TA roles across the engineering, math, chemistry, and physics departments. This fall she will be pursuing her PhD in Physics at the University of Oxford.

Paul Baeverstad Award

The selection of the Paul Baeverstad Award recipient is based on a vote of the senior class of engineering students. It is given in recognition of a student who is valued as a superior engineer, classmate, and friend. This year’s winner was Jackson Bode. While at Hope, Jackson served as a grader and a TA for several engineering courses and was also the president of his fraternity. After graduation, Jackson plans on working at Ameresco, a renewable energy company in Chicago, IL.

Freshman Engineering Prize

The Freshman Engineering Prize is given to recognize the achievement of the best first-year students in Engineering. These students have already shown a strong ability to understand and express engineering concepts. The two students to receive the award this year were Elias LaChonce and Benjamin Jackson. When asked about what he enjoyed about Hope, Elias said, “This year I have enjoyed doing interesting labs in my intro to engineering lab. I have also been working on the project for Engineers Without Borders which is really fun.”

Benjamin’s response was, “The people I have met have been by far the best part of college and many I believe will become life long friends. From my hallmates to my professors, everyone is so supportive and I am grateful to be at an institution that encourages such a unique sense of community no matter your concentration, major, or position at Hope.” 

The Engineering Department offers heartfelt congratulations to all of this year’s award winners!

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