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Dordt College News

Brue receives John Calvin award

May 13, 2009

Brue

Dr. Ethan Brue, professor of engineering at Dordt College, was named the 2009 John Calvin Award recipient at a year-end event for Dordt’s faculty and staff Saturday, May 9.

The award, which comes with a privately funded $500 honorarium, is presented annually to a Dordt College faculty member whose teaching demonstrates ability and commitment in articulating a Calvinistic perspective.

Recipients are selected based on nominations from graduating classes and faculty. Three selected graduating classes were asked which of their Dordt professors inspired and instructed them most in the development of a Calvinistic world and life view and in applying those views to issues of contemporary society. From the list of nominees, an external panel selects the final recipient.

One alumni nomination stated, “In many classes Dr. Brue explored how my faith applied to what I was learning about engineering. In other words he made us think about how we should apply Calvinism to contemporary society.”

Another nomination said Brue devotes much of his time outside of class to helping students, and that “his faith is evident in the way he builds relationships with his students.”

“I do believe that his work exemplifies for all of us a lively and true commitment to teaching in the manner that this award seeks to recognize,” says a third Dordt alumnus. “In all of his engineering classes, he has worked to provide students with opportunities to reflect on and explore the implications of a biblical, reformational perspective on their work as engineers and in their broader involvements in life as a whole, lived in God’s world.”

Dr. Brue graduated from Dordt College in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. He earned both a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. Brue was a research and development project leader at Pioneer Hi-Bred International before accepting a position at Dordt College.

While there he designed and tested prototype equipment and instrumentation, including a plant-scale fluidized bed biomass gasifier to convert corn residue into energy, an in-line seed moisture measurement system, a bulk bin temperature monitor, and plant tissue sampling equipment.

Since coming to Dordt College in 2000, Brue has conducted research in the area of sustainable energy technology, including sorghum fuel ethanol production, and biomass gasification. Dordt’s Engineering Department was awarded funding from the Iowa Energy Center (IEC) for Brue and students to explore a variety of system designs and develop a farm-scale sweet sorghum to ethanol production system.

Dr. Brue is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the state of Iowa and is currently division interim co-dean at Dordt. He teaches courses in heat transfer, science and technology history, fluid mechanics, machine design, intro to engineering, solar energy engineering, dynamic systems, and material science.

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