Alumni Profiles

MATT HILDEN

Senior Software Developer at OneOme
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Engineering: Electrical (2002)

“I am a senior software developer in my current role at OneOme (www.oneome.com), a pharmacogenomic testing company,” says Hilden. “I help create our clinical test report, genetic analysis tools, pharmacokenetic models, and test systems for our clinical development team. Combined, these tools are used to help patients and their doctors select medications that are likely to work best for the patient based on their DNA.

“The education I received from Dordt College prepared me to think about engineering as a holistic act of worship. To create products and bring aesthetic and functional beauty to life from raw materials is to mimic the very actions of the Creator. This is a humbling, rewarding, and pleasing task.”

While studying electrical engineering at Dordt, Hilden says that he received proper training in the discipline. “I learned far more than that, however. My supervisors and co-workers have often commented on the fact that I strive toward a system-level engineering that goes far beyond a single engineering discipline,” says Hilden. “I'm certainly not perfect, but I do always labor to bring harmony to the things, people, and tasks that I am working to complete. When done well, this is an act of praise to God and brings Him glory. When I bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ in my work, I find endless joy and fulfillment in my obedience.”

 

DARRIN BEEKMAN

Biomedical Graduate Student at University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Engineering: Biomedical (2012)

“As a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, I am exploring and designing surgical ‘smart’ tools,” says Beekman. “The sensing and control methods implemented in these new tools will increase the efficiency, safety, and efficacy of medical procedures -- improving quality care for patients and eliminating mistakes in the operating room.”

Looking back on his college experience at Dordt, Beekman sees the most valuable aspect of Dordt’s engineering program as the “grounding of our work, specifically in engineering, within God’s story.” Beekman says, “Learning and understanding how seemingly simple design decisions can be an obedient or disobedient response to Christ's call on our lives instilled a greater sense of responsibility, creativity, and purpose in my vocational thinking.”

 

STEVEN DELAWYER

Product Engineer at Accurpress
Rapid City, South Dakota
Engineering: Mechanical (2012)

“My experience at Accurpress has been a great combination of designing with 3D modeling, using sketches/notes to iterate designs, and also physically building prototype designs for solutions I’ve developed,” says DeLawyer. “I work mainly with the shop manager who points out things that could be tweaked, but I work with fellow employees who are in the assembly area, electronics area, welding area, and machining area.”

While at Dordt, DeLawyer learned how “all of life is connected and ruled by Jesus Christ and how work has a valuable role in our lives as Christians.” According to DeLawyer, “my education from Dordt not only prepared me to have the knowledge I needed for any engineering position, but it also shaped me into a conscientious steward who cares about more than merely how employees do at their job.”

 

MARK VAN WEELDEN

Project Engineer at Ruekert & Mielke
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Engineering: Civil-Environmental (2012)

Van Weelden works in the water and wastewater department at Ruekert & Mielke where design processes at municipal treatment facilities and plan upgrades to communities' water and sewer systems. Ruekert & Mielke, where Van Weelden works, is a civil engineering consulting firm that works in mid-size communities in Wisconsin and Illinois on municipal engineering needs.

Van Weelden says he is grateful for his experience at Dordt. “Dordt College does an excellent job preparing engineering students for work in industry as well as academia,” says Van Weelden. “Dordt's emphasis on equipping engineers with both technical and soft skills makes them competitive and prepared to make a difference in the real world.”

 

ANDERSON CLARE

Student at Phoenix Seminary
Phoenix, Arizona
Engineering: Mechanical (2014)

Clare is currently a full-time student at Phoenix Seminary and is working for a Masters in Divinity in Biblical and Theological Studies. “In addition to my studies, I work at the seminary as a Student Adviser and as a Teaching Assistant for courses in Hebrew, Old Testament, and Hermeneutics.”

“Dordt College's Engineering Department equips students in the technical, but also in the philosophical and historical, leaving no square inch of our field unclaimed by the Creator. If you sense the importance of loving the Lord your God with all your mind as well as your heart, then Dordt College's Engineering program is worth your consideration. The mental rigor, spiritual discipline, worldview relevance, and communal support is unparalleled. You will grow as a person, an engineer, and a faithful disciple of Christ.”

“As an alumni of Dordt College's Engineering Department, and as a current seminary student, I feel confident that no other program in any other discipline, in any other department, of any other college or university will equip you to engage both the sciences and the humanities at this serious level of faithful discipleship as at Dordt College. If you sense God calling you to study engineering at Dordt College, I can only urge you to apply yourself and make this investment. May God bless your studies, and may you love him with all of your mind, as with your heart.”

