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

Carolyn Atkinson was selected by the engineering faculty to receive the Senior Engineering Prize. This award is given to the senior student who is the most outstanding student in engineering. While at Hope College, Carolyn was heavily involved in our Engineers Without Borders student chapter, holding leadership positions as international project lead and president. She also was a research student in Dr. Polasek’s lab and obtained a math minor. She will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in fall 2023 to pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering.

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 recipients are Dan Romano and Bridget Gagnier.

As an avid disc golfer himself, Dan’s senior design project sought to solve the problem of losing one’s disc through the implementation of an audible sensor on the disc. While at Hope, Dan was also heavily involved in football, serving as one of Hope’s Representatives in the MIAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee. He was awarded the Hope Athletics 2023 Men’s Be Strong. Be True. Athlete of the Year Award. Dan will be starting as a Project Design Engineer at Gentex this summer.

Bridget’s senior design project was a reflex trainer that was designed to help the user obtain a shortened reflex time for a variety of applications such as athletic improvement, motor skill assessment, or brain injury diagnosis and rehabilitation. Bridget worked in Dr. Odle’s research lab for three years and will be working as a research lab engineer at the Cleveland Metrohealth Medical Center.

Blok-Williams Graduate Study Award

Sarah Heinowski 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. While at Hope College, Sarah worked in Dr. Polasek’s research lab to develop a non-invasive therapy for phantom limb pain and Dr. Calvo-Ochoa’s lab (Biology) to study the role of neuroinflammation on the cell proliferation process in zebrafish. While at Hope, Sarah played the clarinet in the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra and also did various tutoring and TA roles for the engineering department. This fall she will be pursuing her master’s degree in biomedical engineering with a concentration in neural engineering at the University of Michigan.

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 Grace Van Dellen. While at Hope, Grace was a member of the women’s golf team for all 4 years and was captain for her junior and senior years. She was a member of the Society of Women Engineer’s, serving in roles of secretary and vice president. She was also part of the athletic ministries team for two years. After graduation, Grace plans on working at Gentex Corporation in Zeeland, MI.

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 Andrea Torres and Bishop Carl. When asked about what she enjoyed about Hope, Andrea said, “During my first year of college, I most enjoyed the community and friendships I became a part of. My most treasured memories of my first year involve study sessions in the engineering building, late nights playing cards, and tossing around a volleyball at the beach.”

Bishop’s response was “My first year here at Hope has truly been remarkable and life changing. The best part has been the lifelong friends that I have made already in the engineering department. We have an amazing group that loves to study while also enjoying being active in Holland!”

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