 

AMANDA Goodenow

Designer in the Civil Engineering Group at I+S Group, Inc.
Storm Lake, Iowa
Engineering: Civil-Environmental (2015)

Goodenow works as a civil engineer designer at ISG (I+S Group, Inc.). ISG is a full-service firm with 8 offices doing both private and public work. “My office and work primarily focuses on municipalities,” says Goodenow. “The smaller communities in Iowa come to us for all of their city engineering needs, including site developments, storm water management, sanitary sewer and water main work, sanitary lift stations and treatment plants, water treatment plants and distribution systems.” She and her team work closely with municipalities by helping them obtain funding, attending council meetings, and writing city planning reports. 

“Dordt creates an atmosphere tailored to helping you succeed in whatever major is best suited for you,” says Goodenow about her Dordt experience. “Not only are the professors encouraging and willing to set aside time to help you grow, but the community of the student body is enlivening. Even if you're not sure about what path your educational experience will take you down, the supportive Christian atmosphere of the department and college will stand by you through your journey.”

 

ANDREW DE HAAN

Human Factors Engineer at NAVAIR
Ridgecrest, California
Engineering: Biomedical (2015)

“I design parts of the user interface on the F/A-18 fighter jet by merging the desires of aircrew with the abilities of engineers,” says De Haan. “Much of my job is facilitating discussion among team members, while also doing my own research, in order to deliver the best design possible.”

According to De Haan, Dordt’s engineering program prepared him in ways that he didn’t anticipate. “Assignments and ways for approaching problems that seemed tedious at the time have become the most valuable tools I have available,” says De Haan. “For example, in Dr. Frisch's capstone Biomedical Engineering class we learned about how to read scientific journal articles and conduct literature reviews. At the time, the process was long and didn't seem to yield much fruit. However, now that I've entered a field which is still maturing and developing the ability to more efficiently gain an understanding of the state of the field has been invaluable.”

 

TAYLOR HOEKSTRA

Biomedical Graduate Student at University of South Dakota
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Engineering: Biomedical (2016)

"I have been working as a Graduate Research Assistant, acting President for the Student Chapter of the Society of Biomaterials, and GMP Quality Control Tech at the University of South Dakota, says Hoekstra. “Each of these positions revolves around and assists me with my graduate research schooling as I develop novel methods for quantifying and treating bacterial infection on biomaterials."

Hoekstra was incredibly pleased to find out how well the Dordt Engineering program had prepared him to continue his education in graduate studies. “I continue to find that the information that I was taught at Dordt is very applicable in the research that I plan on doing through my graduate studies. I also appreciate the well-roundedness that the liberal arts degree from Dordt has provided me with. Instead of a single knowledge niche, I have a far broader understanding of life and God's great creation.”

 

LOKEN VANDE VEGTE

Controls Application Engineer at Musco Sports Lighting
Oskaloosa, Iowa
Engineering: Computer (2016)

Vande Vegte works at Musco Sports Lighting in Oskaloosa, IA, a company that design lights to be used in sports fields, stadiums, and arenas ranging from community ballparks to professional stadiums throughout the United States and the world.“My position as a Controls Engineer focuses on designing electrical enclosures used to power our lights,” says Vande Vegte. “I am also meeting the needs of our customers through light dimming and programming of theatrical light shows.”

Vande Vegte says Dordt's engineering program has equipped him with the fundamental principles needed to work effectively in his field. “With my education in engineering, I have become interested in the world around me and desire to become an expert in the job that I do,” he says. “Few colleges across the U.S. offer a Christ-centered education on how to appropriately learn and do engineering. My experience at Dordt shaped me into a Christian engineer called to go out into the world and make it a better place for God's people to live in.”

 

KYLE VANDER ZEE

Design and Construction Engineer at Thomas Engineering Group
Lombard, Illinois
Engineering: Civil-Environmental (2016)

“I have spent some of my time in construction management working on roadway projects,” says Vander Zee. “Most recently, I have been working in the planning and design department. This includes doing a variety of work including crash analysis, drainage design, and many other tasks necessary to put the plans, drawings, and specifications together for new roadway projects. I also have spent a lot of time on a contract as an in-house consultant at IDOT in their Bureau of Traffic working on traffic safety projects.”

Vander Zee found that the engineering program at Dordt prepared him in ways beyond the obvious coursework. “During my senior year three of my classmates and I were able to use the concepts we'd learned in the classroom in order to design a bridge over a river in Liberia, Africa. We also had the privilege to travel to Liberia and build it. Not only did it give us valuable technical experience, but it gave us a unique cross-cultural experience.”